Vincent Pollicelli
September 10, 2015

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  Vincent M. “Vinnie” Pollicelli, a retired Burlington Firefighter, passed away at his home on Thursday morning, September 10, 2015. The beloved husband of the late Marie (Palmerini) he was 81 years old.

Vinnie was born in Boston. He was one of three sons born to the late Philip & Ida Pollicelli. Vinnie and his family moved from Brighton to Burlington when he was in his teens. His dad actually built the family homestead on Lexington St. in Burlington and that is where Vinnie continued to live throughout his life.

Vinnie was a Veteran of the United States Army serving his country during the Korean War. He achieved the rank of SGT and was the recipient of the Good Conduct Medal. Vinnie became a temporary Firefighter in the Town of Burlington in 1961. His status became permanent in 1962. Vinnie retired in 1978. Vinnie was not one to sit idle. He went on to have a long career at Lahey Clinic for over 31 years in the Security Department. He started with the original Lahey Clinic in Boston and was fortunate that Lahey eventually moved to his home town of Burlington. Vinnie led a full and active life. Vinnie and his wife Marie enjoyed traveling with one of their favorite destinations being Cape Cod. He loved his home and working in his vegetable garden was one of his favorite things to do. His was very close to his family. He loved holidays most especially Christmas. Vinnie will be remembered as a quiet man who had a strong work ethic and enjoyed his life.

Vinnie was the beloved husband of the late Marie (Palmerini). He was the father of Laura Tarello & her husband Michael of Medford, Debbie Patterson & her husband Michael of Billerica and Dennis (Castetter) Palmerini of Burlington formerly of Bedford. Brother of David of Medfield and the late Philip. Grandfather of Matthew & Stephen Patterson and Ashley & Ryan Tarello. Vinnie is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Monday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Malachy Church, 99 Bedford St., Burlington at Noon. Visiting hours Sunday 3-5 p.m. Interment in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. Memorials in Vinnie’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701

Eulogy for Vincent M. Pollicelli – Written by Dennis Palmerini

On behalf of the Pollicelli family I would like to thank everyone for attending this service. For those of you that don’t know me I am Vinnie’s step son from his second marriage to Marie Pollicelli, who he married in 1992. I first met Vinnie when he showed up at our front door for his first date with my mother. I opened the door to find a handsome & distinguished looking gentleman dressed in a sharp grey suit holding a dozen roses in one hand and a box of chocolates in the other. I don’t think he knew at that time that he was going to be stuck with me for the next 25 years.

Vinnie was a thoughtful man of great character. He was selfless who always went out his way to help others. He was fun, honest, kind and sincere. Vinnie’s life spanned 81 years and during that time he lived a fulfilled life and touch hundreds if not thousands of people. I think he touched his first few hundred people during his one of his grade school years when he threw a stink bomb into an assembly.

After graduating high school Vinnie enrolled into the United States Army and proudly served his country during the Korean War. He rose to the rank of Staff Sargent before he was honorably discharged in 1958.

When Vinnie returned home he joined the International Union of Operating Engineers and worked with his father in the construction industry.

On June 11th, 1961 Vinnie was appointed as a Temporary Firefighter on the Burlington Fire Department. Vinnie was appointed as a Permanent Firefighter shortly thereafter on February 2nd, 1962. On October 2, 1972 Vinnie was injured in a serious accident while responding to a call. A vehicle turned and stopped in the path of the oncoming fire engine forcing the driver to turn hard left in an attempt to avoid the car. The fire engine struck the car and the truck actually rolled over and landed on its roof. Vinny broke his back in that accident, but he eventually returned to work.

Vinnie enrolled in Middlesex Community College’s Fire Science Program from 1974 through 1976 and he was named to Dean’s List in the fall of 1975. Unfortunately, Vinnie reinjured his back when he fell at the Fire Headquarters in 1976. Vinnie’s injuries were so severe that he was forced to retire from the fire department in 1978. Vinnie’s back never healed and he suffered with back pain throughout the rest of his life. I think we can all agree that Vinnie embodied the Firefighters creed of “Service before Self” because his service as a Firefighter for 17 years cost him dearly in terms of his personal health.

Not one to sit idle Vinnie went to work at Lahey Hospital in May of 1980. When Lahey broke ground in Burlington Vinnie was the first employee on site working as a security guard monitoring the construction of the new building on Mall Road. Vinnie work for Lahey Clinic for 31 years until his retirement in June of 2011.

During Vinnie’s career at Lahey he was a Supervisor and Fire Safety Coordinator. His knowledge and past experience as a Firefighter made him an extremely valuable member of the Security Department. Vinnie was well respected and loved by all, at all levels, and that respect showed with whoever it was that he came in contact with. Vinnie’s relationship with all local authorities in Burlington was second to none.

One of Vinnie’s closest colleagues said that he will be sincerely missed as he was a dearly respected colleague that touched so many lives. During the last few years of Vinnie’s life I spent a great deal of time with Vinnie at Lahey. We would walk through the hallways and he would constantly be approached with love and affection by his former colleagues including physicians, nurses, administrators, security guards, cashiers and some former colleagues who could barely speak English. I once said to Vinnie you know everyone at Lahey really loves you….Vinnie said “you know Dennis, it doesn’t cost anything to be nice to other people”.

During Vinnie’s life he took on many roles; he was a son, a brother, a husband, a loving father, an uncle, a co-worker and my best friend. Vinnie loved to work in his yard and was known for his flourishing vegetable garden. Vinnie really loved nature; he frequently took trips down to the Cape and loved to spend time near the ocean, he loved animals, especially his Siamese cat Molly Girl and he even enjoyed looking at birds through binoculars and looking up their characteristics in his trusted book Guide of Eastern Birds.

Vinnie was quiet man but at times he could be a blast to be around, he loved to attend parties and play practical jokes on his family, co-workers and friends. Vinnie loved to sit at the kitchen table reading The Boston Herald and challenging his mind by doing the Cryptoquotes. Vinnie enjoyed watching sports and old movies with John Wayne and really old TV programs in black & white like Bonanza and The Rifleman. His favorite show was In the Heat of the Night with Carrol O’Connor.

Vinnie also loved to dance, when Vinnie was in his mid-sixties he used to go up to the club in the Marriott hotel and dance the night away with the young girls I worked with. He was a big fan of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and he also like other genres of music included country and R&B. Believe it or not Vinnie used to frequently say to me “Hey Dennis, do me a favor and play that Michael Jackson song that I like and crank it up.”

So we meet here today to honor and pay tribute to Vinny and to express our love and admiration for him. Someone once said “we will not be remembered by our words -- but by our deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath, as we help others.” Vinnie was like a father to me, he was a loving man of great character to All and I know We will always remember Vinnie by his deeds.

Thank you again for coming today to celebrate his life.

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