Michael A. Vecchi
July 11, 2016

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  Michael A. Vecchi, Sr. retired Scoutmaster Emeritus, Troop 103 Burlington, passed away at the Lahey Clinic Hospital & Medical Center, on Monday morning, July 11, 2016. The beloved husband of Hazel (Quigley) he was 79 years old.

Mike was born in Boston. He was one of five children born to the late Michael and Concetta Vecchi. Mike was born and educated in Roxbury. At the age of 17 he joined the United States Army serving his country. Mike was a Paratrooper and a member of the elite 82nd Airborne Division which specialized in parachute assault operations into denied areas. He achieved the rank of SP-3 (T) and was the recipient of the Parachute Badge. Mike took great pride in his service to his country and in later years he was a member of LT. General James M. Gavin Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association. He marched in their parades, attended their meetings and outings.

Mike and Hazel married on November 28, 1959. In the late 60’s they moved to Burlington where they would raise their six children. He had a long career as a Quality Assurance Engineer working for RCA during the Apollo missions and then continued for over 25 years.

When Mike’s three sons, Michael, Paul and Thomas, joined the Scouts as children, Mike became involved as well. The Scouts would become an important part of his life that spanned over 30 years. Many a summer they spent together at Camp Sachem. One of his roles in the organization was that of Scoutmaster. Mike would receive the distinguished Silver Beaver Award which was presented to him for the impact he made on the lives of the youth in Troop 103 throughout the years. In 2013 he would receive the Norman A. Norton Award for his decades of service to the scouting Community and District Levels.

Mike and Hazel enjoyed taking road trips to North Carolina to visit their daughter Theresa and her family as well as to Florida to visit friends. Mike was a social man that enjoyed being with family and friends. He enjoyed nothing better than a holiday dinner or cookout with his family. He was a proud “Papa” to his 10 grandchildren and his 3 great grandchildren. Mike will be remembered as a man who a Leader was serving both his Country and the Scouts. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who made a difference in all the lives he touched.

Mike was the beloved husband of 56 years of Hazel (Quigley). He was the loving father of Deborah Wippler of Billerica, Michael Jr. & his wife Nina of Westminster, Paul & his wife Jessica of Marlborough, Christine Reekie & her husband Michael of Burlington, Theresa Hudson & her husband Anthony of NC, and Thomas of Milford, NH. Brother of Theresa Spicuzza of Brockton and the late Mary Lafrazia, Millie Messana & Angelo Vecchi. Also survived by 10 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Friday, July 15 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Visiting hours Thursday 4-8 p.m. Interment in Pine Haven Cemetery, BURLINGTON. Memorials in Mike’s name may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, 150 Cambridge Park, Suite 202, Cambridge, MA 02140 www.woundedwarrierproject.org

Family Remembrance by Michael Vecchi, Jr.

Hi my name is Mike, Thank you all for coming to say goodbye and also to remember and celebrate the life of Mike Vecchi. Mike the Husband, Father, Brother, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Uncle and Friend.

Our Dad was a devote family man, strong in his beliefs, faith and yes even his opinions. He truly enjoyed his life and his family always providing and making sure we had a home and everything we needed.

Our Dad was the backbone of our family our patriarch and was always there for each of us, each of his six children and most importantly his wife our mother Hazel. Dad was the backbone but Mom was also by his side standing just as tall.

He loved big family gatherings, and was the driving force behind them making sure the word went out to all the families his three sisters Mary, Theresa, Millie and his brother Angelo. Our mother would be sending word out also to her brother Charlie and her Sister Mary. For years we would gather at amusement parks such as Canobie Lake or Whalom Park. Fourth of July BBQ’s in Burlington under the canopies and screen house just eating, playing cribbage, whist or running around. Later on he would organize reunions in State parks just making sure there was enough room for everyone. My father loved them and loved to run the grill, he had that down to a science timing everything perfectly. He did take cues from our mother so while he had it down to a science and loved to cook outside Mom made sure he stayed on task. He was also known for bringing along his grilling tools to other cookouts just so he could help out grilling.

Whether gathering during the summer or the holidays our Dad enjoyed it all. Loved his family and loved having everyone around. The holidays held in Burlington are still mind boggling since none of us can figure out just how we had soooo many people in such a small place. It remains a mystery to this day.

Dad was very patriotic and enjoyed all the celebrations in honor of our military such as Veterans and Memorial Day. He was not just a bystander watching the parades go by, he was an active participant. He marched in many parades from the little league baseball parades to scouting parades participating recently with the 82nd Airborne Division Association the Lt. General James M. Gavin Chapter.

All of us are proud of his accomplishments, he raised six beautiful and successful children, he was actively involved with his 10 grandchildren and three great grandchildren and remained active in his community service. We are proud of his career and commitment to the Boy Scouts of America Troop 103. He spent much of his time leading and serving the organization. He received the distinguished Silver Beaver Award for the impact he made on the lives of the youth in Troop 103 and the community. A few years ago he received the Norman A. Norton Award for decades of service to the scouting Community and District Levels. That award was bestowed in recognition of his longstanding service to Scouting and the personification of its ideals. We are all proud of his accomplishments.

Our dad as I mentioned was a patriotic man whom very much loved his county and talked about his service and his proud membership with the 82nd airborne. He loved his service time; he got to “Jump” from planes. He enjoyed it so much he even took pictures coming down on his jumps. He enjoyed being a paratrooper and even saved an old parachute that he had tucked away in the garage. Our cousin Frank Messana reminded me the other day of the old plastic paratrooper toys that my dad would buy and let us play with during those big family gatherings. The kind of toys that would be outlawed today since you would launch them high with a slingshot. Once launched the paratrooper back pack would release the chute which would then come out and open up and the 10 inch army green paratrooper would float to earth. We launched these in the fields of the old Franklin Park Zoo and also in the back yard of our home.

My Dad aka Sir Dancealot was also an avid two stepper, taking time also to go dancing with our mom. Seeing him in all the costumes he wore and all those dance moves he learned you knew he was having fun from the smile on his face.

Our Dad loved life and family and also like many of us harbored a sweat tooth. He took his grandkids to Simons Park playground in the center of town stopping along the way for chocolate doughnuts and milk. He constructed his own sundaes looking for any opportunity to run out to Putnam Pantry to create a masterpiece of deliciousness, he would drive for miles to satisfy that craving.

The stories are many and memories are countless, each of us has our own. Each of us has those special memories that define our Dad (Mike) and what his time with us has meant which will be different and special to each of us. Hold those memories and reflect fondly with a smile knowing that he lived a full rich life and was a very happy man.

So we say thank you and goodbye to a Husband, Father, Brother, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Uncle and Friend. You will be sorely missed until we meet again; we love you, always and forever.
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