Vincent "Vince" Morreale, 88, entered into eternal rest Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, surrounded by his loving family.
Morreale was born July 11, 1927, in Serradifalco, Sicily, to Nicolo and Gaetana Morreale. He was the eldest of six children, and is survived by his brothers and sisters: Concetta (late Filippo) Avarello of Serradifalco; Antonio (Antonia) Morreale of Lyon, France, Maddalena and Giuseppe Virgadauro of Serradifalco; Calogero (Giuseppina) Morreale of Como, Italy; and Raimondo (Graziella) Morreale of St. Etiennes, France.
As a young adult, Morreale worked as an electrician in the sulfur mines near his hometown. On April 17, 1948, he married his wife, Pauline (Montante), of Niagara Falls, and immigrated to the United States, spending most of his life in Niagara Falls and Lewiston. Morreale was employed at Niagara Importing and held various positions at factories during the post-World War II era.
In 1966, fulfilling his lifelong dream of owning his own business, Vince and Pauline opened Vincenzo's Pizza in Lewiston, which quickly became a Lewiston institution. Truly a family business, his children and grandchildren were an important part of the pizzeria. Morreale put his heart and soul into all aspects of his business, which included his love of socializing with his customers. "Vinny" greeted his customers by name, always with a smile and kind word.
Vincenzo's is currently owned and operated by Morreale's grandson-in-law, David Munzi.
Morreale built his own home in Lewiston, created numerous additions to his Center Street property, built his winter home in Astor, Florida, and also helped to build homes for all three of his children. After he "retired" in 1990, Morreale continued to enjoy helping out at the pizzeria and becoming involved with various projects on behalf of friends and family.
Morreale enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren, visiting with friends and relatives, and playing bocce in Niagara Falls, where he gathered with friends and family. He looked forward to spending the winter months at his home in Florida every year.
In 2003, Morreale was the recipient of the prestigious Benjamin Barton Service Award by the former Lewiston Business and Professional Association. The award was given to a business that supported other Lewiston businesses, as well as various civic and community endeavors. Morreale believed in service to others, and he was always there to help his community.
Morreale was a 45-year member of the Upper Mountain Fire Co. in Lewiston, first as a fireman and later as a member of its fire police. He also was a member of St. Peter R.C. Church in Lewiston for 55 years.
Morreale was a much-beloved father, brother, grandfather and great-grandfather. Left to cherish his memory are his devoted and loving partner of 16 years, Giovanna Romagnuolo; three children, Tana (Anthony) Beccari of Lewiston, Nick (Rose) Morreale of Lewiston and Dave (Maria) Morreale of Orchard Park; eight grandchildren - whom he adored: Anthony (Kate) Beccari, Sarina (David) Munzi, Marissa Beccari, Mario Beccari, Nicole Morreale, Vincent Morreale, Louis Morreale and Nessa Morreale; and two great-grandchildren: Catalina Beccari and Camila Beccari.
Also surviving Morreale are his brother-in-law, Peter Montante of Lewiston, as well as several nieces and nephews, and many friends and relatives. Morreale was predeceased by his wife, Pauline, and his sisters-in-law, Sandra Smedley, Connie Skrlin and Grace Caso.
Vince took extreme pride in his family and instilled upon them customs and traditions of his Italian heritage. He was a dedicated family man and was loved by all who knew him. He will always be remembered for his charming personality and contagious smile.
Visitation took place Sunday, Nov. 22, at the M.J. Colucci & Son Niagara Funeral Chapel, 2730 Military Road, Niagara Falls. A Mass of Christian burial was held Monday, Nov. 23, at St. Peter's R.C. Church, 620 Center St., Lewiston, with Rev. Peter M. Calabrese, CRSP, officiating. Entombment followed at St. Joseph Cemetery in Niagara Falls.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Upper Mountain Fire Co., 839 Moyer Road, Lewiston, NY 14092.