Richard “Rick”‘s Obituary I, Richard P. Vinci, have lived a wonderful life filled with love, music, laughter, good health, and the pleasure of intellectual challenge. Born September 8, 1966, on the first day of school, I was lucky to grow up in a family with two loving parents, Elizabeth R. Vinci and Remo G. Vinci, and three marvelous older sisters, Candice (Vinci) Tarnawa, Cheryl (Vinci) Molleur, and Cathryn (Vinci) Woods. As stoic children of the Great Depression my parents’ love was often implied rather than stated outright, but it was never in doubt; my sisters have always been wonderfully caring and supportive. I have often said that I was an only child with four mothers. I also had two best friends in my neighborhood, Bill Herzog and Bill Decoste, with whom I shared many memorable adventures. Education has always been a major aspect of my life. My first and best teacher was my mother, who had a list of books that everyone should read. In my case, she interpreted this to mean “while still in elementary school.” This led to the curious distinction of being the only second grader who had read Moby Dick, and who knew words like “vitiated” and “interstices” (both from Swiss Family Robinson, courtesy of the blue Merriam-Webster dictionary that lived on our kitchen table). Along the way, I was very lucky to learn from some of the greatest teachers in the Reading, MA school system including, but not limited to, Misses Cooke, Hogan, Jacobs, and Weatherby, Mr. Mingolelli, Mrs. Norman-O’Brian, Mr. Appleby, Mr. Kenny, Mr. Zenowicz, and Mr. Bunton. Any of you who are still around to read this – thank you, you helped me find my way along a rich and wonderful path. Hooray for public education and dedicated teachers! I attended college at MIT in Cambridge, MA, where I especially enjoyed the camaraderie of my fraternity brothers at Delta Upsilon. Fraternities can bring out the worst in some young men, but I am proud to say that our house was usually one of friendship, fun, hard work, and positive behavior. There were occasional lapses in judgment, but none that were too egregious. There, I made friends that have lasted a lifetime, including my Best Man, Roger LeBoeuf. Following the advice of my senior advisor to “go west, young man,” I subsequently earned my Ph.D. at Stanford University in sunny Palo Alto, CA. My first time on an airplane was the day I moved to California. It was scary and exhilarating, and may have been the third-best decision I ever made. At Stanford I truly fell in love with my chosen engineering discipline, Materials Science and Engineering, and discovered the joys of teaching. I was guided by many fine members of the faculty, two of whom truly stand out: Drs. John Bravman and William Nix. I owe them both a debt of gratitude for setting me on the path to the career I have enjoyed so much. While on the West Coast I made some great friends who have stuck with me even when times have been tough, especially Drs. James Bain, Paul Besser, Laura (Chyung) Geddis, and Todd Hufnagel, as well as Donna Edwards and Bryan Weber. I also greatly enjoyed studying the martial art of aikido under the tutelage of Frank Doran Shihan and the members of Aikido West, where I earned my nidan rank (2nd degree black belt). Professionally, I have been blessed with the best job in the world: working with fabulous students and colleagues as a Professor at Lehigh University. I have looked forward to going to work nearly every day. The faculty and staff have provided me with friendship and support throughout my career. Aside from being with my family, working with students has brought me the greatest joy in life. Getting to know these wonderful young people and seeing them grow into adulthood has truly been a privilege. I hope that they will always fondly remember Disaster of the Day stories, sharing a holiday meal at my home, and overcoming challenges together in the laboratory. The very best decision I have ever made took place in 1991 when I married the love of my life, Michelle C. Geoffrion-Vinci. Granted it wasn’t entirely my decision, but I will take some of the credit. We met in high school band, in the trumpet section. She was always better than me, but let me have first seat in my senior year anyway. This set us on course to a wonderful lifetime together in which we have always tried to support and encourage each other. She is my sun, my moon, and my stars, and I will love her forever and ever, no matter what. Marriage came with several bonuses, including amazing parents-in-law Paul and Barbara Geoffrion, two incredible sisters-in-law Susan (Geoffrion) Parks and Lynette (Geoffrion) DeInnocentis, and eventually two men who are like brothers to me: Robert Parks and Jeffrey DeInnocentis. Another bonus was a well-used white Chevy Celebrity station wagon, my first car. My second best decision of all time was also a mutual one, and led to the births of our extraordinary daughters, Sofia Louise Geoffrion Vinci and Julia Jane Geoffrion Vinci. Every stage of their lives has been a joy to me. Little Octopus stories, handmade Halloween costumes, band concerts, cooking family recipes together, liquid nitrogen, Cheb tales, Odyssey, Cape Cod, and dance recitals are just a few of the many wonderful memories that we share. My most fervent wish is for my three favorite people to continue to live fulfilling lives, rich with love, laughter, and purpose. The last few years have been a challenge as my family and I have lived with ALS. Gradual loss of my ability to walk, hug, write, speak, eat, and breath has been very difficult for all of us, but we have never given in to despair. My family has provided me with amazing physical and emotional support at every turn, for which I am grateful every day. The care and love I have received from my friends, Lehigh University colleagues, the teachers, administrators and staff of the Easton school system, caregivers (especially my Angel, Lilly Cromin), and medical professionals has also been nothing short of remarkable. These wonderful people have shown me the best side of humanity. The da Vinci Code for this obit is 18-0-88-15-70-92-71-0. Have fun figuring it out, or just play the lottery and win big. Donations to the ALS Association in support of medical research would be a fitting way to celebrate my life and my belief that good science will eventually lead to a cure. Services: A Memorial Service in celebration of Dr. Vinci’s life will be held on Wednesday, May 1st at 4:30 p.m. at Packer Memorial Chapel, Lehigh University. For your convenience, there will be reserved parking on the first level of the Zoellner Parking Garage, with shuttle service running from the parking garage to the church, and from the church back to the garage following the service. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, donations for medical research can be given in Rick’s name to the ALS Association (www.alsa.org). Read More
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Richard Rick Paul Vinci PhD September 08 1966 March 13 2019.
Death notice for the town of: -, state: Pennsylvania