Vinny's Farewell

                       [Vinny, Brianna, Sonia-Family : P]

I’m getting to this quite late. Looking for an urn and noting that we’ll have to save to get a temporary urn has sank in the fact that my step-dad is gone. I woke up to a call on Tuesday morning. It was the head nurse calling from the ICU at Denton Medical City Hospital. I only remember “your dad has been in a serious car accident and has sustained brain damage.” Serious, I thought. Serious was bad but we had been getting nothing but serious news for the past year.

In the past year, Vinny has lost his daughter to suicide and undergone 3 surgeries and partial amputations to his foot. The last year has been rough but by working together and investing more into the shop and its customers he was pulling through.

Vinny had never seen the people that came into the shop as just customers, but as his friends. And when Vinny cared about you, he gave you his all. If you were upset and needed someone to talk to Vinny would say just the right thing; Or something so inappropriate that it would make you forget that you were upset.

My favorite thing about Vinny was his big heart.
We were in Starbucks drinking coffee, playing Mobsters on the computer. He got up and went to the counter to buy a sandwich and a bottle of water. He then walked outside and over to where a man was digging through the trash. He put his arm around him and encouraged him to stand tall as he showed him the food. Everyone in the cafe just watched them as Vinny brought him in to eat with us. He made sure he was full, gave him some money and we left. He showed him compassion and dignity.

There are way too many accounts that happened just like this. I can't even begin to list them all. If you were down on your luck Vinny would always be there to try to help. People give to charitable organization and such, Vinny went out and helped people one on one!

His personality was edgy and his emotions ran wild but those same traits showed a sincerity I had never seen in anyone. Direct and surprisingly caring. He was overwhelming and then all at once you’d miss him and his loud ass remarks.
“He had a heart the size of Texas, and the mouth to match.”

He was Catholic and was raised thinking that he wanted to be buried. About a month ago on I-35 he told me that he wouldn’t mind being cremated, it was more feasible and doable. I’m so happy that he brought that up, but now that he’s gone I’m realizing that even a cremation is out of our reach. We have given up his car; we couldn’t have afforded the car payments even if we could afford the thousands in repairs. I have considered dropping my university coursework, but it’s too far in the semester to get the tuition money back.

Any money received will go towards the cremation, an urn, a headstone that will be placed in West Virginia (He was always saying that we should just move there) and if God blesses us anything more, his father has requested a simple memorial so that his family in Florida and New York could gather to remember him.

The last thing that I’d like to add is please only donate if you can afford to. So many of Vinny's friends and family cared about him, and he knew that. We also know that sometimes you want to help when you aren’t able to, and Vinny had a beautiful habit of doing the same thing. We loved that about him, but also understand that you can show your support in so many other ways so don’t worry if donating isn’t feasible for you.

                   [Vinny and his daughter, Valerie]

P.S. Vinny we miss you. Dear God do we miss you.
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Brianna McCullough 
Krum, TX
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