Arthur Vespignani Service Details - Manchester, New Jersey | Oliverie Funeral Home


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Arthur W

July 24, 1943 – July 5, 2019

Arthur Vespignani
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Obituary for Arthur W Vespignani

Arthur W. Vespignani, 75, passed away on Friday, July 5, 2019. He would have been 76 on July 24, 2019. Born in Jersey City, Mr. Vespignani was a resident of Lake Hiawatha from 1971 until moving to Manchester in 2011. Mr. Vespignani retired from the Township of Parsippany – Troy Hills in 2006, having been employed as the Director of Municipal Utilities, in charge of the Water, Sewer and Knoll Golf utilities. A Township employee since 1993, Mr. Vespignani’s appointment as Director in 1997 capped a long career in public service, having previously been appointed a member of the Township’s Board of Adjustment and having been elected to the Township Council, serving as President in 1980-81. Mr. Vespignani ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for Mayor in 1981, having been a member of the County Committee for many years and the President of the Parsippany Republican Club. He also served as an assistant counsel to the New Jersey General Assembly in the mid-70’s.

A lifelong Republican, Mr. Vespignani first became interested in politics in the 1950’s when he watched his first presidential nominating convention on television. At St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, his birthplace, he was president of the Conservative Club and was an early and avid supporter of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election. Mr. Vespignani believed in maximum individual freedom and in minimum government involvement in people’s lives.

In college, he was also acting president of the Argus Eyes, the drama society. That position enabled him to meet his beloved wife of 50 years, Karen, nee Vazquez, who was president of the Jersey City State College drama club. Acting together in Henry IV, part I, a lifelong, loving partnership ensued. Karen taught high school English from 1966 to 2010, taking time out to raise two sons, Arthur W. Vespignani and Dr. Joseph P. Vespignani, who were his greatest accomplishments.

A graduate of St. Peter’s College and Fordham University School of Law, Mr. Vespignani practiced law in Jersey City and Lake Hiawatha for many years before entering the business world as a vice-president of Quality Roofing, at the time, the largest commercial roofing company in the United States.

After leaving politics behind him, Mr. Vespignani spent the last 30 years involved in many civic, sports and social organizations. Upon moving to River Pointe he served on the Board of Trustees and recently stepped down as President. For many years a member of the Board of Directors of both the Parsippany Soccer Club and Par-Troy Little League East, he coached and managed on all levels from minor league baseball to senior league all-stars, as well as travel team soccer. He spent many years as the Umpire Coordinator for Par-Troy Little League East and a term as Player Agent. He served as the Travel Team Registrar for the Parsippany Soccer Club and spent two years as Treasurer. Mr. Vespignani helped organize the MC Dynamo soccer program whose teams won numerous State Cup Championships. At various times, he served as Games Chair for the Morris County Youth Soccer Association, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee, Registrar, and Referee Assignor Administrator and as its President for 4 years from 1998 to 2001. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association as the North Area Travel Commissioner and Secretary. He also served on the State Cup Committee and represented New Jersey Youth Soccer at many conferences and tournaments throughout the country. He also spent time as a youth soccer referee.

His love of soccer enabled him to become the Assistant Varsity Boy’s Soccer Coach at Clifton High School in the fall of 2006 where he worked under his beloved younger son, Joe, one of the most successful head coaches in the State of New Jersey. During his time as assistant coach, the program won a Group IV State Championship, three Group IV Sectional Championships, appeared in three consecutive Group IV State finals, won three Passaic County Championships and many league titles. During his time at Clifton, the program’s record was 96-24-5. He often said that he had never had a better job.

Mr. Vespignani also found time for other activities. An avid bowler until a herniated disc slowed him down, Mr. Vespignani took up the sport in the 1960’s and bowled in leagues and tournaments throughout the metropolitan area and even in Las Vegas. With a high game of 288, he was never able to throw the perfect 300 game. In 2011, upon moving to Manchester, he again took up the sport. Mr. Vespignani also played softball for many years in the over 35, over 50 leagues and over 60 leagues until his back injury left him without hope of ever playing for his beloved St. Louis Cardinals. But even at the end, he could still hit. He was a St. Louis Cardinal fan, the Crown Jewel of Baseball and the Greatest Franchise in the History of Sports, for almost 70 years, ever since his father, Pasquale, won him a tricycle in the 1946 World Series. The Cardinals victory over the Mets in the 2006 NLCS was a lifetime highlight as was the comeback victory in the 2011 World Series. His children knew that the greatest player in the history of baseball was the Donora Greyhound, Stan “the Man” Musial. It was through sports that the family acquired its motto, “Nunquam Dedono,” or “Never Give Up.”

An avid trivia buff, Mr. Vespignani had appeared on Jeopardy in 1995, winning three consecutive days and just missing qualifying for the Tournament of Champions. The Final Jeopardy category on his first day was Opera, a subject he was profoundly pleased to see. His uncle, Ugo, had taken him to the old Metropolitan Opera when he was not yet a teenager. Fordham Law School is across the street from the new Met. Consequently, Mr. Vespignani was something of an Opera expert who knew the librettos, word for word, for most of the Italian and German repertoire. Unfortunately, he couldn’t sing a note. He had the pleasure of taking his eldest son, Artie, to the Met when he was 4 years old and of having him sit on his lap to watch TV, including the dragons in “Das Rheingold” on “Live from the Met.” He and his wife often went to the New York City Opera in the late ‘60s. He would have liked to complete the Ring Cycle with his daughter-in-law, Kathy. They only got to see Das Rheingold and Die Walkurie at the Met.

As the result of his Irish/Italian ancestry, Mr. Vespignani had helped organize Parsippany Unico in the early ‘80’s and later joined the Morris County Division 1 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an organization in which he held the position of financial secretary. He was treasurer for the Hibernians state convention in 2007 and was the state Bereavement Chair from 2009 to 2015. Upon moving to Manchester, Mr. Vespignani transferred to the Ocean County AOH Division 1 and was chairman of their Irish Festival in 2013 and 2014. Later, he helped establish Division 11, of which he was Vice-President. He also served as Secretary of the Central Jersey Irish Festival and regularly attended both state and national AOH conventions.

A lover of travel, Mr. Vespignani had visited both Italy and Ireland. However, he enjoyed Spain best, particularly Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, the province his wife’s father, Jose, had emigrated from in the 1920s. Mr. Vespignani had a particular devotion to St. James, the Apostle, and spent his birthday, July 24th, the day before the feast of St. James, in Santiago de Compostela in 2006. He liked to think that the fireworks at midnight on the 24th were a little bit for his birthday, as well as for St. James. He and his wife also vacationed in Cancun or Playa del Carmen, Mexico every spring.

Mr. Vespignani also worked part time as the facilitator for the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee (WRWAC), having been a member since its founding in 1999 and its facilitator since 2006.

Mr. Vespignani was honored in 2017 at the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association banquet with the Excellence in Years of Service Award having previously been inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009. He was honored at the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee Fundraising Gala with a citation by Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen who send a US Flag that had flown over the Capital, with resolutions from the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly, with plaques from the Township of Hanover and the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills as well as the WRWAC. He was also named 2017 Hibernian of the Year at the Central Jersey Irish Festival.

Mr. Vespignani is survived by his beloved wife Karen of 50 years and by the lights of his life, his sons, Arthur W. Vespignani, Jr., 44, and his wife Kathleen and Dr. Joseph P. Vespignani, 40, and his wife Loredana, as well as his grandsons, Vincent M. Vespignani, 13, Michael J. Vespignani, 11, and Santino P. Vespignani, 4 months.

He was predeceased by his father, Dr. Pasquale M. Vespignani and his mother, Mrs. Pasquale M. Vespignani (nee Mary Eileen Doyle), whose company he is enjoying once again. He is also survived by his sister, Mrs. Rob Bond (nee Theresa Vespignani), and his nieces, Kelly and Molly Bond, all of Hopatcong.

Visitation is Wednesday 3-7 PM at Oliverie Funeral Home 2925 Ridgeway Rd Manchester. Funeral Liturgy is Thursday 10 AM at St John’s Church, Lakehurst with a private cremation to follow.

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First Visitation

When Wednesday, July 10, 2019 3:00pm - 7:00pm
Oliverie Funeral Home
2925 Ridgeway Rd
Manchester, NJ 08759
Additional Information

Mass Information

Thursday, July 11, 2019 10:00am
St John RC Church
619 Chestnut St
Lakehurst, NJ 08733

Interment Information

St Mary of the Lake Cemetery
1 Honey Locust Street
Lakewood, NJ 08701
Resting Place Extra Info
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