On October 11th, 2021, Lawrence Peter Vinci passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family. He was 98 years old.
A decorated WWII veteran, Lawrence was born at home in The Bronx on November 3rd, 1922 to Peter Joseph Vinci and Madeline Caivano Vinci. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and continued to educate himself throughout his life.
During World War II, at the age of 18, Larry joined the 9th Infantry Division of the United States Army. He received his basic training in Yuma, Arizona, where he always said was where he got sand in his boots - a euphemism for his love of the desert and traveling the world. He went on to serve four years in the European theater in Belgium, France and Germany. He was bestowed the Purple Heart Medal of Honor for bravery and injury sustained in the Hartgen Forest. His story can be witnessed at the Purple Heart Museum in New Windsor, New York.
In 1946, he married his long time sweetheart and the love of his life, Helen Elizabeth Finley, eventually moving to New Jersey to raise their daughters.
Larry had a prolific career in the automobile industry beginning in Ridgewood, New Jersey. His experience grew through the years leading him to a growing interest in the imports aspect of the industry. He held positions of national management and traveled the world with Standard Triumph, Toyota and Nissan Motor Corporations. In 1973, he purchased his first dealership, Datsun, later to become Larry Peter’s Nissan, and the conglomerate grew to 5 dealerships, including Nissan, Peugeot, BMW, Hyundai and Dodge employing close to 200 people.
He retired in 1991, and settled in the Rincon Foothills of Tucson, Arizona where his inner cowboy born during his basic training in Yuma afforded him many happy years of the desert life before returning to New Jersey.
He was an avid reader with an ever-present stack of books, an accomplished guitarist who played his entire life, a writer, a photographer, and possessed a love of music and the arts bestowed upon him by his parents and passed on to his children and grandchild. Larry nurtured a wide and varied circle of friends throughout his long life. Always a gentleman and a man of strong faith, he was a mentor to many and a generous benefactor to many causes, including all Veterans of the Military and the Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson.
He is predeceased by his parents, his brother Anthony Vinci, and his wife, Helen.
Larry is survived by his loving daughters and a grand-daughter; Barbara Ann Vinci, Deborah Ellen Gallagher, her husband Francis, their daughter Finley Rose-Lin, Loretta Lee Vinci-Gaertner, her husband Raymond as well as extended family members.
“The love you grow within the four walls of your home will sustain you.”
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Lawrence to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, PO Box 207, Vails Gate, NY 12584. Any questions about donations please call 845-561-1765.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lawrence P. Vinci, please visit our floral store.
National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
PO Box 207, Vails Gate NY 12584