Vincent J. McGavisk, Sr., age 88, passed away on Friday, June 21, 2019, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY.
Vincent was born December 31, 1930, in Olean, NY, son of Harry and Emma (Karnuth) McGavisk. He was a 1949 graduate of Olean High School. As a young man, Vincent worked at Clark Brothers, Daystrom Furniture Plant, the PA Railroad, and Van Der Horst Corp of America in Olean, NY. Vincent was then drafted by the United States Army to serve in the 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Division from 1952-1954. He fought in the Korean War as an infantryman on the frontline and as a medic. He was in combat on July 27, 1953 at the time of the cease fire. As a result of his service, Vincent was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Korean Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, the National Defense Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.
After returning home from Korea, Vincent enrolled at Buffalo State College where he played for the college's first baseball team and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Arts Education in 1958. He then went on to complete graduate hours at St. Bonaventure University, earning his permanent teaching certificate from the state of New York.
Vincent's first teaching job was at Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean, NY from 1959-1961. He then taught at RJ Osgood High School in Kings Park, Long Island from 1961-1962. On Oct. 14, 1961, Vincent married the love of his life, Mary Ann Ciccarelli, in Bradford, PA. The newlyweds moved to Dansville where Vincent worked as a mechanical drawing teacher, industrial arts teacher, and vocational guidance counselor at the Junior and Senior High Schools from 1962-1967. They then relocated to East Aurora, NY, where Vincent taught industrial arts at the Orchard Park Senior High School from 1967-1968. He and Mary Ann ultimately chose Dansville as their home, and they relocated once more in 1968. Vincent worked at the Dansville Junior High School as an industrial arts teacher from 1968 until 1992. For many of those years, he also worked evenings at BOCES as a carpentry teacher in the adult education program. Vincent retired in 1992 after 33 years in education.
Vincent was a devoted, loving husband and father. He was a parishioner of the Holy Family Catholic Community and Eucharistic Minister to shut-ins for 33 years. He was a modest man who lived a life of service to his family and friends, to his country, to his countless students, and to his Creator. Vincent recognized and frequently articulated God's blessings in his life, especially meeting Mary Ann, the "wife of his life", and raising five children with her. He was a member of the CIA of Rochester (Combat Infantrymen's Association), the NRA, and The American Legion for 51 years.
Vincent found satisfaction growing vegetables in his extensive garden and found peace 'watching the garden grow' from the Adirondack chair which he made. He enjoyed canning juice from the tomatoes he grew in his garden, and his neighbors delighted in finding bags of homegrown vegetables left on their doorsteps. He welcomed conversations at the dining room table, and had a wonderful sense of humor that brought joy to others. He enjoyed making and sampling wine while penning various letters, prayers, building plans, songs, and sketches of his garden. He was a talented woodworker who had a passion for designing and building tables, bookcases, hutches, beds, and cabinets. He also enjoyed cooking, attending his children's sporting events, dishing out ice cream for his grandchildren, and traveling with his wife, Mary Ann. They traveled to Maryland and Myrtle Beach, SC, to spend time with their grandchildren. They traveled to Sante Fe, NM, where they visited the Loretto Chapel and the miraculous staircase. They also visited the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, and the National Center for Padre Pio in Barto, PA. They paid homage to St. Anne with multiple trips to her cathedral in Quebec, ON, Canada. They found joy in making spontaneous trips to shops and restaurants.
In addition to his parents, Vincent was predeceased by a son, Vincent J. McGavisk, Jr., his brother, Harry McGavisk, and his loving wife of 57 years, Mary Ann McGavisk.
Vincent is survived by his children, Karen Ann (Kevin) Sawdey of North Greece, NY; Michael Shawn (Danielle) McGavisk of Newark, NY; Mark Patrick McGavisk of Dansville, NY; and Anne (William) Baker of Ossian, NY; his grandchildren, Korey & Kolin (Julia) Sawdey; Caroline, Gabrielle & Michael Vincent McGavisk; Emma, Maria & Ava Baker; his great-grandson, Klayton Sawdey; many nieces & nephews, including Ian (Page) McGavisk & Kathy (Frank) Maduri; and great nieces Emily, Olivia and Betsy McGavisk.
Friends may call 4-7 pm THURSDAY at the Chamberlin – Baird Funeral Home, 73 Main St., Dansville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 am, SATURDAY at St. Mary's Church, Elizabeth St., Dansville. Burial with full military honors will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Dansville.
Contributions may be made to St. Mary's Church, Elizabeth Street, Dansville, NY or The American Legion, Elizabeth Street, Dansville, NY.