FANELLI, R. VINCENT, 96, of Crestwood, KY, died April 2, 2014, while wintering in Florida.
Vince grew up in Anchorage, KY. He graduated from the Anchorage High School and then from the University of Kentucky in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce. Serving our country was next! Vince served seventeen years and six months in the Army Air Force and in the United States Air Force. Beginning in 1941 five years and six months were active service and 12 years were served in the reserve. During his years of active service as pilot in World War II he once transported General George Patton.
Vince Fanelli was a member of the South Oldham Lions Club for over 60 years, almost from its very beginning. The club was chartered in 1948 and Vince became a member in 1949 at the invitation of Milton Carl Stoess. He served as director, as president in 1951, as Zone Chairman and as District Governor for the largest district in Kentucky. That district, labeled "E", covered the area extending from the Ohio River to the Tennessee line and the area west of Brandenburg to Harrodsburg and Danville. His last term lasted one year from July 1, 1954 to June 30, 1955. During that year he chartered three new clubs and re-chartered one club. Other District Governors serving that year were Charles H. Oakley from Murray serving the 43-K District, Dr. D.B. Settles from Berea serving the 43-Y District and H. Alvin Meyer from Lexington serving the 43-N District. The International Director was Finis E. Davis from Louisville.
Vince was always the entrepreneur and had a number of businesses. These included Kentucky Acres Cattle and Dairy Farm. During the ownership of the Cox's Lake Swim Club Mr. D.W. Griffith was an occasional dining room patron. Whenever Mr. Griffith came in he would always order a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Vince lived many places: Kentucky, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, Texas, Illinois, Casablanca, Algeria, Tunisia and Sicily! His interests included football, basketball, golf, Crestwood United Methodist Church, Air Force Association, Kentucky Sheriff's Association, Camp Kavanaugh in Crestwood, Lindsey Wilson College, Duncan Memorial-Floydsburg Cemetery, Oldham County Historical Society, Masonic Lodge-Scottish Rite, Knights Templar, Kosair Shrine, Kosair Charities, UK Alumni Association, UK Fellows, Melvin Jones Fellows, Flying Class 41-G (USAF) and adoring the love of his life, Mary Louise Ott Fanelli. He was active in the Oldham County Fair Board, Oldham County Republican party of which he was once chairman and the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity of the University of Kentucky. Vince was quoted as saying his hobby in later years was to bestow gifts and to provide assistance where needed. He said it was payback time and brought forth pure pleasure, especially to the payor.
In September of 2007 Vince Fanelli was presented the "Living Treasure" honor by the Oldham County Historical Society and the Oldham Era. This recognition was bestowed upon people 70 years and older who generously served their community with a kind heart and good deeds. His kind heart was contagious and his good deeds were innumerable. In May 2008 Vince received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Lindsey Wilson College presented by Dr. William Luckey. In September of 2009 Vince was honored as a "Champion of History" by the Oldham County Historical Society. He was awarded the J. Chilton Barnett Champion of Oldham County History award on September 25 at the Historical Society's annual gala event where Vince sported his most becoming mink bow tie! R. Vincent Fanelli was a gentleman who loved his family, his friends, his life and his country. All of us are indeed fortunate to have been able to call him friend.
Vince is survived by his two daughters, Ann Sweeney (Bill) and Pamela Donnelly; two sons, Richard V. Fanelli Jr. (Deborah) and Glen Fanelli; five grandchildren, Amy Gray (Victor), Carol Thomson (Mark), Jennifer Wilkerson (Eric), Hunt Fanelli and Knox Fanelli; two great grandchildren, Morgan Gray and Vincent Gray; and sister, Mae Duke O'Brien.
Funeral service will be Thursday 10:30 a.m., Stoess Funeral Home, Crestwood, with burial to follow in Floydsburg Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday 4-8 pm.
Stoess Funeral Home
6534 West Highway 22 Crestwood, KY 40014
Published in The Courier-Journal on Apr. 7, 2014