VACCA - Dr. James S. of Huntington, and Ocean City, NJ, December 7, 2013 at the age of 67. Born in Schenectady, NY to Salvatore and Marion Vacca, Dr. Vacca attended Mont Pleasant High School and graduated from SUNY Brockport; he earned his M.S. from SUNY Albany and his Ph.D. from Syracuse University. Dr. Jim Vacca was a Professor of Special Education and Literacy at St. John's University, and Foster Youth Advocate for the Department of Social Services. Jim began his career in education as a teacher at the University of Buffalo In 1976, Jim developed and implemented one of the first classroom programs for children with autism in Albany, New York. Jim moved to Long Island to the role of Principal at Western Suffolk BOCES. Jim has also worked for the Commack School District, Uniondale, Sewanhaka, and Malverne School Districts. Dr. Vacca was Chair of the Department of Special Education and Literacy Long Island University andirector of the CASE Program. Described by family members as "a true people person", he loved spending time with his extended families and many close friends. He collected baseball memorabilia and had an encyclopedic memory for music trivia. Dr. Vacca is survived by his wife of 44 years, Mary (Sweeney); his daughters Claire Lamy (Ryan) of Annapolis, Elena Gerkens (Gregory) of Holbrook, and Dr. Maria Vacca (Brennan Matuza) of San Francisco; as well as three grandchildren, Madeline and Colin Lamy and Robert Gerkens; and two brothers, Richard Vacca and Raymond Vacca, and nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brotherJoseph, and his beloved cat Doobie. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 10th from 5 - 8 PM at A.L. Jacobsen Funeral Home, 1380 New York Avenue, Huntington Station, NY 11746. A Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday 10:45 AM at St. Patrick R.C. Church in Huntington. Memorial donations may be sent to St. Patrik's Roman Catholic Church at Parish Outreach, Trocaire House, Huntington ,
or Autism Speaks.
Published in Newsday on Dec. 9, 2013
A L Jacobsen Funeral Home Inc
1380 New York Ave Huntington Station, NY 11746