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Poughkeepsie - Richard Paul LaVacca was born at Parkchester hospital in the Bronx NY on August 16, 1950. Richie and his family left the Bronx and moved to Poughkeepsie, New York in April of 1955. He was the son of the late Bob and Rose LaVacca. Richie grew up and spent the remainder of his life in Poughkeepsie. Richie is survived by his twin brother Rob, wife Joann of Tarrytown, NY, and their children, Robert and Renee. He is also survived by his older brother Tom, his wife Pat of Danville, CA and their children, Chrissy and Thomas and wife, Erin. Richie also has numerous extended family, including aunts and cousins throughout the state of New York
Richie realized at an early age that family was one of the corner stones of life. He was loved by his family and also by his friends. Rich and twin brother Rob played Little League Baseball as kids and enjoyed growing up in Poughkeepsie. After graduating Poughkeepsie High School in 1968, he then attended Dutchess Community College. Richie's dream was to become a lawyer. Like most dreams, it didn't materialize. He spent most of his life in the restaurant business. He was on the board of the Dutchess County Restaurant Association and was involved in many community fund raisers. Rich was also Treasurer of the River District Organization which coordinates events in Poughkeepsie.
Most recently, Rich was the owner of Spanky's, a New Orleans' style restaurant, in downtown Poughkeepsie, for over 20 plus years. He always created excitement at Spanky's with live music and themed events, especially around Mardi Gras. Life was good for Rich for a number of years until the economy weakened in 2008. At that point, he decided to close his restaurant. He went to work at Lombardi Construction.
What kept Rich strong over the past 5 years, as he fought health issue and the weak economy, were his friends and his faith in God. His faith and his friends gave Rich hope and strength to keep going and taking on life's challenges. His church, Faith Assembly of God, was a big part of his life. They were his family! His friends in Poughkeepsie provided support, as Rich fought the good fight. The generosity and concern by his friends and community kept him emotionally and spiritually strong.
The economy impacted Rich, like others, but his battle with cancer was his biggest challenge. It was a challenge that he accepted. He knew that his faith in God would help him through the battle of his life. Richie never lost hope or faith. He knew that there was a better place waiting for him.
Richie's memorial services will be held 5pm on January 20, 2013 at Faith Assembly of God, 254 Spackenkill Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY. A gathering of family and friends will be held from 4pm to 5pm prior to the memorial service.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home 371 Hooker Ave. Poughkeepsie, New York 12603. If you would like to leave an online condolence or to light a memorial candle, please visit www.doylefuneralhome.com
Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home
371 Hooker Ave. Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal from Jan. 13 to Jan. 20, 2013