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Vincent P. Spanilo


1950 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Vincent P. Spanilo Obituary


Vincent P. Spanilo, 65, life-long resident of Enfield, Connecticut, was welcomed home to our heavenly Father on November 1, 2016, All Saints Day. His final days were spent surrounded by family and cared for by the transplant nurses, doctors, and staff at Mass. General Hospital. He was a blessing and an inspiration to all who knew him. Vinnie is survived by his high school sweetheart and loving wife, Debbie, of 43 years; his son, Vincent G. Spanilo, two daughters, Haley Spanilo-Scott, and Jennifer S. Hawkins and her husband Christopher, all of Enfield; four grandchildren, Maliek, Lily, Landon, and Addison; three brothers, Ernest Spanilo and his wife Pauline of Agawam, MA, Raymond Spanilo and his wife Elaine of Glastonbury, CT, Joseph Spanilo and his wife Barbara of Burlington, CT; two sisters, Jane Butterworth and her husband Ken of Westbrook, CT and Nancy Johnson of Spokane, WA; and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves Larry Ruffino, his childhood and life-long friend, brother of his heart. After graduating from Enfield High School in 1969, Vinnie enlisted in the military, where he served 28 years in the Connecticut Air National Guard and retired at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. Vinnie was regarded as one of the US Air Force's foremost experts in the field of Aviation Fuel Facility Design and Management. He was a mentor to countless airmen who valued his wisdom and insight on gaining an education, working hard, and thriving as a non-commissioned officer. Following his diagnosis of end-stage Pulmonary Fibrosis, Vinnie received a lung transplant on November 6, 2000. With his new lung and a renewed appreciation for life, he completed his bachelor's degree at UConn and graduated with a Master's Degree in Psychology and Counseling from Vermont College in 2005. His education and personal journey pre- and post-transplant motivated Vinnie to counsel others with the psycho-social aspects of transplantation. In 2008, Vinnie received another gift of life from Colonel Jack Swift, a beloved friend who walked the same spiritual path as Vinnie. Jack selflessly donated a kidney, allowing Vinnie to continue his mission on Earth for another eight years. Vinnie dedicated himself to helping others and was part of many organizations, including the American Legion-John Maciolek Post #154 and the Enfield Conference of Christian Churches. He was founder of the Enfield Men's Christian Fellowship Group, a participant in the 2002 Transplant Olympics, a volunteer for the American Lung Association, and an active participant in the MGH Lung Transplant Support Group. His final contribution to this physical world was the donation of his corneas after his death. Vinnie's spirit will live on in the lives of all who knew him. He was a fighter until the end and is a testament of his unwavering faith. He believed that life is good but with God it is better. Visitation hours will be held from 2 - 6 p.m. Sunday, November 6, 2016 at Leete-Stevens Enfield Chapels, 61 South Rd., Enfield. The Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, November 7, 2016 at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 1518 King St., Enfield (Please Meet at Church). Burial, with military honors, will follow at Hazardville Cemetery. Donations in Vinnie's memory may be made to MA General Hospital, Lung Transplant Support Group, Development Office, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114, or to Donate Life of CT, PO Box 278, Durham, CT 06422. To leave online condolences, please visit www.Leetestevens.com



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Published in The Hartford Courant on Nov. 4, 2016
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