Vincent James Giacalone
July 1, 1930 - March 15, 2021
Vincent James Giacalone passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by family, on March 15, 2021.Vince was born on July 1, 1930, to Giuseppe and Josephine Giacalone in San Diego, California. His parents were born in Mazara Del Vallo, Sicily, and eventually settled in San Diego's Little Italy, where he grew up. He attended Washington School, Roosevelt Junior High, and San Diego High School, where he established life- long friendships. They belonged to The Mazara Del Vallo Club, which honored their heritage and friendships throughout the years.Vince was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Germany. The tales he told about this time of his life are priceless and will be told for generations, especially his story about being locked in the wine cellar with only wine and cheese to eat. This is where Vince's love of cooking and hatred of cheese began.Upon returning from the war, Vince started working at his brother-in-law Frank Greco's Italian market, San Diego Imports, on India Street. This is where he met "The Love of His Life." When Carmella D'Acquisto walked through the door of The Import, it was love at first sight. After a long courtship, they married on July 20, 1958, at Our Lady of the Rosary. They were so loved by the entire community that their wedding reception was crashed by hundreds of well-wishers. They had three beautiful children together and were blessed with five grandchildren. Their love story is one for the books and gave all of us a shining example of what love and commitment should look like.In 1965, Vince opened The Venetian Restaurant. His recipes are still loved by every household in Point Loma. It has been a local favorite for over 55 years and still continues to thrive under new ownership because of the way Vince made everyone feel like family when they walked into his restaurant. His guest appearances at The Venetian were a highlight for all who were lucky enough to be there on the nights he came in.Vince loved the horses and had been a member of the Del Mar Turf Club for over 40 years. He was a celebrity there and was loved by everyone, from the busboys to movie stars. He even gave Elizabeth Taylor a winner.Vince and Carmella spent lots of time traveling. They went to Las Vegas on many occasions and even sat front-row at a Frank Sinatra Show. They traveled to London, France, and Italy. A highlight was spending time in Sicily, where both of their families were from.Vince is survived by his loving wife, Carmella; his children Joey (Juli), Elena, and Frank (Julie); his five grandchildren Nicholas and Marc Anthony Bongiovanni (their father Zino) and Samantha, Vincent and Frankie Giacalone; his sisters Katherine Greco(Frank) and Toni Monise as well as countless family members who loved him dearly.Vince had many passions but nothing compared to the love he had for Carmella and his family. He had a zest for life and was loved everywhere he went. Vince will forever be in our hearts.The family would like to offer their heartfelt thanks to everyone for their love and prayers.Services were held held at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Charles Borromeo Academy, 2808 Cadiz St, San Diego, CA 92110, or Text "vince" to (619) 547-0480 to donate online.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Mar. 21, 2021.