Joseph C. Vacchiano, 67: 'Musicologist' cared for those in need

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PORTLAND — Joseph Charles Vacchiano, 67, died unexpectedly on Feb. 21.

The son of Charles and Camille Vacchiano, he was born in Portland on Nov. 7, 1947. He graduated from Deering High School in 1966, and served in the National Guard during the Vietnam War.

Following his service, Vacchiano attended college at what is now the University of Southern Maine, majoring in history. He enjoyed his studies, and his favorite pastimes included photography and movies.

Perhaps most of all, he loved listening to and discussing music. An avid fan of the Beatles, his family called him a “musicologist” and would turn to him with any question about a song or a musician. He also loved sports, and was a loyal fan of the Patriots and Red Sox.

Vacchiano had strong political passions, and always supported “the party of the people.” Born with a compassionate heart, he believed in taking care of those less fortunate than himself. His favorite charity was the food pantry at Preble Street. He also loved animals, especially cats, and would take in any stray if his mother would let him.

Vacchiano spent most of his working career in audio equipment sales. He managed a Radio Shack store for many years, and also worked at a branch of the Tweeter chain. His most recent position was working in the camera and audio departments at Wal-Mart, in Falmouth, where his dry, subtle humor kept coworkers smiling.

After the death of his father in 2004, Vacchiano became the primary caregiver to his mother. Because of his love and care over the past 11 years, she continues today to live at age 98 in her home, with her younger son and his wife.

In addition to his mother, Vacchiano is survived by his brother, Charlie Vacchiano; sister in-law, Kim Vacchiano; and his beloved cat, Cookie. He is also survived by his aunt, Carmen Vacchiano; his uncle, Lindsay Spaltro and wife, Barbara Spaltro, of Connecticut; his uncle, Pat Spaltro, of Connecticut; and an extended family of cousins throughout Maine and across the country.

Friends and relatives are invited to a time of visitation on Saturday, March 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Jones-Rich-Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland. A celebration of Vacchiano’s life will be held at the funeral home immediately afterward.

Interment will take place at a later date in Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to either of Vacchiano’s favorite charities: Preble Street Food Pantry, c/o Development Department, 38 Preble St., Portland, ME 04101, or The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, P.O. Box 336, Westbrook, ME 04098.

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