Vincent “Vin/Vince/Vinny” DiLauro, age 75, passed away on January 28, 2018 at St.Raphael’s Hospital. His devoted wife of almost 49 years and his loving daughters were close by his side when he passed away peacefully. Vincent was born in New Haven, CT on March 15, 1942, son of Ralph and Melba DiLauro. He is survived by his dearly loved wife, Mary Ellen, his 3 cherished daughters, Jennifer Carroll, Bridget DiLauro, and Rachael Richard, his revered sons-in-law, Walter Carroll and Todd Richard, and his 4 greatly loved and adored grandchildren, Brennan, Spencer, Luke, and Claire. He is also survived by his siblings, Ralph, Anthony, and Dolores DiLauro, his trusty sister-in-law, Suzanne Reilly, his proudly “adopted” grandson, Argenis, and his many lifelong, loyal, and faithful friends.
Despite health issues spanning 36 years, Vin was the eternal optimist and a tenacious and unrelenting fighter, who enjoyed and appreciated every moment of his life. He spent over 50 years as president of Columbus Auto Body Works, the 90-year-old family business that was founded by his grandfather, Vincenzo, in 1928. His dedication to hard work, loyalty, family, and helping people, fueled Vin for so many years, and now he has passed on this life and work ethic to the 4th generation of the DiLauro family to lead Columbus Auto Body, his daughter, Jennifer Carroll.
Vin lived a very full life with family, friends, the family business, and his prodigious involvement in many community organizations. Despite obstacles that would have incapacitated most people, Vin’s sheer positive will kept him going and rewarded him with a life of joy. He got so much joy from playing with his grandchildren and watching them grow; working long hours running Columbus Auto Body; taking family vacations, during which he joined in the laughter at his expense, due to his typical “embarrassing dad” incidents; watching the Twilight League’s amateur baseball games; being an active member of the West Haven Rotary Club for over 30 years; taking his annual college football trips with his good friends; volunteering his time for the Twilight League, Auto Body Association, Walter Camp Football Foundation, National Amateur Baseball Foundation, the Hill South Management team, etc.,…or simply sharing dinner and conversation with his kind and beloved wife.
One of Vin’s great passions for most of his life was the West Haven Twilight League, the oldest amateur baseball league in the country. He was a player 60 years ago, a sponsor for over 20 years, League Director, and President for the past 15+ years, and countless summer nights he could be found standing next to the dug out cheering. Win or lose, Vin always appreciated and enjoyed a good game. He was also always a patient man, and after 21 years of Columbus Auto Body sponsoring teams, the Columbus Bears finally won the 84th Season Championship in 2016. He was very proud.
Vin has held too many positions and has received too many awards to list, but the following represents just a sample: NABF President; West Haven Rotary Club President and Director of District Vocational Service; Twilight League Gold Bat Community Award; The Good Sport Award for Unselfish Dedication to Sports in the Community from the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance; NABF Man of the Year Award; Southern Connecticut Diamond Club Hall of Fame inductee; Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellow Award; March of Dimes Elm City Legends Class; Hill South’s Community Award; and special recognition from the Jimmy Fund.
Vin DiLauro was more than an amazing father and grandfather, hardworking family business owner, good friend, altruistic community leader, diligent and indefatigable sports league director…he was the rare person who was eager to meet people and really learn about the life of each person he met. He was the guy who gave second, third, and fourth chances to people because he always wanted to believe in the best of people. He was the person who never let his physical pain or deficiency keep him from doing what he had to do or from what he wanted to do. He was an eternal optimist, who lived, loved, and experienced joy through sheer will. He was a force in this world, and he will be profoundly missed.
The hours for visitation will be Thursday from 4 to 8pm at the West Haven Funeral Home at the Green. Friends and family are asked to go directly to Our Lady of Victory Church on Friday morning for a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00. Interment will be private. Please keep Vin’s great love for amateur baseball and his deep devotion for the West Haven Twilight League alive by donating to the W.H. Twilight League, PO Box 7564, New Haven, CT. 06519. http://www.whtl.org/