Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Saverio "Sam" Vinci

HURLEY, Wis. - Saverio "Sam" Vinci, 95, of Hurley, died Monday, Nov. 16, 2020.

Sam was born March 9, 1925 in Colla, Catanzaro, Italy. He was the son of Gregorio and Luigina (Bruni) Vinci. While in his 20s, Sam traveled to Brazil where he met and married the love of his life, Maria Lucia (Toquetti) Vinci. There, he and Maria had their first born and started their family. Sam was always ambitious, and opened and operated a bicycle shop which he owned with his two brothers. 

After spending years in Brazil, Sam"s zest for life and adventure took him to the United States where he resided in Philadelphia. There, Sam and Maria had another child and adjusted well to their new life in the United States. In 1966, Sam and Maria moved to Hurley, where they remained and had three more children. He became a naturalized American citizen, which he was so proud to become. Sam worked at White Pine Copper Company for many years until his retirement.

While retired, Sam kept busy doing odd jobs which he enjoyed. He was very active and a "Mr. Fix-it." Without a formal education, it was inexplicable how he managed to know so much and was capable of repairing anything. He was a collector of sorts and there was not an odd screw or item that could not be found in his workshop. Sam would lend a hand wherever needed and loved working with his hands. 

He enjoyed his retirement which was spent mostly visiting his children and grandchildren, which was the most important thing in his life. He watched the family grow and relished the times spent in Shawano at the cottage, fishing, boating, grilling and eating. He loved gardening, growing his own vegetables, canning the fruits of his labor, and even dabbled in making homemade wine. He loved the outdoors and would spend much time at the family camp where he foraged mushrooms and berries, feeding the birds and animals enjoying the wonders of the outdoors.

Sam"s door was always open, and you could not leave without a glass of vino, asiago cheese, array of salamis and Italian bread. He delighted in the camaraderie of sitting at the kitchen table sharing stories and conversation.

Sam was a proud man, small in stature with a big personality. He enjoyed the simple things in life. He loved parties and celebrations especially when it was enjoyed with family. He had a wanderlust which took him back to Italy and Brazil throughout the years. He was active at the Senior Center and was a member of St. Mary"s Catholic Church, where he was an usher for many years.

Sam is survived by his loving wife, Maria, of 62 years; his children, Gina (Mike) Mesich of Fremont, Joanne (Dave) Bretall of Marquette, Michigan, Greg (Ann) Vinci of Ironwood, Michigan, John (Stacey) Vinci of Neenah, Jason Vinci of Wautoma; seven grandchildren, Melissa, Michael, David, Brittany, Gregory, Donovan and Devin; three great-grandchildren, James, Boss and Mario; two sisters, Ottavia and Maria; and numerous nieces and nephews. Sam will be fondly remembered as "pa" by his children and grandchildren.

Besides his parents, Sam was preceded in death by seven brothers and three sisters. 

We find comfort in knowing that his spirit is free, and he will always be remembered by those who loved him as much as we all did. Love you pa!

We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., especially Jerald Rocco for his undivided attention during this difficult time. Due to COVID-19, a private family funeral will be held. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be expressed online at

"Dad, wherever you are, you are gone but you will never be forgotten." - Conrad Hall

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