'Good Friend, Mentor': Beloved Deacon From Westchester Dies

A beloved Deacon and former store owner from Westchester known for serving his community in times of need has died. 

William Vaccaro of Port Chester.
William Vaccaro of Port Chester. Photo Credit: Craft Memorial Home

William "Deacon Billy " Vaccaro of Port Chester died on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the age of 89, according to his obituary. 

A graduate of Port Chester High School, Vaccaro first served with the US Army in Korea before returning home and joining the family business, Vaccaro's Supermarket, which he operated with his brothers Joseph and Anthony for 25 years. 

It was at this supermarket that Vaccaro helped many people earn their first work experience through bagging groceries, stocking shelves, and ringing out customers. 

After the family's supermarket closed, Vaccaro then began his next chapter, becoming the permanent Deacon at the Holy Rosary Church, and then the Don Bosco Parish in Port Chester, a role he filled for more than thirty years. 

During this time, he helped start many programs to benefit others such as the soup kitchen, food pantry, and the day worker program. A common sight throughout the years was seeing Vaccaro drive the Don Bosco Van through the entirety of Westchester County to collect food donations for the pantry soup kitchen. 

Vaccaro also found time to serve in the Putnam Engine and Hose Company for 50 years, and become a member of the Knights of Columbus. 

Ultimately, Vaccaro was the recipient of many awards for his work in the community. 

The Port Chester Police Department memorialized Vaccaro in a post on social media.

"We are saddened by the loss of a good friend, mentor, and man of the community," the department said, adding, "He was there in our times of need both for the PD and the community." 

Vaccaro is survived by his daughter, Mary Joan "MJ" Vaccaro; his son and daughter-in-law, Bernie and Elizabeth Vaccaro; and his grandchildren, James, Lucia, and William. 

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