Obituaries & Condolences

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Richard J. Vignieri

February 28, 1953 - April 28, 2018

Service Date: May 4, 2018

Everyone is hereby formally invited to come and attend Richard on the last of his journey.  Funeral Services will be held on Friday, May 4, 2018. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 2224 45th Street.  Relatives and friends are invited to meet at the church for the Mass.  Interment will follow in St. George Cemetery.

A visitation for Richard will be held at Piasecki-Althaus Funeral Home, 3720 39th Avenue, Kenosha, WI on Thursday, May 3, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. 

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Very early last Saturday morning, April 28th 2018, Richard James Vignieri slipped away peacefully from us to join his beloved mom and dad in the next life.  And just so, the world lost a gentle soul.

Born a little over 65 years ago on February 28, 1953, “Ricky” (as most everyone would call him all his years) arrived as the 4th child in a growing family.  By 1964 Ricky had FIVE younger siblings, and the baby of the bunch had become lost in the middle!

This tribe was being raised on ‘the farm’ which was the location of the Vignieri family business, then called Kenosha Packing Company.  Started by his grandfather, Frank Vignieri, and built into a large and successful company by his father Charlie, Ricky (like all his siblings) would begin working summers for ‘the company’ at an early age.

His favorite things on ‘the farm’ were bailing hay, being around the barns and livestock, and playing with his trusty sidekick “betterdog.”  Ricky almost left us once before when, as a boy playing in a barn hayloft, he accidentally fell through an unlatched trap door to the cement below.  He suffered a serious concussion and nearly died.  Life had more in store though.

He attended Catholic schools throughout his education, completing the first 7 grades at St. John’s in Paris Township, near ‘the farm.’  He attended 8th grade at St. Peter’s on North 30th Avenue after the family moved into “the city” in the summer of 1966.  He finished his schooling at St. Joseph’s High School, where he would graduate in the class of 1972.

In High School Ricky formed lasting friendships with “his gang”… Rick, Jim, Don, Matt, Mike, and his best friend for life, Kevin.  They did everything together, even creating their own form of volleyball to play at their gatherings which they called “Mullins” in which the ball could always bounce once and stay in play.  Ricky always said that made it more fun!  They “scooped the loop” together downtown, and would remain life-long friends, hunting together and going to races together.

In March of 1973 Ricky met Brenda Talbert, the best friend of his buddy Rick’s girlfriend.  Less than a year later, on February 9, 1974, they were wed.  Together they had two children: Jason Lee on May 8, 1974, and Jillian Michelle on May 17, 1977.  Now a young father, he settled into life as a truck driver for the family business.  Going to work full time straight out of High School, Ricky would drive truck for the ‘company’ his entire life, until his retirement in 2015 due to medical issues.  He had driven over a million miles without an accident, and was in the President’s Safe Driving Club multiple years.

In 1987, after 13 years of marriage, Ricky and Brenda parted ways.  Never to marry again, he instead devoted his life to family: his parents, siblings, multitudes of nieces and nephews… and especially his two children, who both married and created large families of their own.  As a grandpa, Ricky was a natural.  He had 10 ‘grands’ and 1 ‘great,’ and loved them all.  Attending church faithfully at St. Peter’s, he passed on to them the same value system that his dad had infused into him: “God first, family second, and work third!”

In his younger days Ricky liked to deer hunt and in later years he enjoyed snowmobile trips (arranged by his big brother Dennis) but ALL his life Ricky loved racing!  His vanity plate read: LUV RACN.  He loved the Packers too, but nothing more than auto racing!  He knew every driver, every racetrack, every statistic, and the entire racing calendar.

He attended races of every kind from our own Wilmot dirt oval, right on up to the biggest NASCAR tracks.  The ones he couldn’t attend he watched on DVR.  He couldn’t wait to climb out of his truck and “get home to watch races!”  Nothing pleased him more than to sit with his pa, or with his best friend Kevin, or at a large family gathering around the TV, and watch Packer’s games and races.

Watching them now without him, just won’t be the same.

Richard is survived by his son, Jason Vignieri, and his wife, Alyssa (Hudrlik), and their five children, Isabelle, Annaliese, Augustin, Maleah and Vincent; and by his daughter, Jillian Parker, and her husband, John, and their five children, Javonna, John Jr., CJ, Ashiya and Britini who gave Ricky one great grandchildren, Mackenzie, who he affectionately called his “Little Bit”.

Richard is further survived by his eight siblings, Allan Vignieri, and his wife, Karla (Perkins), Dennis Vignieri, Susan Seymour and her fiancé, Mike Dicello, Patricia Palmer and her husband, Daniel, Joseph Vignieri, Thomas Vignieri, and his wife, Ali (Amherst), Daniel Vignieri and his wife, Jodi (Lamb), Mark Vignieri and his fiancé, Patricia Carey, and his honorary sister, Vicki Vignieri.

He is survived by his very good friends Rick Zadanowitcz, Don Proko, Matthew Brody, Mike Dicello, and his best friend Kevin Hammond.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Charles and Lorraine (Vanderwarn) Vignieri, and his good friend, Jim Placzkowski.

The Vignieri family would like to send special thanks and love to the Froedtert South – Kenosha Hospital Campus CCU staff your skilled and gracious care of Richard over the past three weeks was so very important to all of us.  We are forever in your debt.