Vincent E. Gulotta
Vincent E. Gulotta passed away peacefully in Cheshire, Connecticut, after a brief illness. Known as Vince by some and Vinny by others, he was married for 22 years to Kathie and was stepfather to James, Meg, and Ali. Since 2008, he worked for the Town of Chatham as Beach Supervisor on Lighthouse Beach in the summer and Building Supervisor at Chatham Community Center in the other seasons. (Don’t miss his cameo appearances in two Shark Week TV shows about Chatham’s great white shark population!) One of Vince’s great gifts was bringing out the best in those with whom he worked. Whether leading a flag football program for fifth-graders or a sandlot game of baseball, whether greeting townspeople at the front desk or directing them to a meeting room, whether educating a swimmer about the tricky tides or assigning a job to another beach patrol member, he was a positive presence. He is remembered for his welcoming smile and genuine caring manner.
In a similar capacity, he worked for Harwich Recreation Department for nearly 15 years. With co-workers, he manned the West Harwich Center and led camping trips in the mid-80’s. As a member of the department in 1999-2000, he transitioned programs from the old rec building to the new Community Center on Oak Street. One of the first buildings of its kind in Massachusetts, it housed both the Youth and Rec Department and the Council on Aging, so the potential for multi-generational programs was great. Vince and co-workers filled the new facility with fun as they created grade days, open gym programs, family recreation programs, and year-round programs for Harwich families.
Born in 1960 in Great Barrington, Vince attended local schools in the Berkshires, including Mt. Everett High School. He ran cross-country and played baseball. After a year at Berkshire Academy, he attended four years at Siena College in New York, where he was on the baseball team. He continued his education at St. John’s Seminary in Boston, where he completed four years of training to be a Roman Catholic priest, earning his Masters of Divinity degree. He chose not to be ordained, but instead ministered to people in other settings.
He was a parishioner at St. Joan of Arc church in Orleans, where he was a Eucharistic Minister and participant in the weekly meditation group. For several years, he taught enrichment classes at Eldredge Library in Chatham, where focus was on modern day mystics. Subjects included Thomas Merton, Simone Weil, and Dorothy Day, to name a few. After attending a silent centering prayer retreat led by Cynthia Bourgeault, he was inspired to research and teach a class on apostle Mary Magdalene and was preparing a new class on the Gnostic Gospels. Recently he began teaching for the Snow Lifetime Learning series with a 3-week class focusing on Thomas Merton’s autobiographical Seven Story Mountain.
As a member of the Lower Cape Merton Group for several years, he participated in the examination of and discussion of the works of Trappist monk and peace activist Thomas Merton, whose life and writing was a source of great inspiration to Vince and all the participants in this wonderful group.
Baseball was his favorite pastime. While living on the lower Cape for over 20 years, he helped start several men’s “hardball” leagues, including the current 55-and-over men’s baseball league. Teammates remember him as a powerful hitter and effective pitcher; he organized, planned, and played with great authority. Recently, he enjoyed a week of vacation in Arizona watching spring training there; he saw three Anaheim Angels home games. But his favorite team was the New York Yankees. He was never quiet about his allegiance to New York sports teams, the baseball Yankees and football Giants.
Favoring New York teams happened because the family began in Manhattan. Two of Vince’s grandparents were immigrants from Sicily and Paris. They raised their children in “Hell’s Kitchen” before moving them up to Sheffield, Massachusetts, in the western part of the state. Vince was the youngest of four children born to Anthony Gulotta and Joan Cane, who pre-deceased him. Another brother Michael also passed away. Vincent is survived by sister Antoinette, brother Peter, and nieces Kara and Amy.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, June 2, at 11:00 am at St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church on Canal Street in Orleans. All are welcome at a reception to follow Mass at noon at the Chatham Community Center, 702 Main Street, Chatham, hosted by the Recreation Department, the department for whom Vince worked.
Donations in Vince’s memory can be made to either The Orleans Rescue Squad, 58 Eldredge Park Way, Orleans, MA 02653 or to his favorite monastery retreat, Sisters of the Visitation, 14 Beach Road POB 432, Tyringham, MA 01264-0432. Phone: 413-243-3995
Vincent E. Gulotta