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Dec 7, 2008 1:48 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Former Town Supervisor Vincent Cannuscio dies

Dec 7, 2008 1:48 PM

Ms. Kabot said Mr. Cannuscio’s list of accomplishments in Town Hall was long and included efforts to preserve open space in the municipality. She said he supported the 2-percent real estate transfer tax, which funds the town’s successful Community Preservation Fund, before it became a popular initiative.

“Members of the board said it would float like a lead balloon,” she said. “The next year, it had full support.”

She said Mr. Cannuscio’s list of accomplishments included a strong interest in revitalization efforts in hamlets such as Riverside and Hampton Bays. She said he fought to keep the New York State Trooper Barracks in Riverside and was a champion of the Hampton Bays Beautification Association.

“He was really instrumental in the revitalization of Hampton Bays,” said former Hampton Bays Beautification Association President Maud Kramer. “I see his presence everywhere.”

Ms. Kabot said Southampton Town officials and the Hampton Bays Beautification Association are working together to commemorate a landscaped walkway connecting the Main Street Green to the future Good Ground Park in the memory of the late supervisor. “He wanted a place of public assembly [to be remembered by],” she said. “It’s a fitting tribute to an honorable man.” The walkway is expected to be completed by next spring.

Ms. Kramer said she had looked forward to working on the Good Ground Park project with Mr. Cannuscio. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be,” she said.

Aware that time was running short, Mr. Cannuscio penned a reflection of the time he spent in Southampton, which appeared as a “Viewpoint” in The Southampton Press in October. He wrote:

“There are so many who enrich our lives simply by saying hello, calling to offer support, giving encouragement, sending a note or volunteering for the community. My family and I are lifted by your grace.

“When the sun goes down, we can’t necessarily see the beauty of our farm fields and open waters of the Atlantic, Peconic and bays. But that beauty endures in the great character of the people of Southampton. At this point, I want to say thank you, folks, for all the goodness you share and for having allowed me and my wife, Carol, to live, serve, and thrive in our community. And as my beautiful daughter Carolyn would say, ‘I love you.’”

In addition to his wife and four children, Mr. Cannuscio is survived by his children’s spouses, Carolyn’s husband, Dan; Michael’s wife, Jill; Aubrey’s wife, Cindy; and Thomas’s wife, Heather; and eight grandchildren, Caitlin, Sara, Matthew, Caleb, Christopher, Derek, Gabriel and Ethan.

A wake was held on Sunday at R.J. O’Shea Funeral Home in Hampton Bays. The funeral mass on Tuesday was followed by a reception at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Hampton Bays and a private burial.

The Town Board meeting scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Tuesday was postponed until 6 p.m. to allow residents and town officials an opportunity to attend the funeral mass.

The family is now accepting donations for the Vincent Cannuscio Memorial Fund. Those who wish to send a donation are asked to make checks payable to the “Vincent Cannuscio Memorial Fund” and mail them to P.O. Box 303, Hampton Bays, NY 11946.

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I didn't always agree with Vince Cannuscio, but I counted him as a friend, and I always found him to be a gentleman. He handled his final months with great courage and remarkable composure. His love of family, friends and community was clearly on display--at a time when many of us would be angry, he focused on talking about the things that were important to him. I'm honored to have been able to give him a platform to do that in his recent Viewpoint, and to have had the chance to tell him my sincere ...more
By Joseph Shaw, Executive Editor (206), Hampton Bays on Dec 8, 08 3:56 PM
Thanks Vince for all that you did for our town you clearly loved it. My heart felt sympathy to your family. Your handling of the supervisor's job was beyond reproach. Our town became a better place because of you.
By harbor man (47), sag harbor on Dec 8, 08 11:00 PM
Vince was a visionary for the town....maybe a bit ahead of his time, but remarkable and will be missed
By rabbit (65), watermill on Dec 9, 08 11:17 AM
R.I.P. Vince.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Southampton on Dec 9, 08 2:16 PM
Mr Cannuscio lived around the corner from my parent's house in Hampton Bays and conducted the backyard wedding ceremony for my husband and me. Mr. Cannuscio was so gracious when I called to ask him to perform the ceremony - he didn't know me, my husband or my family. I explained that the Village of Southampton suggested I contact him. He was more than happy to marry us and his presence and grace left such a deep impression on all of us. My family and I always look back on that beautiful, sunny ...more
By Beth Meixner (1), Brightwaters on Dec 11, 08 7:35 PM
Vince Cannuscio was a tremendous, noteworthy individual -- he loved public service, especially when it boiled down to serving people -- all the people -- who he viewed were just like the parents of the kids he coached, met at the Post Office, grocery store or around the town. He was never infected by a "'Master of the Universe" superior mentality but was a man of all the people. He truly wanted to leave a legacy of a better life for all residents of the town. I had the privilege of knowing him ...more
By Oshaunnessey (11), Round Rock on Dec 16, 08 9:09 PM
My cousin Vinny was a great guy and a wonderful person. He will be truly missed. I remember being sick two years ago, and receiving these beautiful pink roses which were from him. He followed up with a lovely phone call. My family was so proud of his accomplishments, and he will never be forgotten. He was a self-made man who made it all on his own. May God rest your soul Vinny, and I know one day I will see you again. I know you are in heaven. I will never forget you. Love Cousin, Ro
By Cousin Ro (3), Ozone Park on Jan 14, 09 8:37 AM
I just wanted to add rest in peace Vinny. I know your Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Frank, Aunt Julie & Uncle George, Aunt Celie & Uncle Frankie, Cousin Sally-Boy, are with you now. We miss you tremendously, and always keep your memory alive by talking about all the good deeds you did. Please prepare a way for me when it is my time. See you in heaven, beloved cousin.
Love always & forever, Cousin Ro-Ro, Uncle Ralphie and Aunt Irene
By Cousin Ro (3), Ozone Park on Mar 4, 10 3:03 PM