Requiescat in Pace

Vince Gatto was the grandfather I'd never had.  We got to know him when my family and his wife started the Spaghetti and Spirituality program at Holy Rosary - he'd spend the whole day in the church kitchen cooking the pasta sauce.  An old radio would play on the table while he'd tell us stories.  

For his whole life, he lived behind Holy Rosary - Mother Superior at the Latin school would knock on his bedroom door when she needed a server for morning Mass.  As a young man in Korea, he was shot and left for dead, barely escaping with his life when the enemy soldiers nearly finished him off as he lay on the ground.  He was one of the first members of the Indianapolis police diving team.  That man had so many crazy tales to tell, it's a wonder he'd survived to be as old as he was!

He'd always greet me with a smile, lighting up when I came over, with a gruff "Hey, sweetie!"  He'd kiss me on the cheek and hold my hand while he asked how I was doing.  At the spaghetti dinners, he'd spoil me just a little, specially serving me pasta plain without sauce before I learned to like it in Italy - although he'd always tease me about it.  He'd sit in the church for an hour or so before Mass, just sitting and looking at the tabernacle.

I can't find the words to express the memories or the love.  A death close to home can sometimes be expected, but never emotionally prepared for.  Mr. Gatto was a gift to so many others besides me, and I'm so grateful to have known him.  Thanks be to God, he died having received the last rites of the Church, with his wife Linda beside him.  

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.


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