Gary Vecchio, chairman of Worcester’s Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association, dies of cancer aged 68
Gary Vecchio, known as the ‘Mayor of Shrewsbury Street’, died Monday aged 68 after a brief battle with cancer, his family announced.
The lifelong Worcester resident is remembered in his obituary as a generous and hard-working man who left a deep mark on his community.
“He was a lifelong educator, community leader and political activist, but most of all, Gary was a selfless, caring and generous man,” the obituary reads. “He lived by the philosophy that we all need to leave this earth a little better than when we arrived and without a doubt he succeeded.”
Vecchio was born in 1953 and attended city public schools and then Worcester State University. He was the first person in his family to graduate from college and earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Vecchio entered education after school and taught at Wrentham State Schools for 36 years, where he was also a leader of a teachers’ union.
Outside of his profession, Vecchio was active in the community, participating in political campaigns and fighting for issues that mattered to him, including residential tax rates and neighborhood improvement. He also served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Worcester Parks Commission, the Citizens Advisory Council and others, and the public school district’s committee to recommend superintendent candidates in 1981 and 1993. He was elected member of the democratic city committee of district 4. for more than four decades.
He was also active on local television and radio, hosting his own talk show with friend Gary Rosen, the Rosen and Vecchio Experience, and later becoming a longtime participant on Rosen’s Roundtable.
Vecchio was best known for his work on Shrewsbury Street and co-founded the Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association in 2001, which he then led as president until his death. He has worked hard to advocate for residents and businesses in the community.
“Gary could be seen daily driving a seven-mile route around the ward, advising city officials of unsavory activity and trouble he would see, earning him the title ‘Mayor of Shrewsbury Street,'” the statement reads. obituary. “With his daily walks and through his work with the neighborhood association, Gary has forever enriched the lives of all who live, work and raise families in his neighborhood.”