Thursday, 21 January 2021

Stephen Vecellio: 1945-2009

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Stephen Joseph Vecellio, aka “The Cookie Man,” died in distress on Feb. 25, 2009.


Born Sept. 18, 1945, he was raised in the Bay Area and attended school in both Oakland and San Leandro, Calif.


He joined the US Marine Corps after graduating in 1963. He served his country for eight years in Vietnam and later San Diego, during which he was a member of the the First and Third Marine Divisions.


He continued serving his American Vietnam brothers as post commander of the Disabled American Vets Chapter 7 and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He established and was commandant of the Marine Corps League “Frank Reasoner” Detachment of Hayward, Calif.


From 1990 to 1993 he served two terms as a member of the California's Veterans Boards, appointed by Gov. George Deukmejian and Gov. Pete Wilson. He established and served as executive director of the Veterans Resource Council, an organization sponsored by the Small Business Administration, assisting veterans who wanted to open small business.


He served on the committee for the Vietnam Memorial in Sacramento, helping to coordinate Mr. Bob Hope's San Francisco Bay Area visits and taking the mock-up of the memorial around to various groups.


During the first Gulf War, he was selected by Sen. Pete Wilson to head up “Operation COHART” (Californians Organized to help Our Reserves and Troops).


He retired from Pacific Gas & Electric after 30 years in the Oakport yard. He joined the community of Hidden Valley Lake where, for the past nine years, he attempted to enjoy Lake County.


Stephen was the son of Alvina (Babe) Vecellio and predeceased by father Joseph Vecellio.


He left behind his loving wife of 25 years, Toni Vecellio. He is survived by his two daughters, Diane Marie Vecellio of San Leandro and Victoria Camacho and her husband Rui of Pleasanton; and stepson, Brian Tuller of Santa Rosa. He also was survived by his nine grandchildren who were the light of his life: Anthony, Samantha, Jared, Roy Josh, Steven, Laura, Daniel, Angelo and Juno, all of the Bay Area; his brother, Gene and wife Jeanette Vecellio of Ripon; sister, Renee Campanella and husband Charles of Pleasanton; three nephews; one niece; two grand-nieces and one grand-nephew.


His favorite saying: “God and the Soldier, All men adore, in times of trouble, but no more. For when the war's over and trouble righted, God is neglected and Soldier slighted.”


A funeral mass will be held for Stephen at noon on Saturday, March 21, at St. Joseph Church, 21396 Highway 175, Middletown.


Family requests any donations be made to our local Catholic churches: Weekend masses at St. Joseph Church in Middletown or Our Lady of the Lake in Loch Lomand (contact at 987-3676), or daily masses at Queen of Peace Church in Clearlake (contact at 994-6618) as his family plans to attend all masses at these churches.


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