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Updated: 03/15/2014 08:00:04AM

Vincent Bocchetti

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Vincent Bocchetti, 91, of Punta Gorda, Fla., passed away Thursday, March 13, 2014, surrounded by his loving family, at Tidewell Hospice in Port Charlotte, Fla.

He was born June 9, 1922, in Naples, Italy, to Carmine and Johnna Bocchetti.

Vincent served in the Italian Army in North Africa during World War II. He was held as a POW in Africa, and escaped to an American POW camp. Vincent was brought to America to Camp Kilmer, N.J., and also to Camp Perry, Ohio. While a POW, he was treated very well in America, and he knew that he wanted to become an American citizen. In 1951, Vincent fulfilled this dream. While at the POW camp in New Jersey, he met his first wife, Lucia Benincasa, of Bronx, N.Y. After the war was over, Lucia traveled to Italy on a Liberty ship. They were married in Italy in 1947. After the birth of their son, Louis, they returned to America and lived in Brooklyn, N.Y. Unfortunately, Lucia passed away March 13, 1982. At the time of her death, the family was residing in Patchogue, N.Y.

He studied to become an audio technician and worked for many years for the New York Hilton Hotel. Vincent retired in 1991, and moved to Port Charlotte. In 1993, he met his present wife, Dianne (nee Barnwell) Bocchetti, and they were married Aug. 21, 1993. He was a fantastic Italian cook, and he loved fishing, photography and listening to Italian music. At the time of his death, he and Dianne resided in Punta Gorda. They had previously lived at the Arcadia Village Country Club in Arcadia, Fla. Vincent was a member of the Catholic Church in Casoria, Italy, and was an associate member of Fort Ogden Methodist Church.

Vincent is survived by his loving wife, Dianne; children, Cynthia (Wibb) Meade, Louis (Diane) Bocchetti, Allyson (Richard) Thorpe, Susan (Joel) Chitwood and Amy (Don) McCandless; grandchildren, Maria Suarez, Veronica (Joseph) Portanova, Louis Iorio, Mark (Browyn) Bocchetti, Vincent Bocchetti, Dillon Harms, Chance Harms and Joel Chitwood; seven great-grandchildren; his sisters, Maria and Guisippino; his brother, Vittorio of Italy; and many nieces and nephews, also in Italy and America. Vincent was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Lucia; his sister, Anna; and his brother, Antonio.

Memorial Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 17, 2014, at Ponger-Kays-Grady Funeral Home in Arcadia, with the Rev. Neil Averitt officiating. Online condolences can be made at

The family wishes to extend their sincere appreciation to Bayfront Health Punta Gorda, and especially to Tidewell Hospice, for the excellent care given to Vincent in his final days.

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