WAYNE, N.J. — Longtime Wayne firefighter and former Chief Vincent "Vinnie" Caropreso died at 51 years old after a courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by family and friends on Christmas Eve in Pompton Plains.
More than $13,000 had been raised as of Friday on a GoFundMe to aid his wife, Maureen, and sons, Dominic and Joseph.
Caropreso grew up in Wayne and graduated from Wayne Hills High School with the class of 1984. He had been a standout football player with the Wayne Hills Patriots.
He went on to study at Villanova University and tried out for the football team as a walk-on. The odds of joining a Division I football roster as a walk-on are slim, but despite the odds, Caropreso made the team.
After a few semesters, he decided to leave school and join the carpenters union in New York City. He was a member for more than thirty years of NYCDCC Union 157 and he was most recently a project manager. His coworkers knew him as a perfectionist and a workaholic.
Caropreso volunteered on the Wayne P.O.L. Fire Company 2 for 30 years and served as chief from 2001 to 2003. His fellow firefighters were like brothers to him and he cherished their friendship.
He is survived by his beloved wife Maureen (nee Bardone) of Pompton Plains; his two sons, Dominic and Joseph; his mother, Joan Caropreso; sister, Kathy Siso and her husband Tom of Wayne; his step-sister, Megan Caropreso of Butler, and a host of loved ones.
He was predeceased by his son, Anthony, in 2003 and by his father, Ugo, in 2001.
A funeral was held Friday with burial at First Reformed Church Cemetery in Pompton Plains.
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