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Obituary: James Vigilis

After a long illness, Jim Vigilis passed away at North Shore University Hospital on Sept. 22 at the age of 89. Jim was born on 125th Street in New York City and moved to Port Washington in 1952 where he resided for over 50 years. He owned and operated Ditmars Lumber and Millwork in Jackson Heights, Queens, for several years, a family business his father started in 1926. Jim served in the United States military as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division during WWII. He also served as an usher and collector at St. Peter’s Church.

Jim’s greatest passion was his family. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Suse Mendle and four children: Victoria Preti (Robert), Mildred Bonizio (John), Guy Vigilis (Karen) and Christine Morris (Robert). He was further blessed with 11 grandchildren: Bob, Lisa, Sara (Dave Nuhibian), Gavina, Suse, Jack, Madeline, Mary Catherine, James, Thomas and Joseph. His sister Mildred Cuseo (Blaise) resides in California.

He also had a passion for sports, particularly baseball. He is one of the first inductees into the PYA Hall of Fame as he coached and mentored many young ballplayers in the community and guided the 1973 Gulf Prides to the league championship.

Anyone lucky enough to have known Jim will remember him as a kind and generous man who quietly helped others, expecting neither recognition nor reciprocation for all that he did.