Vincent Petrucelly dies at 97, was Port Authority engineer


Vincent J. Petrucelly, a longtime resident of Riverdale, died on Jan. 29, in his home. He was 97.

Mr. Petrucelly was born on Oct. 15, 1915, the oldest son of Italian immigrants. He grew up in Gravesend, Brooklyn and graduated from Manual Trades High School. From there, he went to Cooper Union while working for the telephone company and graduated in 1942 with an electrical engineering degree. 

He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II as a flight instructor in Texas. 

On Aug. 7, 1944 in Bryan, Texas, he married his sweetheart, Annabelle Jaffe, who was from the Bronx. Their son Jeffrey was born in 1946. 

After living in Stuyvesant Town, London, and Poughkeepsie, N.Y., they moved to Riverdale in 1953. They were among the original residents of the 80 Knolls Crescent cooperative. 

Mr. Petrucelly later earned a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Connecticut, and went on to work for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a research engineer until retiring at the age of 80. 

During his time with the Port Authority, he worked on the tunnels, bridges and much of the other infrastructure connecting the two states. His son Jeffrey said one of his most important projects was calculating and testing the sway of the World Trade Center.  

In his father’s spare time, his son said, he loved going to the opera and theater and spending time with family and friends.

Mr. Petrucelly was predeceased by his wife in 1971. He is survived by his son, Jeffrey Petrucelly and his daughter-in-law, Patricia Cantor Petrucelly, of Cambridge, Mass.; his grandson, Michael Petrucelly, of Brooklyn; his granddaughter, Karen Petrucelly Springer and her husband Joshua Springer, of Boston; his great-grandson, Theodore Nathaniel Springer, who was born on Jan. 15; as well as nieces and nephews.

The family asks that donations in Mr. Petrucelly’s name be made to the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture, where he was a member for many years. The address is 4450 Fieldston Road, Bronx, NY 10471. 

vincent j. petrucelly, riverdale, port authority, obituary