Vincent Charles Forcella of Davis died May 12, 2011. He was 85.
Born in West Springfield, Mass., the youngest of seven siblings born to Italian immigrants, Vince went to college at the University of New Mexico. To work in Alaska, he drove the Alcan Highway before it was paved. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran of WWII, stationed in Germany.
After his discharge, he moved to California and attended UC Davis, majoring in pomology and earning his master’s degree in ornamental horticulture. He was employed in the establishment of initial UC Davis Arboretum plantings. He first married and farmed pears in Grass Valley. He later remarried and taught agriculture at Hartnell Jr. College in Salinas.
Vince was the superintendent of the Davis Cemetery for three decades. After retirement, he established the 35-acre Valley Oak planting at the Yolo County Grasslands Park. For this work he won the Colonel Sanders Super Senior of the Year award in 2000. He had a private business of horticultural services, consulting for homeowners. He was known for establishing volleyball clubs in Davis and at the Davis Athletic Club. At 80 years old he became possibly the world’s oldest volleyball player.
Vince’s hobbies were volleyball, traveling, fishing and planting oak trees. He was an avid horticulturist, specializing in native plants. He traveled to Germany, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Botswana, Costa Rica, Mexico, China and Mongolia.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Anne; his sisters Filomena Monaco of Connecticut, and Jean McNicholl of Massachusetts; his sons James and Thomas Forcella of Palo Cedro and Daniel Forcella of Davis; his daughters Lauren Forcella of Sacramento and Tamsen Brock of Davis; eight grandchildren; and one great grandchild.
The memorial for Vince will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 21. Call (530) 756-6577 for directions.