BVA Saddened by Loss Of Founding Father
by Dennis O'Connell
To borrow a line from a poem well known to
many of us, the country is in mourning and the world is a little poorer,
for a Soldier died today.
This is how I feel about one of the
approximately 100 combat blinded men present at the March 28, 1945
meeting at Avon Old Farms, a meeting that resulted in the formation and
organization of the Blinded Veterans Association.
Vincent J. Trypuc passed away on
Memorial Day, May 30, at the age of 88.I first met Vinnie in 1995 and
our friendship continued until his death. I was always impressed with
his knowledge of almost everything. He was a truly gentle and
Vinnie was blinded at the age of 21
during a training accident in England in July 1944. He was hit in the
face with a shotgun shell.
A long period of hospitalization and
numerous surgeries finally brought him to Avon Old Farms in Connecticut
for his convalescence and rehabilitation. He is on the list of founding
fathers published in the special 50th anniversary issue of the Bulletin
in 1995. To the best of our knowledge, Vinnie survived all but four of
the unique and revered individuals on that list.
After leaving the service, Vinnie
eventually enrolled at Columbia University, an Ivy League school. He
graduated with a Bachelor's Degree four years later.
Vinnie was active in the New York
Regional Group and would travel from Long Island into Manhattan for the
group's meetings. He was on the group's Board of Directors for eight
years and he edited and mimeographed the regional group newsletter in
the 1950s and 1960s.
He was a counselor for VA and assisted
blinded veterans with various therapies. He also advised them of their
benefits and discussed with them the problems related to their
blindness. He was also a VA public relations officer.
Vinnie was a member of the Lighthouse
Players for the Blind. He tested sensory devices for the blind developed
by Haskins Laboratories and was an exhibitor for the Committee on
National Employment of the Physically Handicapped, an initiative of
President Harry S Truman.
Vinnie eventually joined his family
business, Morat Corporation, Inc., as Vice President, working in that
capacity from September 1959 to August 1974. Morat served the
audio-visual needs, both as a wholesale operation as well as a retailer,
of Long Island-based governmental agencies, religious and educational
institutions, industrial companies, commercial photo studios, drug
companies, stationery retailers, and many nonprofit organizations.
He left the family business to work
for the Suffolk County Department of Consumer Affairs as an
investigator. He remained in that capacity for 20 years, finally
retiring in 1994.
Vinnie was a remarkable man who seemed to master everything he put his mind to do.
A fairly recent example illustrates
just how sharp his mind was. Vinnie's son, Steve, came to visit his dad
within the past few months. They decided to play a game of chess. Steve
had been playing seriously for several years and was three points from
being classified a chess master. During the game, Vinnie asked the
position of the pieces on the board just three times. After playing for
an hour and 20 minutes, Vinnie emerged victorious.
I will miss Vinnie's friendship, wit, and cheerful telephone voice.
He is survived by his wife Patricia, five children, seven grandchildren, and five great- grandchildren.