Graves announces the passing of Cyril Fitzgerald Vincent Sr., 92 who transitioned on Thursday, July 1, 2021 in Virginia Beach, VA surrounded by his loving family.
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Graves announces funeral services for Cyril F. Vincent Sr. which will be held Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 11:00am at Graves Funeral Home located at 631 Church Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23504. The Rev. Harold Cobb, Rector will preside. Visitation with the family will be held on, Friday, July 9, 2021 from 2:00pm-6:00pm at Graves Funeral Home, 1631 Church Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23504
A native of New York City, Cyril Fitzgerald Vincent was born on October 11, 1928, to Joseph and Ruby Vincent. Joseph was a carpenter and served as a merchant marine during World War I (Great Britain) and World War II (United States). Ruby was a piano instructor. His parents and family were members of St. John Parish, the Anglican Diocese of the Windward Islands, in Grenada and St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Harlem after they immigrated to the United States. He attended New York City Public Schools and graduated Cum Laude from the City College of New York (CCNY) with a degree in Engineering. He held Professional Engineer Licenses in New York and Virginia.
He married the love of his life, Gloria J. Vincent on February 6, 1954. They were married for 65 years until Gloria passed in 2019. To their blessed union were born two sons, Cyril Jr. and Gregory and a daughter, Leslie. Cyril devoted his life to family, friends, church and the city he loved. He was baptized and then confirmed at age 13 at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Harlem. His lifelong Christian service included serving as an acolyte at St. Philip’s and member of the men’s group at Grace Episcopal Church in Norfolk, Virginia. He was a veteran and served in one of the last racially segregated units during the Korean War.
Cyril was an exceptional athlete. He played on the Army basketball team with Earl Lloyd, the first African American to play in the NBA. During college he ran the winning mile relay anchor leg at the Penn Relays. Cyril also won the Daily Mirror New York City Handball Championship as a teenager and went on to win 5 straight New York State Handball Championships and the Montreal Invitational. For over 30 years he placed 2nd and 3rd numerous times at the American Amateur Union (AAU) and United States Handball Association Championships (USHA) in the Open, Masters (over 40) and Golden Masters (over 50) categories. His children fondly remember the annual Labor Day road trips to the National Championships in Detroit and Maumee, Ohio. Cyril played competitively into his seventies.
Cyril also enjoyed a fulfilling and impactful career. After college Cyril and Gloria moved to Schenectady, New York where he started his career as an engineer with General Electric. After several years they decided to move back home to care for Gloria’s parents and start a family. For over 30 plus years he served the people of New York City with distinction as an engineer and executive with the New York City Transit Authority. He started as an electrical engineer and rose to Superintendent, the highest rank in the merit service. Cyril was then recruited into the executive ranks and led the electrical department and retired as the Electrical Control Officer. He was also an adjunct professor at City College. During his retirement ceremony his team proclaimed that “He was a true track man; he knew the subway better than anyone and never forgot his people even when he became a ‘suit’”. He was credited with helping to rebuild the subway after the New York City recession. Many others spoke on how Cyril served as a mentor and advocate to many no matter the race, gender or creed. Most important his colleagues stated that Cyril was “Always a Gentleman”.
Cyril took great joy in helping Gloria win four straight elections to the Community School Board and become an expert in choice ranked voting as he served as Gloria’s representative during the vote counting. Gloria served as a labor relations counselor for the Transit Authority and they retired together and moved to Virginia Beach to enjoy their golden years. During retirement Cyril served as a math tutor at a local school, enjoyed his Grace Church family and cherished his childhood, army & work friends, fellow men of faith and handball buddies.
Cyril was well read and loved travel, music, movies and the theatre. A loving husband, he made it a point to take Gloria out on weekly dates and always picked out the perfect gift for her. Cyril drove Gloria to her classes every week during graduate school. He was also a loving father, grandfather and great grandfather. He absolutely doted on his grandchildren while serving them ice cream well past their bed time. He was an outstanding cook and made the best lemonade. He was a Renaissance Man.
Cyril peacefully entered eternal rest on July 1, 2021 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Cyril was preceded in death by Gloria, his devoted wife of 65 years, his beloved parents, his two older brothers and his siblings-in-law.
He is survived by his sons Cyril Jr. (Teresa) and Gregory (Kimberly); daughter Leslie; Niece Elsie; and Nephew Claude; Grandchildren: LaTrece Vincent, Brittany Vincent, Mahalia Vincent, Camille Vincent, Gregory Vincent Jr., Raymond Vincent, Shawn Vincent, Cameron Vincent, Justin Parker, Mahalia Vincent and Ashleigh Turner; Daughters in Love: Xanthe, Leslie, Terri, Coletta, and Yseult; 4 great-grandchildren; several grand nephews, nieces, cousins, extended family and a community of friends.