Vincent Anthony MaggioAugust 30, 1922 ~ January 26, 2018 (age 95)
Vince Maggio passed away peacefully on January 26, 2018.
When people told Vince to have a good day, he always replied,“ Have a good life”! He indeed lived a very good life and left an indelible mark on his family and his community.
Vince was born on August 30, 1922 to Vincent Maggio and Lena Graziano in Baltimore, MD. He graduated from Forest Park High School in 1940, where he was active in the Glee Club and Track. In a stroke of luck, he was able to attend college because his parents won $2,000.00 in a lottery. He studied engineering at Johns Hopkins University where he was the Sergeant -at- Arms of his class, played football and was the top athlete on the track team in discus and shotput.
Vince moved to Houston in 1944 to make fuel for the Air Force. That began a long career as a chemical engineer. He worked for Shell Oil at the Deer Park plant for 42 years and enjoyed Shell reunions and the lifelong friendships with his colleagues there.
In 1947,he married native Houstonian, Caroline Peterson. They were married for 63 years until her death in 2010. Together, they worked for social justice,civil rights and peace. In 1991, they received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Peace Network. Vince was later awarded the United Nations Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong dedication to social justice.
Two of his big passions were religion and politics. He read countless theology books and considered going into the ministry. He led worship services, taught Sunday school and took part in many interdenominational programs. He and Caroline marched for civil rights in the 1960’s. Vince thought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest men who ever lived.
His faith journey eventually led him to Covenant Church on Caroline Street in Houston, where he found a congregation of like-minded progressives who became a second family to him. His Covenant “family” gave his life meaning and kept him engaged and active in his final years. In mid January, on one of the last Sundays he attended church, he was delighted to see ground broken on the new church building that he helped support. His family is grateful for the love and attention he received from his Covenant friends.
Vince was a die-hard Democrat who was active in local and state politics. If a political story was on the news, you can bet he’d have a running commentary on it. He often decried corporations that put “profit over people” and was troubled by the income disparity in our nation. He had many Republican friends and enjoyed a healthy political debate but he loathed Donald Trump and was quite concerned about the direction of our country.
Vince was proud of his Italian heritage and in true Italian tradition, food was a focal point in his life. He bought stock in Whole Foods and often preached about the importance of eating “wholesome, unadulterated food”.
He played tennis until he was 92 years old. Vince never missed his bi-weekly doubles match at a public park with some other “old codgers” who enjoyed the game. He had a mean serve and a powerful slam at the net. Tennis was one of his greatest joys until he suffered shingles in 2014 and was unable to play anymore.
Vince had an opinion about anything and everything. That’s one reason he likely holds the record for the most Letters to the Editor in the Houston Chronicle. This 2014 feature story captures his remarkable life and character:
Vince’s survivors include his daughters, Joyce Pardon & Judy Maggio Rosenfeld, grandchildren, Alex Maggio, Claire Maggio, Jeff Maggio, John Pardon, Mireille Pardon, Carly Brown and great-grandson, Arthur John Maggio. He was preceded in death by his wife, Caroline Peterson Maggio and his son, John Edward Maggio.
The family would like to give special thanks to Shirley Sterling and Queensley Nosa who were dedicated, loving caregivers in the last year of Vince’s life.
The family is also indebted to his longtime, faithful friend, Henry Horne, who preceded him in death by just a few months. His dear friend, Gregg Farris, was also an invaluable source of support in Vince’s final years.
A celebration of Vince Maggio’s life will be held Saturday, March 31, 2018 at Covenant Church, 4949 Caroline, Houston, TX 77044 at 2 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the United Nations Foundation at