The camaraderie is still alive at Hair Studio 41, even in the wake of Angelo Vellucci’s unexpected death on Feb. 6 after a short battle with lung cancer, an illness that his family believes could possibly be the effect of Agent Orange exposure during his service in Vietnam.
His fellow barbers, Mark and David Jacobs, the father-son team who also own the shop, could not help but smile thinking of times they had with Vellucci over the last ten years or the 47 years he was known by the people of Bell Boulevard.
“He was the mascot of Bell Boulevard,” Mark Jacobs said. “Yesterday, I had a customer, he said ‘[Angelo] was the only barber I had since I was 4 years old, he cut my hair for 44 years.'”
Vellucci was born in Italy on April 9, 1946, but migrated to Montreal as at the age of six and later made Corona his home when he was 14 years old. Apart from his two years in Vietnam with the U.S. Army. Bayside was where he made a name for himself as a barber and a friend to many long-time residents.
Bell Boulevard once had a barber shop call Pace, pronounced in the Italian fashion, before making the move to Hair Studio 41 about a decade ago.
He spent years playing the numbers of his home address in the lottery until one year he won. Vellucci gave part of his $5,000 jackpot to his wife of 41 years and daughters, Valeria Giannotti and Vanessa Brown, and the rest was spent on dinner for family and friends at Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse on Bell Boulevard.
Vanessa Brown remembers her father’s devotion to her mother Laura, an Ecuadorian immigrant who he fell in love with instantly in 1978. Vellucci embraced his wife’s family and culture as his own and invited his mother-in-law to move into their home in 1980s, the younger Vellucci said.
One hair Studio 41 client who goes by the nickname Raven claimed to have the honor of being Vellucci’s last client and said the barber was always putting his family above all else, provide whatever he earned to his kids and grandkids.
“He took care of his daughters, grandkids, his grandson is supposed to have his communion next month. He said to his daughter, ‘I’ll pay for it all, don’t worry about it. It’s on me.’ That’s how generous he was,” Mark Jacobs recalled.
Brown says he was not only loyal to his immediate family, but there were nieces and nephews, a whole extended family that loved Vellucci’s “table talk” and storytelling ways.
Vellucci had a talent for making Sunday sauce and antipasto platters; he was also fluent in four languages, English, Spanish, French and Italian, Brown said.
He’s survived by his wife and daughters, his two grandchildren, Anthony and Angela Brown, as well as a brother and sister, Adriana and Mario.
A wake will be held at Frederick Funeral Home at 192-15 Northern Blvd on Feb. 10 with visiting hours between 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The Funeral mass will be Feb. 11 at American Martyrs RC Church at 9:45 a.m. followed by interment at Calverton National Cemetery.
Jacobs is accepting donations for Vellucci’s family at the 214-07 41st Ave. barbershop while Brown said donations may be given in lieu of flowers in Angelo’s memory to American Martyrs Catholic War Veterans Post 1772.