Life Story / Obituary
Peter Vincent Mocini, aged 70, of Saugatuck, died on June 13, 2023 at his home.
He was born on September 19, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois to the late Giulio and Mary Stella (Maurizi) Mocini. He attended St. Peter Catholic School and graduated from Saugatuck High School in 1970. During high school he excelled in academics and sports, playing basketball, baseball and football. He joined his older brother in receiving "The Commercial Record Award" for academic-athletic excellence. Years later, his daughter, Susan, would win the same award.
He graduated from Grand Valley State University in 1974 with a degree in English. He married Nancy Mostrom in 1970. They welcomed three children, Matthew, Joshua, and Melanie. The marriage ended in divorce.
Pete started his career as an English teacher at Ludington High School from 1974-1979. Due to declining enrollment in Michigan schools, he accepted a job at Gregory Portland High School in 1980 in Portland, Texas, and moved there with his three children. He excelled as a teacher and Assistant Principal. In 1983 he married Frances Dunn, who brought 2 children to the Mocini family from her prior marriage, John & Rachel. In 1984 the family welcomed a sixth child, Susan. In 1986, Pete earned a Master of Science degree from Texas A & M University in Educational Administration. He acted in many capacities at Gregory Portland High School and from 1989-1995 he served as Assistant Principal.
In 1995 Pete was selected to become Principal at Saugatuck High School. Three of his former teachers from his student years at SHS remained, Jack Lampen, Ron Westrate, and Vic Mayer, who became part of his first faculty. While Principal, he had the distinct pleasure of contributing to the educational success of hundreds of students, as well as that of his daughter, Susan, and his three nephews, DJ, Jeff, and Jayson.
In 2003 he retired from Saugatuck High School to pursue varied interests, including following world events and U.S. politics, running, tending his vegetable garden, travel with Fran to Italy, Mexico, and Argentina, visits to his children and grandchildren, the "occasional" stop at a casino, and assisting countless squirrels and raccoons in safely relocating to salubrious environments. He treasured walking and running the grounds in Montefiascone, Italy, where his father grew up.
During retirement he was an avid follower and commentator on the U.S. and international political scene. He researched and studied the entire political spectrum, although he considered himself a staunch conservative. He followed the sporting scene closely and was often perched in front of his TV for any number of sporting events, especially golf and tennis.
Pete and Fran also enjoyed touring the USA by car and took particular pleasure in attending professional baseball games and visiting State Capitals.
Peter was preceded in death by his parents and by his older brother, Ben Mocini. He is survived by his devoted wife of 39 years, Frances, by six children, Rachel (Scott) Tyra, John (Georgianna) Farris, Matthew (Julia) Mocini, Joshua (Theresa) Mocini, Melanie (Eric) Mocini, and Susan (Bobby) Mocini, and by 13 grandchildren. He is also survived by his brothers, Vincent P. Mocini, and David J. (Kimberly) Mocini and many cousins, nieces and nephews in the U.S. and in Italy.
The family will receive friends on Friday, June 23 between 10:00 AM and 12:00 noon at Dykstra Chapel at 520 Lake Street, Saugatuck. At 12:00 Father Fabio Garzon will conduct a brief prayer service and eulogy.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations in his name be made to The Wounded Warrior Project or to The Covenant House.