Vincent Ambrico of East Northport, a longtime Long Island aviation industry executive, died at his home Saturday. He was 96.
The cause of death was natural causes, according to his son Vincent J. Ambrico, of Orlando.
“He had a long career in the aircraft industry,” said Mary Clark, Ambrico’s daughter. “That was his passion.”
The elder Ambrico was born and raised in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. After he graduated from Aviation High School, he accepted a job as a mechanic at the Brewster Aeronautical Corp. in Long Island City.
Ambrico enlisted in the Navy after the United States entered World War II in 1941. After going through basic training in Norman, Oklahoma, he served as a flight engineer at a pilot training base in Vero Beach, Florida. He was later assigned to an aircraft carrier unit.
After he was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946, Ambrico accepted a position at Republic Aviation in Farmingdale, where he worked for 34 years, eventually becoming the company’s vice president of manufacturing.
Ambrico retired in 1979, but he was lured back to the industry by Bombardier Aeronautical, a Montreal company that builds private and commercial jets, where he served as the president of manufacturing. During his final two years with Bombardier, he oversaw a manufacturing operation the company had acquired in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
“My dad was very mechanically inclined,” his son said. “He told me he began overhauling car engines when he was 13 years old.”
In addition to his work, Ambrico was also passionate about travel. Clark, of Smithtown, said her father especially enjoyed cruises to Italy, Norway and Alaska he had taken with friends and his wife, Julia, who died in 2003.
In addition to his son and daughter, Ambrico is survived by six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Visitation will be held at Brueggemann Funeral Home in East Northport Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m., and Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9:15 a.m. Saturday at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in East Northport.