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Dominick Vavala, 77, Of South Salem

SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. – Dominick Vavala of South Salem died Tuesday, Oct. 9, at his home. He was 77.

He was born June 3, 1935, in Dasa, Italy, to Antonio and Rose Bruni Vavala. In 1953, Dominick Vavala immigrated to Stamford, Conn. He worked as an operating engineer for Sam Grasso Co. in Darien, Conn.

Vavala then became a self-employed mason. An accomplished winemaker, Vavala was known as  "the winemaker of Vista," his family said. He also was known for his abundant fig crops and was an avid poker and Connecticut and New York lottery player.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Foster Vavala of South Salem; a son, Anthony Vavala of Thetford, Vt.; a stepdaughter, Heather Lea Foster of Bridgeport, Conn.; a stepson, Sean Colin Foster of Stamford; a brother, Ralph Vavala of Easton, Conn.; a sister, Stella Walkowski of Naugatuck, Conn.; and two granddaughters.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Deanna Correa-Vavala; a daughter, Lori Vavala Cogswell; a brother, Benvenuto Vavala; and two sisters, Catherine Scaturchio and Teresa Capomolla.

Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory in Stamford. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to his wife, Barbara Vavala, at P.O. Box 596, New Canaan, CT 06840.

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