Vince Alvaro, 76, Remembered as Father, Husband and Builder Who Loved to Golf and Fish
Oakland Township resident Vince Alvaro was killed Wednesday in a hit-and-run incident in Troy.
Despite the sudden and tragic death of her father, 76-year-old Oakland Township resident Vince Alvaro, Christina Manson still managed to laugh a little Thursday as she recalled her father’s relatively shortlived stint in the restaurant business.
“It was just a flicker of an idea with my grandfather and my dad and my uncle,” Manson said of Alvaro’s, the Italian restaurant her family opened in 1967 in Royal Oak.
“Of course, turns out that 15 years later, they all realized that, yeah, not such a great idea,” she said, chuckling.
Her father, Manson said, was not a chef.
Alvaro, who died Wednesday morning after being struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run accident in Troy, was a builder, said Manson. He was always creating something.
“My dad’s passion was definitely building,” said Manson, 43, of Bloomfield Hills. “He loved working with his hands, and he had a huge workshop in his house.”
Alvaro, who owned several businesses throughout his lifetime, could often be found working on one of many projects – from refinishing furniture to upholstering to woodworking – in his enormous workshop.
And when Alvaro wasn’t laboring away in his workshop, Mason said he was probably fishing or golfing.
“He golfed all over the place, wherever he could find a route,” said Manson. “My two children, my husband, me – we’ve all golfed with my dad over the years.”
Alvaro, a first-generation Italian-American whose parents hailed from Italy and Sicily, grew up in Detroit and attended Detroit Catholic Central High School. His parents moved from Detroit to Bloomfield Hills while he was still in high school.
Oakland Township Supervisor Joan Fogler remembers growing up with Alvaro’s wife of 30 years, Jeannette, and fondly remembers Alvaro.
“(Jeannette) grew up around the corner from me, and she and Vince got married; I’ve known him for a long, long time,” said Fogler. “I used to issue him building permits when I was the building department coordinator, and he was always such a nice, nice man.”
Manson, the youngest of Alvaro’s six children, said her family has come together in the days after her father's death.
“It was a stunning morning,” Manson said of the morning her father was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Troy. Her family had gathered to support Alvaro's wife and Manson's stepmother, Jeannette, at Troy Beaumont shortly after the accident Wednesday morning.
“My dad was the kind of guy who loved to have his family around, loved to have his friends around, loved entertaining, and he was just a hard-working man,” she said.
“But at the same time, he just loved every minute of his life and really enjoyed – really valued – his wife and his children, and his family and his friends.”
According to his obituary on the Modetz Funeral Home website, Alvaro is survived by his wife, Jeannette; his siblings, John Alvaro and Katherine Reis; his six children, Joseph Alvaro, Timothy Alvaro, Maria Michalowski, Jason Bearss, Melissa Platto and Christina Manson; and his grandchildren, Julian, Evan, Bennett, Ellen, Daniel, Corey, Riley, Andrew, Mariah and the late Caitlin.