Former Mt. Kisco Mayor Ferd Vetare Dies at 94

Ferdinand Vetare

Former Mount Kisco Mayor Ferdinand (Ferd) Carmino Vetare died on July 5. He was 94.

Vetare was born on May 5, 1926, to Frank and Caroline (neé Coviello) in Croton Falls, N.Y. He attended grades K-12 in the Brewster schools, and after graduation enlisted in the Navy. He trained as a radioman at the University of Wisconsin where he earned a varsity letter as a Big Ten wrestler. He was assigned to serve on board the USS Olmsted, an attack troop transport, where he served in the Pacific Theater until the end of World War II.

Vetare received his bachelor’s degree in English from Middlebury College and his masters at the Breadloaf School of English. He accepted an invitation to teach English at Culver Military Academy in Indiana. Two years later he returned to New York and filled an opening at Valhalla High School where he chaired the English Department and coached the golf, wrestling and girls’ tennis teams. He retired from teaching in 1984.

Ferd was an avid and competitive sportsman and played golf, tennis and platform tennis into his nineties. He was sought after as a partner on the court or the course as much for his congenial nature and life wisdom as for his athletic prowess. Imbued with a sense of civic duty and a desire to help others, Ferd served his beloved Mount Kisco in many ways. He was the mayor and a village trustee; an active member and 2002 Commander of the American Legion Moses Taylor Jr. Post 136; past president of the Mount Kisco Lions Club; a former Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus; a member of the Italian-American Club of Northern Westchester (Man of the Year 1997); former board member of the Mount Kisco Child Care Center; founding member of the Byram Lake Committee; Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year 2003; and coach of Babe Ruth baseball. He was the recipient of numerous prestigious honors and awards throughout his years of service to his community.

Ferd’s profound love of God guided all his thoughts and deeds. He was an active parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church in Mount Kisco, and lent his beautiful tenor voice to the choir for many years. He was also deeply influenced by his family, especially his maternal grandparents, Angelo and Carmela Coviello, whose hard work and generosity to anyone in need were foundational to his character.

Vetare adored – and inspired – his own family, the light of his life. In addition to his wife of 66 years, Lois (neé Tyson, of Pocantico Hills), he leaves behind four daughters, Elaine Matts (Jim), Beth Vetare-Civitello (Dean), Mandy Collins (Billy) and Margaret Vetare; four grandchildren, Dean Civitello Jr. (Nicole), Carey Civitello (Christian Sanjurjo), Kate Angel (Remmy) and Lauren Collins; five great-grandchildren, Zoë, Jackson and Bodhi Sanjurjo and Dean Craig III and Josephine Civitello; three brothers, Fran, Gabe and Dick Vetare; and many beloved nieces and nephews. A sister, Carmela Mazure, predeceased him.

Visitation will be at Oelker-Cox & Sinatra Funeral Home, located at 262 E. Main St. in Mount Kisco, this Thursday, July 9, from 4 to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Mount Kisco on Friday, July 10 at 10 a.m. Burial will follow immediately at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Somers.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mount Kisco Lions Club, P.O. Box 187, Mount Kisco, N.Y. 10549 or a charity or organization of your choice.