Photography by Dianne Nudelman
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Vincent Andre Stephen Pannozzo was born on friday May 6, 1983 at Staten Island University. Vin was raised in Westerleigh where he lived with both parents, Linda McNicholas and Andre Pannozzo and his brother Anthony. Vin went to P.S. 30 from kindergarten to 5th grade. He had perfect attendance and won an award when he graduated for the student to most succeed and excel. His intermediate school was I.S. 51. He was an honor student with straight A’s. He started drawing at age 5, and played numerous amounts of sports. Vin was a popular kid in his neighborhood and was very active. He loved to rollerblade, and skateboard. He also played basketball and hockey at Clove Lakes ice skating rink. At around the age of 6, he went to his first New York Rangers game and remained a loyal fan throughout his life. Vin went to St. Peter’s Boy High School where he became captain of the hockey team.
Vincent met his best friend, and love of his life when he was thirteen years old. Vin and Samantha Esposito were together for 8 years before he changed her last name.For Vincent and Samantha they were each other’s first true love. Samantha met Vincent through her best friend who just so happened to be Vincent’s brother. They got married on June 23rd, 2010 and were married for almost 5 years. They had two beautiful children Giuliana Leigh age 5, and Vincent Wayne 7 months.
Vincent had many hobbies and interests that kept him happy. As a child, Vincent loved Karate and Taekwondo. He loved to go to Pennsylvania and ride ATVs and quads at Rausch Creek Trail Riders. He played adult roller hockey in a men’s league for Metuchen Sports. Vincent and his good friend AJ even went as far as buying the whole team’s jerseys because he always invested full heartedly. He was also an avid Star Wars fan. His favorite color was typical for the sports teams he loved, Vincent bled blue. He was a hardcore New York Rangers and Giants fan. Vin loved Swedish fish and warheads. His taste in music varied as he got older from ska to hardcore rock. Vincent enjoyed listening to bands like Dispatch, but also loved bands like Killswitch Engage. His first car was a 1988 Firebird with a T top, a big difference from his white Dodge Ram 1500 he was so overjoyed with. Vin’s favorite time of the year was Halloween. He went all out, he had parties every year and decorated excessively. Everyone he ever met knew he had a way to always make you smile and laugh, a man with a great sense of humor.
Vin’s number one passion was his family. His entire world lit up every time he looked at Samantha and their gorgeous children. Vin was the glue of his family, consisting of his mother, brother, three sister-in-laws, and his mother-in-law. He did everything he can for them. He was just as close and loving to his friends that he considered family as well. Vin was a true friend and had an amazingly big heart. He was selfless, he always gave more than he received. His mother was very proud of Vincent for all he had accomplished and achieved in his life in a short time. Vincent was so very smart from the moment he was born. He started speaking at three months old, walking at six months old, and problem solving by eight months of age.
Vincent was always a hard worker and extremely driven. From his first job at Scott’s Magic Entertainment, to when he became a manager at Shop-Rite. Vincent always strived to be better, he excelled beyond expectations in every job that he ever had. Vincent was currently working for the Institute for Basic Research for six and a half years as an animal caretaker for research animals. Vincent started tattooing at around the age of 16. For his sixteenth birthday, Vincent asked for a tattoo gun. Vincent fell in love with the art of tattooing and made a name for himself. He found what he loved and never looked back! He called himself Vin Dfect. He started as an apprentice at Ink Asylum and then worked for Broadway Tattoo Lounge before he accomplished one of the biggest dreams he ever had.
Vincent opened his own tattoo shop, Contemporary Tattoo & Gallery, on Black Friday of 2013. Contemporary Tattoo & Gallery was everything Vin dreamed and hoped for, he was the owner of a custom tattoo shop that put out top quality work. He believed in all of his artists, he pushed them to be better. He even took on apprentices to share his knowledge and teach. Vin’s love for art created an amazing tattoo shop that will continue to strive just as hard as he always did. Because of AJ from Broadway Tattoo Lounge Vin furthered his career as a tattoo artist. Aside from his achievement of creating his own shop Vin continued to excel. He was featured in several tattoo magazines, tattoo books, and was even on TV doing a tattoo on Comic Book Men. Vincent’s first award was second place large color on his wife at Tattoo Palooza in Miami on his honeymoon in 2010. Vin continued to win numerous awards at Tattoo Conventions;
Tattoo Palooza in Miami 2010 - 2nd Place Large Color
Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention 2013 - 3rd Place Chest Piece
NEPA Tattoo Arts Festival 2014 - 1st Place Small Color
NEPA Tattoo Arts Festival 2014 - 1st Place Over All Female
AC Tattoo Expo 2014 - 1st Place Best Over All Female
Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention 2015 - 1st Place, XL Color
Vin was a very charitable man. He would never turn someone away if they approached him about donations to help others. He also supported local businesses. Vincent gave to numerous charities as often as he could. A few charities Vin gave to, but not limited to:
March of Dimes participant/donator
New York Bully Crew
American Cancer Society
The Childhood Leukemia Foundation
Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation
The Grace Foundation
Chuck Margiotta Scholarship Fund
Vincent’s legacy will continue to live on through his family, his friends, his art and tattoos, his charitable donations and his business. More importantly his name will live on. Many tournaments will be played in his name. The winning teams will be awarded a Vin Dfect trophy.
Vincent’s life tragically ended on Friday the 13th, March 13, 2015. Vincent was very active and did not participate in anything that was detrimental to his health. His death was extremely abrupt and unexpected. Which was very typical of Vin, he never said good-bye. Vincent’s death is still undetermined. He suffered from a bad sinus infection. The infection could have leaked into his brain. He could of had an aneurysm, he could of blew a blood vessel. This is still pending studies. All facts we know medically is his heart was perfect and he did not have a stroke.