CAIRO — A section of Bross Street will soon have a new name in honor of coroner, funeral home director and vital part of the community, Richard Vigilo.
Vigilo died in January at the age of 83.
In addition to serving as a Greene County coroner for 23 years, Vigilo founded Richards Funeral Homes of the Mid-Hudson Valley Inc. and operated several funeral homes throughout his career, including Richards Funeral Home in Cairo in 1965, in Athens in 1971 and in Hudson from 1974-2007.
Vigilo acquired W.C. Brady’s Sons Funeral Home in Coxsackie in 1989. He also started Richards Ambulance Service, which operated from 1965-94.
A section of Bross Street from Main Street to the intersection of Railroad Avenue and Dinger Road will be named “Richard’s Way,” Town Supervisor John Coyne said.
The town is in the process of having two signs made for each end of the road and will hold a ceremony when they are installed, Coyne said.
“I think that would only be appropriate to do that,” Coyne said. “Richard was such a vital part of our community as a business owner and as a person.”
Coyne said the town board was approached by legislators William Lawrence, R-Cairo, and Matthew Luvera, R-Catskill, about the idea.
The town board contacted Vigilo’s staff for suggestions, Coyne said.
“We asked for some suggestions on what they thought would be appropriate and they decided ‘Richard’s Way,’” Coyne said. “We thought it would be appropriate they have some input on this.”
Vigilo will also be remembered for being a visionary, Lawrence said.
“Richard was a long-time legend here in Cairo,” Lawrence said. “We thought the road next to his business would be a nice memorial for him.”
Richard’s Way will be an honorary name change and not an official name, Lawrence said, adding that 911 addresses would need to be changed if it were changed officially.
“Rich gave a lot back to the community,” Lawrence said. “I’m glad [the town board] jumped on it. I think it’s appropriate. He had a sterling reputation in the town of Cairo.”
Luvera echoed similar remarks.
“I had a constituent reach out to me and I thought it was a great idea,” Luvera said. “Richard did so much for the people of Greene County.”
Vigilo was a long-time supporter of Little League and other community events, Coyne said.
“It was appropriate that something was done in his name,” he said.
Vigilo was a graduate of Temple University, Eckles College of Mortuary Science and Renaud’s School of Embalming in Philadelphia.
Vigilo decided to become a coroner because he enjoyed helping people, he said in a 2018 interview.
As a funeral director, he often saw people on their darkest days.
“A big part of the job is helping people who don’t know where to turn or what to do,” Vigilo said in 2018. “We help guide them.”