• 59°

Donald Lane Verucchi

Oct. 7, 1948 – June 12, 2020

NATCHEZ — The Catholic Rite of Christian Burial Services for Donald Lane Verucchi of Natchez, who died on Friday, June 12, will be held at 11:00 at Assumption Catholic Church on Friday, June 19.  Due to COVID-19 his funeral Mass will be restricted to family and close friends.  Military Honors and internment will be at Natchez National Cemetery at 12:30. Friends and family are welcome to visit the family at 2:00 at 518 Greenfield Rd.  Father Scott Thomas, Father David O’Connor, Father Mark Schoffner, and Father Robert Dore will preside over services.

Donnie was born October 7, 1948 in Natchez the oldest son of Augustine Verucchi Jr. and Betty Vestal Verucchi.  He was preceeded in death by infant son, Jason Hayden Verucchi, brother Jay Verucchi, grandparents Augustine Verucchi Sr., Mary May Verucchi, Marvin T. Vestal, Pearl Dennis Vestal, and his parents.  He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Carolyn Langston Verucchi, his son, Matthew Verucchi Sr. MD and wife, Karen, and his grandchildren, Maria, Maddie, Lizzie, Matthew Jr., and Laura.  He is also survived by his sister, Sue Verucchi, sister, Angie Verucchi Havard and her husband, Kenny, and brother Mark Verucchi and his wife, Shannon of Natchez, Brandon, and Ridgeland respectively.  He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Donnie’s strong Catholic faith was the foundation for all else in his life.  He enjoyed starting his every day with the Rosary and Mass with his friends at his beloved Assumption Parish.

As a life member of Assumption Catholic Church, he served as everything from Altar Server to Parish Council President, and Eucharistic Minister.  He was most proud of the improvements he helped make possible to the little Catholic Church on Morgantown Road, but his faith extended far beyond his church through his life’s work of helping and attending to his fellow man whether through the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, the Stew Pot, or his mission work in Peru.

Donnie was a devoted son, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and honorary father and grandfather to many.  He loved nothing more than spending time with his family, especially in the outdoors.  He enjoyed sharing his love and vast knowledge of the native landscape, vegetation, and animals, and he spent countless hours with them hunting and fishing, practicing with bow shooting, gardening, farming, and telling stories.  As wonderful of a story teller as he was, he was a keen and attentive listener, especially to children.  As the beloved patriarch of his family, he was looked to for his advice and counsel. He leaves a legacy of faith, family, and love of neighbor.

Donnie was educated in the Natchez Public Schools, Copiah Lincoln Community College, and University of Southern Mississippi.  After school he went to work at International Paper Company where he spent most of his 36 years in the Maintenance Department.  During his first year of employment he married his high school sweetheart, Carolyn, and drafted into the United States Army.  Donnie spent two years in the army, serving one year in Vietnam with the First Air Calvary Division as an Infantry Point Man.  He was awarded two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, Army Commendation, the Combat Infantry Badge and numerous other awards.

Donnie got involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization and was successful in standing up VFW Post 9573 Natchez, where he served as Commander and Quartermaster for many years.  Donnie worked his way up in the VFW and in 2005 he became State Commander.  He had the distinction of serving with his wife, Carolyn, who was Ladies Auxiliary State President.  They were the only husband and wife team to serve together in the history of the state organization.  Donnie achieved All American State Commander for his work helping veterans after Hurricane Katrina and his National Legislative appointment as Lobbyist for War Veterans on Capitol Hill.  He was later elected to the VFW National Council of Administration representing Mississippi and Louisiana.

Pallbearers are Matthew Verucchi Jr., Connor Verucchi, Hayden Verucchi, Jared Skates, Colby Verucchi, Mark Austin Verucchi, Tanner Havard, Craig Bertelsen, and Ty Bertelsen.

Honorary pallbearers are Hugh Long, Johnny Richard, and the members of the VFW Post 9573

Memorials can be made to Cathedral School Natchez, the Assumption Catholic Church window project, or Wreaths Across America.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at lairdfh.com.