Nicholas Joseph Vincent, M.D., beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, passed away peacefully on Feb. 24, 2014, at his home in Santa Barbara.
Born on June 30, 1935, in New York City — the only child of Nicholas J. Vincent and Julia O’Sullivan Vincent — Nick graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his medical degree in 1961. He served three years as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Navy before completing his residency in ophthalmology at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco in 1968.
Nick met the love of his life, the former Sue Forster, at Penn in 1959. They married three years later in Battle Creek, Mich., and moved to Santa Barbara in 1969, where Nick practiced ophthalmology for 31 years. In 1970, they welcomed their first son, Scott, and less than two years later, twins John and Jim.
Nick was a born leader whose early years as class president and basketball team captain in high school and college translated later into leadership roles in his community. He served locally on executive committees and boards of Cottage Health System, the Santa Barbara City College Foundation, Goleta Community Hospital and La Cumbre Country Club. Nick was a founding board member of son John’s company, EyeWonder Inc., and was instrumental in its success.
Professionally, Nick received many well-deserved accolades — among them Honored Guest of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, an award given to only three a year. He served as president of both the Santa Barbara and California Associations of Ophthalmology and was active on National Ophthalmic Advisory Boards for a decade.
But reading a resume does not come close to capturing the full measure of a man. Nick was a gentleman, a generous and caring soul who was the embodiment of character and integrity. He was an avid reader and thoughtful conversationalist. He had a zest for life and a passion for sailboat racing, golf, tennis and a gourmet group still going strong after 40 years. Most importantly, he was a devoted friend, father and husband.
Nick is survived by his wife of 51 years, Sue; son Scott and grandsons Justin and Nate in Santa Barbara; son John and his wife Amelija in Miami Beach; son Jim, his wife Lori and grandchildren Dylan, Riley, Ella and Finn in Pacific Palisades.
A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 6 at the Old Mission Santa Barbara.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Vincent Family Scholarship Fund at the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College. Nick was always appreciative of the scholarship support he received in his youth and quietly led his family in helping today’s young people access the education he valued so highly.