Methuen — After a difficult and courageous fight, Alphonso “Vick” Vick, Jr., 68, passed away at his home in Methuen with his loving wife by his side on March 7, 2014.
Born on July 26, 1945, in Baltimore, Md., Vick spent his childhood school vacations traveling with his father who was a horse trainer. Vick later moved to Lawrence, Mass., to the home of his foster mother, Rebecca “Jackie” Morris and attended the Oliver School and Lawrence High School. He continued to be part of the horse training world accompanying his father throughout the eastern United States. At a young age he was often seen, "carrying water that weighed more than he did," by the other horsemen. Vick first became a licensed trainer in New York in the 1970s. His passion for horses, training, and racing continued throughout his whole life. He had patience as a trainer and could evaluate the condition of a horse; knowing instinctively what was needed to bring it to its optimal condition. Although Vick was not Secretriat’s trainer, it was one of his fondest memories witnessing Secretariat win the Triple Crown at Belmont by 31 lengths. Throughout his career, Vick trained at Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont, N.Y.; Suffolk Downs, Mass.; Rockingham Park, N.H.; Miami and Tampa Bay, Fla.; and Narragansett, R.I. Vick was a co-founder of “The Race is Over” at Saratoga Racetrack. He inspired many.
Vick was predeceased by his parents, Alphonso Vick, Sr. of Newport News, Va., and Bessie Stepp of Towson, Md.; and his siblings, Mary Walker of Baltimore, Md., Shirley Walker Davis of Baltimore, Md., and Charles Walker of Baltimore, Md. Vick is survived by his wife, Emmaleigh Lawrence-Vick; children, Merri Levesque and husband, David, Donald Gentry and wife, Stephanie, Howard Randall, Trellis Randall, David Deas, Scott Deas, Bernard “Nardi”Lawrence and wife, Heather; 15 grandchildren; and two great grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service and celebration of Vick’s life will be held at United Riverside Congregational Church, 290 Water Street, Lawrence, MA, Saturday, March 15, at 4 p.m., followed by a reception. Arrangements are by The Charles F. Dewhirst Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen. To send an online condolence, please visit www.dewhirstfuneral.com or www.facebook.com/DewhirstFuneralHome.