Louis M Pucino, 73, of East Greenwich, passed away Monday, June 1, with his daughters by his side.
Louie is survived by his two daughters, Sarah Pucino and her husband, James Stringer, of Wakefield, and Helen Pucino of East Greenwich. He is also survived by his granddaughter, Evelyn Violet Stringer of Wakefield, and his siblings, Michael Pucino and his wife Joyce; Joseph Pucino and his wife Linda; Anthony Pucino and his wife Joan; Angela Blais and her husband Rob; Mary Tourtelott and her husband Tim – all of North Kingstown; and Joanne Azeredo and her husband Ed, of Warwick, and his many nieces and nephews.
Born in the Bronx, N.Y., to the late Helen (Petrello) and Michael S. Pucino, Lou made his home in East Greenwich, just as his father had before him.
As a boy, Lou got his first taste for mechanics working side by side with his father and brothers at the family gas station, Mike’s Tydol Service, which was established in 1938. When he was in his early 20’s Louie volunteered during Vietnam, joining the Army National Guard. After his service, he continued to follow his interests and built his business, Louie Pucino Engineering Inc., specializing in building engines for high-performance race cars. During the late ’60s early ’70s Lou built a sizable reputation in the racing world for his specialized engines and the car he race-prepped and sponsored, which raced at Seekonk Speedway. Louie’s love of all things fast led him to pursue many hobbies throughout his lifetime including BMX racing, enduro racing, drag racing, and motorcycle speedway racing. Motorcycle racing was one of his greatest passions, and he spoke often of sporting his famous “218” number down one of the most legendary tracks, Daytona International Speedway, on his beloved Honda CB700.
Louie is perhaps best known for the towing company he owned, Pucino Bros., “Home of the Gentle Dragon,” – whose fleet of bright green trucks with the purple dragon logo were a long-standing icon of the East Greenwich community. During his time in the towing industry he was innovative in all aspects of the business, including being the first in Rhode Island to use airbag recovery in tractor trailer rollovers. Louie was also the past president of the Rhode Island Towing Association and truly put his heart and soul into the business he built and the profession he loved. Pucino Bros. was a family business, where all four brothers worked. East Greenwich and its neighboring communities could always count on them, whether they needed a tow, a tune up, or just wanted to stop into the garage to grab a coffee and say hi.
Louie was larger than life – a huge personality and a true master of many crafts. His influence on the lives of others is evident and his ability to learn and eagerness to try new things made him a valued resource within the communities he was part of. Though he could be rough around the edges, he was a kind-hearted man who valued his family and his friends immensely, often inviting the homeless to his Christmas parties and working in soup kitchens at Thanksgiving. Louie loved music and dancing and always had a big smile while he was on the dance floor. In his retirement, he enjoyed working in his yard, tinkering in his garage, spending time with his girls, and later, his granddaughter, and cruising in his ’73 Buick Centurion convertible.
Louis had a private burial at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in East Greenwich. A memorial service & celebration of his life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association.
Please visit Lou’s memorial Facebook page to share stories and photos: www.facebook.com/groups/louiepucino/