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Kincaid to dedicate park to ‘Pete’ Becchelli

 

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Pietro “Pete” Antonio Becchelli

Elyse Clayton Breeze Courier

On Sunday, June 5, at 11:00 a.m, Kincaid will dedicate their park to Pietro “Pete” Antonio Becchelli (June 6, 1949 – Dec. 21, 2021), who spent much of his time helping the park and the community.

“[This park dedication] would mean a lot [to Pete],” said Dona Becchelli, Pete’s wife since April 10, 1982. “He’d be embarrassed by it, because that’s him. He wouldn’t have done everything he did to get any kind of affirmation; he just liked to help people. ’You guys didn’t have to do that,’ I can hear him saying that.”

Pete consistently helped the Kincaid community with projects like installing new playground equipment, cleaning up after a tree fell on the pavilion roof, planting trees and hanging Purple Martin bird houses at the park. He was also a member of the American Legion and helped there, using his own equipment and always refusing to accept any form of payment.

“He would just randomly go down there [to the park] and plant trees,” said Mark Wolfe, who brought the park dedication idea to the board. “I always had a running joke with him that if he planted one more tree down there, he was going to have to start mowing the park himself because I was tired of going around them all.”

The dedication includes a new sign, as well as a handicap-accessible picnic table.

“He was very community- oriented,” Mark said, “so when he passed away my first thought was to go to the board to ask if we could do this. Then we started taking donations for the new sign. We were overwhelmed by community donations for this project.”

Born and raised in the Kincaid area, Pete graduated from South Fork High School as class president in 1967. He started working very young to support his mother and two older sisters, since his dad died when he was four. He worked in the coal mines and started “Pete’s Excavating” after the mines closed. When the coal mines started to shut down, he helped with protests and worked with the union.

“He thought a good work ethic was top of the list of being a good person,” Dona said. “I always called him a workaholic, and he was. That’s one thing I had to get used to when we first got married; he was not home too often because he was always working for somebody or doing something for somebody somewhere.“

With a strong love for his country, Pete fought during Vietnam on the Air Force. He believed in the Constitution and in taking care of his country.

“He didn’t have any gray lines — it was right or wrong,” Dona shared. “That’s who he was. And he tried to teach all these guys that hung around him, all these younger guys, what hard work was about and to do the right thing. He didn’t give them too many breaks, but they admired him for that, they really did. A lot of them felt like he was their dad or grandpa in the manner he was straight up with them.”

Pete enjoyed gardening, often sharing his crop with neighbors, and he loved his dogs. He and his wife had golden retrievers early on and switched to shelties when they got older. Dona shared that he was very proud of being “100 percent Italian.”

“Everything he knew how to do he taught himself,” Dona said. “He just amazed me and other people with everything he could do.”

2 Comments

  1. Donnie Bouvet on June 4, 2022 at 9:13 am

    I always loved being around Pete,just his facial expressions was enough to crack me up. He was a GREAT MAN and Truely missed by everyone he came in contact with. Dona sorry for your loss and GOD BLESS.

  2. Larry and Mary Beach on June 4, 2022 at 11:48 am

    Pete was a great guy. Always helping Larry put some big tool in his garage . The community miss Pete. We are so glad for this dedication for him.

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