During a recent sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands, Dr. Vincent DiGregorio passed away peacefully on Monday, Feb. 9. His wife Jennifer Ruys was by his side when he died.
DiGregorio was a practicing plastic surgeon with Garden City’s Long Island Plastic Surgical Group and he was Chief of Plastic Surgery at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola. Well-admired for his skills as a surgeon and doctor far beyond the operating room. Digregorio was named to last year’s Regional Top Doctors list for the 13th consecutive year by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.
The Brooklyn native’s interests went beyond the operating room thanks to his sideline as a respected artist with an admiration for French Impressionism. Back in 2012, DiGregorio along with colleague Dr. Barry Douglas, were the co-subjects of a pop-up exhibit held at an empty storefront on Franklin Street.
It was during this event that DiGregorio revealed that a broken arm suffered while playing for the Hobart and William Smith lacrosse team not only ended his lax career, but started a lifelong love of art that led from taking classes to traveling to the south of France every June for a decade for further training.
“I have to say those were some of the happiest times of my life,” he wistfully recalled. “Painting is a wonderful way to travel and relax. You end up looking at things differently, particularly when you’re immersing yourself in another culture. It teaches you to look and observe. Painting is a journey. You start off with an idea and at some point, it departs and reaches its own natural conclusion.”