Sacred Heart High School athlete Nicholas J. Gazzara dies suddenly

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Nicholas J. “Nick” Gazzara III, 18, a star soccer player at Sacred Heart High School in Vineland, died suddenly on Thursday, Dec. 16 in Buena.

Born on Oct. 24, 1992 in Woodbury, he resided in Newfield and later in Buena Vista Twp. He attended St. Mary’s Grammar School, and was a member of the 2011 Senior Class of Sacred Heart.

He was a member of the Sacred Heart Lions Soccer team, and was named to the All South Jersey, and All State soccer teams. He broke three soccer records this year, including the school record for most goals in one year with 42. He also broke the record for scoring in consecutive games, with 26 consecutive games with at least one goal, and still holds the record.

His dearest friends say that “To many, Nick will be remembered as a South Jersey soccer legend, but to those who are nearest to him he leaves a legacy of always living life to the absolute fullest. In Nick’s 18 years here he was able to make a profound impact on thousands of lucky lives. Always fun and the most loyal friend, Nick was the proverbial life of the party. He was an amazing son, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend.”

He is survived by his mother, Lynda L. (Lapalucci) Gazzara; father, Nicolas J. Gazzara, Jr.; two brothers, A.J. and Christopher; paternal grandfather, Nicholas J. Gazzara, Sr.; maternal grandfather, Alfred G. Lapalucci, Sr.; and maternal grandmother, Juanita E. Lapalucci.

He was predeceased by his paternal grandmother, Florence Gazzara, and his sister, Casey Nicole Gazzara.

A funeral liturgy was celebrated in Sacred Heart Church on Tuesday, Dec. 21, in Vineland. Burial followed in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Vineland.

In lieu of flowers, send donations to the Nick Gazzara Memorial Soccer Scholarship Fund, 179 Lincoln Ave., Vineland, NJ 08360.