Former high school football captain dies

Jessica May

The recent and sudden death of Villanova student Dominic M. D’Alicandro, Jr. brings about an air of uncertainty as well as an awareness of the fragility of life. Last Friday, D’Alicantro was killed in a motorcycle accident.

A junior criminal justice major, Italian minor and beloved member of the Villanova community, D’Alicandro was cherished by his many friends and family, who have since shown a great emotional outpouring. 

His aunt, Rita Siciliano, described her nephew as being a genuine, caring person whose smile and presence could literally “light up” a room.

“He always had a smile ready,” Siciliano said. “He would walk into a room, all the way into a room and greet every person by name.” 

Siciliano noted how D’Alicantro consistently made efforts to talk to those around him.

“He wouldn’t just walk in and say, ‘Hey everybody, here I am,’ he would take the time to speak to you,” she said.

Besides his contagious smile and uncanny ability to make people laugh, D’Alicandro was a truly genuine person who cared about everyone who was around him, Siciliano said.

D’Alicandro was described by Siciliano as a true role model to many of those around him. 

“You just don’t see a lot of young people like that,” Siciliano said. “He had that special something that few people you ever meet have.”

D’Alicandro, a first generation Italian, enjoyed spending time with his family, and he traveled to Italy in the summers. 

He was especially close with his sister, Lucia. Lucia graduated from Villanova in 2004 and is currently a teacher. D’Alicandro’s mother, Maria, is a chef at the Bartley Exchange.

One of D’Alicandro’s key interests was athletics.  As an avid sports fan, he had played on athletic teams since he was five and was captain of his high school football team at Archbishop John Carroll High School in 2001.

He was also a member of the Sons of Italy Ivy Ridge Lodge No. 251.  At the time of his death, D’Alicandro was serving as president of the Lodge.

According to its website, “Ivy Ridge Lodge offers a central meeting ground for Italian Americans to break bread, drink wine and share stories. But most importantly, it is a place where members can acquire and nurture friendships that will undoubtedly last a lifetime.”

Due to D’Alicandro’s death, many of the Lodge’s upcoming activities have been cancelled.

His family is mourning together during this time of tragedy.  The loss brought back memories for Siciliano, who lost her own son after a similar situation several years ago. Salvator Sposato, D’Alicandro’s cousin and Villanova alumnus, passed away after a car accident in 1996.

“It’s important to keep those around you close,” Siciliano said. “We’re just trying to provide support for each other and his parents right now.”

A scholarship fund has been set up in D’Alicandro’s name. One is also in place in memory of his cousin. Donations can either be made to the Dominic M. D’Alicandro Jr. Scholarship fund or to the Salvator Sposato Scholarship fund. 

The viewing for D’Alicandro was held last night between 7 and 9 p.m. and is also being held this morning at 9 a.m. at the Koller funeral home.

The mass will be held this morning at 10 a.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, with the interment to be held at the Westminster cemetery.