Vito J. Zeccola, 76, of Cape May Point, a longtime Gloucester City educator, died Sunday, Dec. 21, at home of natural causes.

Formerly of Gloucester City, Mr. Zeccola, son of the late Joseph and Mary Zeccola, graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden in 1957 and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Glassboro State College, now Rowan University. He served as vice principal of Gloucester City High School from 1979 through the late 1980s and as vice principal of Cold Spring Elementary School in Gloucester until he retired in the 1990s.

"He was such a great educator and had such a great way of relating to the students that he could easily go across the spectrum of grades, from working with high school students to elementary level kids," said Joseph Rafferty, superintendent of the Gloucester City School District.

"He was always willing to make sure all the kids had as many opportunities to learn as possible," Rafferty said. "But he made sure the students always heard what they needed to hear, and he didn't sugarcoat anything."

Rafferty recalled that though Mr. Zeccola was not tall, he always "walked tall in presence and had a big heart when it came to the kids."

Mr. Zeccola is survived by his wife of 27 years, Dorothy A. Zeccola (nee Bowe); sons Joseph and Daniel; daughters Mary Kay Holamon and Tamra Boyle; and a sister.

A viewing will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 27, at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, 426 Monmouth St., Gloucester City. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:30 a.m. at the church. Burial will be private.

Donations may be made to the Vito J. Zeccola Technology Fund for the Gloucester City School District, 520 Cumberland St., Gloucester City, N.J. 08030.

Condolences and memories may be shared at www.mccannhealey.com. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the McCann Healey Funeral Home.