Vince Coluccio was a shy, soft-spoken man, but he loved to surround himself with people — lots of people. Children, friends and employees...

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Vince Coluccio was a shy, soft-spoken man, but he loved to surround himself with people — lots of people.

Children, friends and employees alike all became “family” in one way or another, and many helped care for him as he grew more ill from Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Coluccio, a Seattle native who was an owner of the original Seattle Sounders professional soccer team, died Aug. 16, 2007, at his home in Normandy Park. He was 77.

Known for his huge, boisterous, food-filled parties, Mr. Coluccio was actually a quiet person, said his wife, Teri Coluccio. “He didn’t want to be the center of attention, and yet, because of his personality, he wouldn’t be anything but that,” she said.

People were drawn to Mr. Coluccio because “he was real,” his wife said. “You didn’t feel like he was phony, or [that what he did] was just to look good. If you had a conversation with him, it was from the heart.”

He had legendary 4th of July parties, with pyrotechnics that rivaled large professional displays, his wife said. He also enjoyed gambling and frequently traveled to Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.

At the same time, he was a very good businessman, she said. He was one of the original investors in the Wild Waves amusement park in Federal Way, and with his brother, Frank, owned the Sounders at the time the team vied for a national championship in the old North American Soccer League in 1982. They sold the team soon afterward.

Mr. Coluccio was born in Seattle in 1930 and graduated from Franklin High School in 1948. He worked alongside his father, uncle and brother at Frank Coluccio Construction, a Seattle company that specializes in tunneling projects.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Coluccio is survived by a brother, Frank of Des Moines; sons Chris, of Maple Valley, and Vincent Jr. and Mario, of Normandy Park; and daughters Annamaria, of Normandy Park, and Carla, of Kent.

He also left behind Kenny Graeber, of Des Moines, and Chip Graeber, of Auburn, whom he raised as his own with his previous wife, Judy.

Visitation will be today from 3 to 8 p.m. at Bonney-Watson Washington Memorial, 16645 International Blvd., SeaTac. A funeral Mass is set for 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Thomas Catholic Church, 4415 S. 140th St., Tukwila.