In the week since the early morning crash that took the life of Marlborough resident and well-known Worcester area musician James "Scott" Ricciuti, thousands have viewed the articles reporting his death and those remembering his life. Dozens have left comments in memorial and many are sure to attend his funeral services that are set to begin Thursday afternoon.
By any standard, this is an uniquely large outpouring for an individual who clearly touched many people's lives. Friends and family will speak to those assembled and each other about the lasting impressions Ricciuti left on those around him, first at a wake to be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday at the Slattery Funeral Home, then the memorial service to be celebrated beginning at 11 a.m., Friday, April 13.
In advance of these services, Marlborough Patch asked several longtime, close friends to share what indelible marks Ricciuti left on their lives.
"He was really one of the most warm, friendly and inclusive people that any of us had ever known," said Roger Lavallee, a close friend of 20 years. "As soon as you met him it was like he was your best friend and it was really genuine. I honestly considered him my best friend, and I think a lot of people feel that way. He was such a good presence in people's lives, and it made us all happy to be around him."
Remembered as an immense musical talent who expressed himself as a musician, singer and songwriter, his legacy, however, will not be limited to these talents, said friends.
Charlene Arsenault was another longtime friend who understood that Ricciuti's musical abilities were accentuated by his character.
"I once wrote a cover story years ago for Worcester Magazine about Huck (one of Ricciuti's musical acts) after the band had released an album and said, 'If there's any justice in the world, Huck will be famous,' " said Arsenault. "I really meant it, and still think it to be true. You hear so many crappy songs on the charts and wonder why the heck one of Scott's songs isn't bombarding us nationally. He had such a talent for crafting that ideal pop tune, but without losing that natural grit. Maybe he was too sweet to be famous. Everyone is repeating the word 'humble' when they describe him; It's true and the word isn't used lightly."
As time passes, memorial services will come and go, and those who loved him will begin to put their lives back together. Ricciuti is sure to be remembered every time someone listens to one of his songs or hears his name spoken in a conversation, and here lies the legacy of the man.
"I think one of the things that people are always mentioning besides his music is that we all loved and will miss hearing him sing," said Lavallee. "He had the greatest laugh and he loved laughing with friends and enjoying just about everything in life. When we think of him we will think of him smiling and laughing and enjoying himself. He's left us with so much music that he put so much of himself into."
Arsenault summed it up.
"I think what will come to mind when time has gone by is probably what already is coming to mind for so many people, and why the reaction to his passing is so massive in scope," she said. "The immediate reaction with most people's death is disbelief, but there was something about Scott that made that feeling more pronounced. He was so full of talent, and also had the talent to make the mediocre feel incredibly talented. I'll remember his warmth, his spirit, his non-judgmental approach to the world, his sweaty attack on a power chord, but most of all his laugh."
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