Dominic Vivona of Mount Pleasant, SC and formerly of Miami, Florida, passed away on August 4, 2020 at the age of 88, due to complications from COVID19. He is survived by his loving wife, Helena McKay-Vivona, and his children Dominic Vivona, Jr (Debi), Pia Dobos (Scott), Marco Vivona (Lourdes) and Dario Vivona (Joseph), and his stepchildren Frederick McKay, Jr (Claudia), and Beth McKay Fisher (John). He was a loving grandfather to Dominic III, Thomas, Maddalena, Anthony, Sophia (Vivona), Zachary, Marc, Matthew (Dobos) and Marco (Vivona) and proud step-grandfather to Carson, Erin, and Madison (Fisher), Laura and Elizabeth (Kirby). He is also survived by younger brother Philip Vivona (Jane), his many nieces, nephews and his entire carnival family. Dominic was preceded in death by his first loving wife Maddalena, his parents Antonio and Catherine Rose, three older brothers Morris, John, Sebastian and sister Ann Fontana.
Born in Newark, NJ and raised in Irvington, NJ, Dominic was a proud graduate from Duke University in 1954. While at Duke University, Dominic was manager of the Duke soccer team and member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He has been an avid Duke fan and member of the Duke Alumni Association ever since.
After Duke, Dominic joined his four brothers, Morris, John, Sebastian, and Philip in their traveling carnival business. The family business, formerly called The Vivona Brothers Combined Shows, began with the purchase of a celebrated Ferris wheel from the 1939 World's Fair in NYC. The brothers strived for a national image and by the 1950s rebranded the carnival as Amusements of America. Since the mid-century, Amusements of America grew into one of the largest traveling carnival companies in the USA playing fairs across the Eastern USA as well as several fairs in Ontario and Quebec, Canada.
Dominic was an entrepreneur his entire life. He dedicated his life to the carnival business and through the years became an industry legend. As a celebrated and honored industry leader, Dominic led the Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA) as its Chairman in 1994. He received many awards and recognitions for his contributions and achievements. He was a member of Miami Showmen’s Association, Miami Friars’ Club, New York Showmen’s Association, Showmen’s League of America, and Tampa Showmen’s Association. He was also a proud recipient of the New Jersey Amusement Association Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the Vivona family.
His family’s carnival business crossed paths many times with local and national circuses where he met and married the late Maddalena Mangiavacchi whose family were the celebrated Zacchini Brothers. They were happily married for 33 years. In the early 1970s, Amusements of America relocated from New Jersey to Miami, Florida, where Dominic expanded the business, raising millions of dollars for Catholic Schools during winter months over the years. After Maddalena’s untimely death in 1999, Dominic found love and happiness with Helena McKay-Vivona of Mount Pleasant. They were happily married for 17 years. Dominic and Helena found love and happiness in good food, travel, entertaining friends and family, and blending both of their families while managing the carnival.
Dominic valued hard work, love and laughter. He lived his life passionately leading with these traits. Dominic loved his work and family. He always showed kindness and respect for others, and was well-respected and liked by all who knew him. Dominic was much loved and will be missed and remembered well.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be accepted by the OABA Scholarship Fund or The Charleston Catholic School. Please visit www.oaba.org or www.charlestoncatholic.com for more details about donating. Cards and condolences can be sent to: 1000 Johnny Dodds Blvd, Suite C, PMB 129, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
There will be a private funeral mass on Wed Aug 12 for immediate family to celebrate Dominic’s life. For a link to the live stream of the funeral mass please visit Dominic's memorial page at www.charlestonfunerals.com