Vincent Mace, 96, businessman

Vincent Mace
Vincent Mace
Posted: May 20, 2014

Vincent Mace, 96, of Springfield, Delaware County, founder of a screen-printing business, died at home Monday, May 12, of causes related to aging.

Born in Villa Santa Maria, Abruzzo, Italy, Mr. Mace was the son of a political activist who left the home country for South Philadelphia in 1920. He sent for his wife and three sons six years later.

Mr. Mace quickly adapted to America. He went on to found M&M Displays Inc., one of the leading large-format printing companies on the East Coast.

After graduating from South Philadelphia High School in 1936, Mr. Mace attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art, now the University of the Arts.

In 1938, he started a small sign-lettering business out of his parents' home. He had to use a neighbor's phone to speak with customers.

With $75 borrowed from a brother, Mr. Mace rented a corner storefront at 17th Street and Passyunk Avenue. By 1940, he had hired a salesman and two part-time helpers.

From 1943 to 1945, Mr. Mace served in the Army as an artilleryman in the Pacific Theater. He was able to keep the business going in his absence by offering all the profits to his employees.

During the 1940s and most of the 1950s, M&M Silk Screen Printing was across from Eastern State Penitentiary in Spring Garden. In 1958, the name was changed to M&M Displays Inc., and the shop moved to 3300 Maiden Lane in South Philadelphia.

The business moved again in 1980, to the Eastwick Industrial Park, where it remains, run by Mr. Mace's son, Chris, with help from other family members.

During his time at the helm of M&M Displays, Mr. Mace received many awards for excellence in screen printing. He was proudest of his 1986 induction into the Academy of Screen and Digital Printing Technology.

Mr. Mace married his high school sweetheart, Marguerite Belfatto, in 1948. They raised four children in Springfield.

He and his wife enjoyed traveling and had vacation homes in Ocean City, N.J., and Naples, Fla. She died in 2007.

Mr. Mace loved singing and dancing with his grandchildren. He taught them a motto his mother had taught him: "Dream, and the future is yours."

In addition to his son, Mr. Mace is survived by daughters Lynn Mace Gonzalez, Lori Mace Fell, and Judith; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Calling hours are 9:30 to 11 a.m., Monday, May 19, at the D'Anjolell Memorial Home, 2811 W. Chester Pike, Broomall. A service and interment will follow in SS Peter and Paul Cemetery.

Contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 399 Market St., Suite 102, Philadelphia 19106.


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