Arthur P. Vidal Jr. of East Falmouth, who was the president and owner of V & V Construction Co. for many years, died March 4. He was 85.
He was the husband of Nancy C. (Pirie) Vidal. They were married at St. Anthony’s Church on September 7, 1957.
Born in Wareham, he was the son of Arthur P. Vidal and Deolinda (Gonsalves) Vidal. He was a member of the Lawrence High School Class of 1954, where he played varsity football for three years, was president of student council and selected for the Smythe honor roll.
Mr. Vidal graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in civil engineering in 1959. During an interview with the Enterprise in 1966, Mr. Vidal said that he thought an engineering degree would be an asset to a construction business. His father, a Falmouth native, had worked in construction since 1945. He was a building contractor and real estate developer in town so his children were raised in the industry.
“Contracting today is different than it used to be,” Mr. Vidal said, “More and more engineers are going into it. An engineer can understand the problems better. He can talk on the same level with an architect. There are fewer misunderstandings between owner, architect, and contractor.”
He and his brother Richard L. Vidal formed a company in 1963. Their first contract came in June of 1964, when they were awarded the East Falmouth Post Office building, a $50,000 job. Erecting the First National Bank of Cape Cod branch office in Hyannis followed. The next year the Vidal firm built the new town office at Oak Bluffs, a medical office in Wellfleet and two stores in Provincetown. Housing for the elderly, the Edgartown fire station, several homes and other commercial projects ensued and while they were building the addition for Sea Crest Hotel in North Falmouth, V & V Construction Inc. was awarded the contract to enlarge the Steamship Authority’s Vineyard Haven ticket office and waiting room.
The Vidal family worked well together. “Dad understands building from the ground up. He is handling the work crew,” Mr. Vidal said, and, “We could run four jobs today, if we had to, with no problem.” On their first job the brothers took over eight men who had been part of their father’s crew.
The crew would grow to 35 or 40 when they began the new public works building in town, and when they were pouring foundations to beat the expected cold weather while enlarging Falmouth Public Library in 1966, the crew was working six days a week.
There were no vacations for the brothers in the early years, although each managed a weekend now and then, he said. “We took very little out from the first, and we’re still holding it down [financially]. We haven’t had a bad job, but we’re building up a reserve. We expect to take another five or six years before we let up much.”
He was also involved in town affairs. In 1986 Mr. Vidal was named to the building code board of appeals and was also a member of the finance committee, elected in 1961, and served for many years on the town waterways committee resigning in 1998.
In addition to woodworking and making furniture, Mr. Vidal enjoyed fishing and his boat, Cross Rip.
He leaves his wife of 63 years; two children, Nancy A. Vidal of Falmouth and Peter W. Vidal, also of Falmouth; two siblings, Patricia Quatrucci of Stoughton and John P. Vidal of Falmouth; and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his son Arthur P. Vidal III; his daughter Beth A. Doudican; three brothers, James P. Vidal, Robert P. Vidal and Richard L. Vidal; and two sisters, Virginia Howard and Barbara Bowman.
A funeral Mass was celebrated on Tuesday, March 9, at St. Anthony’s Church in East Falmouth.
Burial was at St. Anthony’s Cemetery.