Vince Droser, visionary builder and civic leader, dies suddenly

Vince Droser: Key figure in revitalization of Ashmont area died today after suffering an apparent heart attack. He was 55 years old. Reporter file photo.Vince Droser: Key figure in revitalization of Ashmont area died on January 4 after suffering an apparent heart attack. He was 55 years old. Reporter file photo.

Vince Droser, whose vision and leadership have been instrumental in the revitalization of the Ashmont area, died Tuesday at his Dorchester home after apparently suffering a fatal heart attack. Droser, 55, is being mourned by scores of friends and neighbors who have flocked to his Ashmont home to grieve alongside his wife, Nancy Anderson, and their four children.

An Appreciation: A big heart stops— and we are lesser for it

Droser served as Vice President for Development at Trinity Financial, the development company that created the Carruth building at Ashmont station. Over the last 14 years, Droser has helped the company successfully complete some of Boston's most acclaimed and innovative building projects, including Mattapan Heights, Davenport Commons, the Shaw's supermarket in Lower Mills and the Carruth.

Droser was stricken by the apparent heart attack during a routine exercise regimen on Tuesday morning at his home. He was transported to Carney Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Trinity president James Keefe, a close friend to Droser and his family, was still trying to absorb the news this afternoon.

"This is a dark, dark day," Keefe told the Reporter. "Words cannot express my shock and sadness. He was the mighty oak in many people’s lives, and will be sorely missed by those of us who nestled in his branches."

Droser joined Trinity in 1997 after serving as Chief Operating Officer of the Boston Housing Authority (BHA). He has previously worked as chief Operating Officer of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC). He held a Bachelor's degree from Hobart College and a Master's degree in Public Policy from the State University of New York.

Since moving to Dorchester, Droser and Anderson have become pillars of the Ashmont civic community.

"The many blessings his enthusiasm, his energy, his humor, his great spirit made so many things happen, from innovative housing projects... to creating great neighborhood restaurants like Tavolo, to making sure the tree lighting ceremonies in Peabody Square were perfect," said Keefe.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday at 10 a.m. at All Saints Church. A memorial gathering will be held on Thursday from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Foley Senior Residences at 249 River Street in Mattapan. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in Vincent's name to: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 60 Walnut St # 102, Wellesley, MA 02481-2103.

Stay tuned to the Reporter for more on this story.