Vinicio Ferretti, 59, chef decorator at the Washington Hilton Hotel who was known for his ice creations and tallow sculptures, died of cancer Tuesday at Arlington Hospital. He lived in Arlington.
After coming to this country in 1958 from his native Italy, where he had been an electro-chemical engineer, Mr. Ferretti took on a "temporary" job in the kitchen of the Washington Statler Hilton Hotel, now the Capital Hilton. He remained there until moving to the Washington Hilton shortly after it opened in 1965.
Known as Professor, a nickname he had acquired while working as an engineer in Italy, he worked in the banquet department of the Washington Hilton, transforming huge blocks of ice, some of them weighing several hundred pounds, into dolphins, eagles, swans and flower baskets. He also made busts out of tallow of such personalities as the late Sen. Richard Russell (D-Ga.) end of presidents John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln and Richard M. Nixon.
Mr. Ferretti was born in Florence and worked there as an engineer designing blueprints. During World War II, he served with the Italian Army and later was employed as a mechanic by the U.S. Army occupation forces.
Survivors include his wife, Vivetta L. of Arlington; a daughter, Cristine Slavitt of Arlington; two sisters, who live in Italy, and a grandchild.