Members of the Walpole High School Alumni Association were saddened to hear of the passing of Peter L. Paglari who died on January 29, 2013.
Peter, a lifelong resident of Walpole, served as Vice President of the Association since its inception and was also a founder member of The Friends of Christopher Columbus. Peter loved Walpole and he loved Walpole High School. In honoring Peter, as the 2011 Person of the Year for his dedication to the Friends of Christopher Columbus and the Walpole High School Alumni Association, the Friends of Christopher Columbus wrote this of him:
This “Townie” was born in Walpole on February 18, 1934, the son of the late Guerino and Mary Turco Pagllari. His dad immigrated at the age of 17 to America and his mom was the daughter of Fred and Antonia Turco who owned and operated Turco’s Market in Walpole. “I’m a townie and happy about it.”
Peter was educated in the Walpole School System from the old “Stone School” through high school graduating in 1952. He graduated from Boston College in 1956 with honors being preside of the Alpha Omega Honor Society and being the recipient of his degree from Senator John Kennedy. He did his graduate work at Boston College from 1956 to 1960 with graduate work at Middlebury College and Northeastern University in Spanish receiving his Master’s degree in Spanish in 1958. He taught at King Phillip Regional from two years before spending the next twenty five years with the Walpole School System teaching Spanish and chairing the Foreign Language Department. “I loved working with the kids and never had any problems, wonderful memories; there is nothing more educational than travel.” He witnesses this through the eyes of the students, he and good friend, Fran Foley, took on the WHS trips. Whether it is to Washington, D.C., Rome where they once has an audience with the Pope, Madrid, or Mexico City, “We worked with our students to raise funds for these trips. It was very difficult decision to retire from teaching, I loved working with these kids, they knew I cared about them and was always there for them.”
Peter’s love for travel gave him and his family the opportunity to open the Edgewood Travel Agency in downtown Walpole. With the demands of the travel industry he left teaching, remaining in the agency until his retirement in 1995. He led teaching and agency groups to Mexico, Spain, Rome, Australia, and New Zealand not to mention Japan, China, and Tahiti and throughout South America. Peter certainly has enjoyed a distinct and most rewarding career as a teacher and word guide. “Nowadays I don’t travel much except to Chatham,” his home away from home, although “the reason I stay in Walpole, especially after traveling the work, is this is where I have lots of wonderful family and friends.”
As a member of the Blessed Sacrament Parish Peter is a daily leader for praying the Rosary. He is also a member of the Walpole Teachers Association as well as a former member of the American Society of Travel Agencies.
On a personal note, it was my pleasure to work with Peter these past twelve (12) years in furtherance of the Walpole High School community. I have known Peter all my life as our families were friendly. Throughout my high school years, Peter was my homeroom teacher. Those who had Peter as a teacher know that he was truly dedicated to inspiring the lives of his students. To know and work with him as an adult was a gift. He was a wonderful, giving and humble gentleman. He will be sorely missed.
God Bless you Mr. Paglari.
Jim Brady, Class of 1972
President, Walpole High School Alumni Association