Anthony P. Pagliaro Sr. raised a family of readers, based on his own love of literature.
“All of us now read a lot as adults, and we owe that to our parents and especially to our father,” said his daughter, Susan Callahan of Florida.
She remembers all the summers spent with family in Massachusetts when her father would read nightly to his children in the absence of television.
Pagliaro, 81, died May 22 in Florida. He had served as Shelton school superintendent in the 1980s and early 1990s, and previously was a teacher and principal in the city.
Pagliaro was superintendent when Mayor Mark Lauretti first came into office. “He was a Shelton product — and he took a lot of pride in that,” Lauretti said. “He was embedded in the community — invested, as they say.”
Pagliaro spent his entire life in Shelton before moving to Bonita Springs, Fla. about five years ago.
The extended Pagliaro family is well known in Shelton, having run a food market to a funeral home.
Worked at four Shelton schools
Pagliaro taught at Fowler School, was principal of both Huntington and Elizabeth Shelton schools, and was headmaster at Shelton High School before becoming a citywide administrator.
He “loved being an educator and knew the names of every student and their families for years after he retired,” according to his family.
Susan Callahan said her father was a fun, adventurous man who loved his family and liked to read them poems. “He was well loved and respected,” she said.
Kathy Yolish, a Board of Education member and former Shelton teacher for 35 years, served in the system with Pagliaro.
“He was the class act of a principal and superintendent,” she said. “He was well respected and very involved in the community. Many people felt a level of comfort working under him.”
Yolish remembers how Pagliaro put together a committee of parents, educators, community members and others to look at reopening Sunnyside School, symbolizing his inclusive approach.
Lauretti said the education system was facing many challenges in Pagliaro’s era, with school closings, aging buildings, redistricting and budget issues. “These challenges were sometimes not easily solved,” he said of the former superintendent’s perseverance.
Pagliaro had been a longtime, active member of St. Lawrence Church.
Survivors and services
He is survived by his wife, Louise (DeLallo) Pagliaro; children Susan Callahan, Judith Pagliaro, Nancy Pagliaro and Anthony Pagliaro Jr.; and many other family members.
His wake was at Riverview Funeral Home on Tuesday, June 2; and his memorial service (Mass of Christian Burial) will be Wednesday, June 3 at 10 a.m. at St. Lawrence Church in Shelton. A procession will leave the funeral home (390 River Road) at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be at Mt. St. Peters Cemetery in Derby.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Anthony P. Pagliaro Sr. Scholarship Fund at Shelton High School, 120 Meadow St., Shelton, CT 06484, or through the funeral director.
Offer condolences online at www.riverviewfh.com.
— by Brad Durrell