My dad (Dom) passed at home in Medford, MA surrounded by family on July 13, 2020 after a brain cancer diagnosis last month. He turned 76 in June and had been managing end stage renal failure for the past couple years, largely successfully.
When I was in middle and high school, my dad devoted an inordinate amount of time to tutoring me and my friends in math, science, and a long tail of other topics. From science projects, to wine making, to model rocketry - he was so happy to be teaching us things that would not just enhance our education but cultivate our curiosity. I can't think of a better way to honor his memory than a scholarship program in his name.
A standard "quick " conversation with him, even as of a few weeks ago, might meander between chemistry, physics, astronomy, mechanical engineering, calculus, lighting techniques for portrait photography, a personal philosophical observation, and an old joke you've heard before but whose delivery was worth hearing again.
That was Dom. Not an academic per se, but an ardent scrutinizer of the world around him. The satisfaction he found in understanding how things work (including himself) was surpassed only by the joy he found in teaching others, especially if it meant encouraging a young person to pursue educational opportunities. From tutoring my friends to suggesting photo techniques to tourists or science projects to young parents in line at a Starbucks, he was so happy to see a mind engage with the world critically, happily, and out of authentic curiosity.
We're honoring him through a modest scholarship program for graduating seniors of Medford High School. We plan to offer one in recognition of excellence in creative writing (a nod to his enthusiasm for the literary pursuits of my sister, an English major), and another for excellence in science and mathematics.
Scholarship recipients will be chosen by his wife and children.
When I was in middle school, he converted a room at our home into a computer lab. (This was in addition to a photo/video studio, which was the next room over -- we did not have an especially large house.) He took every Friday afternoon off to hold classes for my friends, always followed by endless pizza, made with love and served with joy.
- John Foley
- Rita Pino
- Nicholas Landry
- Roberto and Sheila Grasso