Tuesday, July 07, 2009


IVANO SAYS: Len Klempnauer alerted me to article below which was first published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ Contact information for the NICHOLAS PAGNINI MERMORIAL FUND can be found at the end of the article.

Nicholas Pagnini: Grocery store owner, fire chief, coach was 'unofficial mayor' of Felton
By Emily Nord - Sentinel correspondent
Posted: 07/07/2009 06:18:26 AM PDT (Santa Cruz High School Photo added)

Nick Pagnini always had a lot on his plate, but to him, everything was too delicious to pass up.
Grocery store owner, fire chief, high school football coach, mentor, hero, husband and father Nicholas Roy Pagnini died June 6 after an eight-year battle with cancer.
As a lifelong resident of Felton, Pagnini was known for giving his all to his family and the community.
"He was such a great man, he was so kind and generous," said wife Beverly Pagnini. "He always gave 100 percent to everyone."
Nicholas Pagnini was born Aug. 4, 1936, at Hanley Hospital in Santa Cruz to Catherine and Roy Pagnini. His parents raised Pagnini in Felton, where Roy owned and operated Roy's grocery store since 1934.
He attended Santa Cruz High School where he met his future wife and pursued his passion for surfing.
After he graduated all-CCAL in football in 1954, Pagnini attended Hartnell College and worked for the California Department of Forestry. In 1955, he moved to Hawaii and surfed every day. Later that year, he moved back to California and attended Orange Coast Junior College while working at Disneyland.
In 1956, Pagnini enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, attaining the rank of sergeant. After three years of service, he came back to his hometown of Felton to work at Roy's and marry Beverly at St. John's Catholic Church in 1959.
Pagnini took over the family business when his father died in 1976. The store, and Pagnini himself, became an institution in the community. For his high energy and kindness, his legions of customers named him the unofficial "mayor of Felton," and he was awarded SLV's Man of the Year in 1979.

In addition to running the store, Pagnini joined the Zayante Fire Department where he was an EMT and captain, later becoming Assistant Battalion Chief. Pagnini's experience at the department and dedication to the community made him a key player in the rescue operation during the floods of 1982.
"He is the moral compass for this organization," said Zayante Fire Chief Jeff Maxwell. "He was a great leader because he supported every individual. He was always there to give us advice and directions because he wanted the best for everyone."
An avid sports fan, Pagnini began coaching freshmen football at San Lorenzo Valley High School and was president of the Booster's Club. In 2006, Pagnini was inducted into the SLVHS Hall of Fame as an honorary member for his services to the school.
In 1990, Pagnini sold Roy's to good friend Bob Locatelli, who continues to run the store as New Leaf today. Pagnini remained active in his job with the fire department, the school, worked at the Trout Farm for a few years and as a devoted family man.
In his rare spare time, Nick loved to spend time with his family in Northstar resort in California where they would swim in the summer and ski in the winter. He liked to watch classic movies, listen to Hawaiian music, try new restaurants and tell stories of San Lorenzo Valley's history to his family and friends.
Pagnini is survived by his wife Beverly, and two daughters Dana Pagnini and Jennifer Pagnini-Gedymin.

Nicholas Pagnini Memorial Fund

The Nicholas Pagnini Memorial Fund was established to help local high school athletes and honor the memory of Nicholas Pagnini. To donate, make a check out to the Nicholas Pagnini Memorial Fund and send it to the Pagnini family, P.O. Box 336, Felton, CA 95018.

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