Mario Pagnoni, 70, of Methuen, known by everyone as Mr. Pags or “The Bocce Guy," passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family and friends.
Mario was born, December 6, 1947 and educated in Springfield, MA prior to relocating to Methuen in 1969. He was a graduate of Classical High School and later attended American International College receiving a master’s degree. Mario was a teacher in the Methuen Public School System for thirty-two years until his retirement. A dedicated teacher and mentor to his students, he was also a Methuen High J.V. and Varsity baseball coach and a youth basketball coach. He was a softball Umpire-In-Chief and assigner for the Eastern Massachusetts region for forty-five years. Mario gave softball clinics and the ASA umpire exams every year. He was very active with youth sports organizations including the Striker Softball camps and coached and refereed youth basketball for thirty-five years. He started the Bruce Blood Basketball Scholarship and the Ken Waldie Senior Sports which included basketball, bocce and softball for players 50 and over. Mario authored several books including “The Joy of Bocce 5th Edition,” which Newsweek called it “the definitive guide to the sport.” He published the highly successful 'Joy of Bocce' weekly newsletter for twelve years to over 10,000 subscribers. He also wrote for the Boston Globe, New York Times, The Eagle Tribune, and Referee Magazine.
He was inducted into United States Bocce Federation Wall of Fame in September, 2017.
Mario and his wife, Carmela, enjoyed traveling to various parts of the country. He was deeply passionate about bocce and made sure he could teach everyone how to play the sport. But more than anything, Mario loved being surrounded by his family and friends. He was also a dedicated father to his two sons, James and Joseph, whom he loved with all his heart.
Mario was predeceased by his parents, Mario Pagnoni, Sr. and Filomena (Siliciano) Pagnoni; and a sister, Claire Pagnoni.
He is survived by the love of his life, his wife of forty-eight years, Carmela A. (Daniele) Pagnoni of Methuen; two sons, James M. Pagnoni of Methuen and Joseph M. Pagnoni of Clinton. He leaves behind brother-in-law, Enrico Daniele; sisters-in-law, Louise (Daniele) DiStefano and her husband, Michael, Rosemary and Gina Daniele; nieces, Danielle Scherban of Agawam, MA and Dianna DeCaro of Southwick, MA; cousins whom he cherished; and many lifelong friends. Also he leaves Danielle Austin who was like a daughter to him.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to his funeral mass at 11:00 AM on Monday August 13, 2018 at St. Monica Church, 212 Lawrence Street, Methuen. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mario's memory may be made the Massachusetts General Hospital, C/O Dr. Dickerson Lab, Memo "Dementia Research." Mail to Brad Dickerson, Attn: Raseeka O’Chander, 149 13th Street, Suite 2691, Charlestown, MA 02129 or to the High Point House, 360 North Avenue, Haverhill, MA 01830.