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Mathew James Fagan

November 3, 1935 October 4, 2018
Mathew James Fagan
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Obituary for Mathew James Fagan

PITTSFIELD-Mathew James Fagan, 82, of Pittsfield, passed away October 4, 2018, amongst loving family members. Mathew was born November 3, 1935, on a farm in Nasonville, Rhode Island, the son of the late Thomas and Rita Fagan. He was predeceased by his wife of 39 years Mary, and brothers Thomas Jr. and William. He is also predeceased by his fiancé Genevieve Kuninsky, with whom had a very close relationship since childhood.

He is survived by his daughter Joyce and husband Dennis, grandchildren Alexandra, Jacob, and Ryan Ackroyd, sister-in-law Barbara Mitchell, nieces Christina and Danielle, nephews Kevin and Albert, longtime close family friend Susan Whalen Rose and many others.

Mathew enlisted in the Army, joined 101st Airborne and 502nd Mountain Rangers earning the rank of Master Sergeant. During the Korean War, Mathew earned a Distinguished Service Cross, two Bronze Stars (one w/ Oak Leaf Cluster), and two Purple Hearts. Mat later traveled to Brooklyn, NY where he placed his military medals upon Genevieve's headstone as a tribute to his first true love.

Mathew met Mary in 1955 as a teenager and happily married in 1962. He maintained his love of travel in Northern New England, taking frequent vacations while espoused. He was a devoted loving husband and especially courageous during her battle with cancer until her death in 2001.

Mat had a strong work ethic and began at eight years old with a paper route and many odd jobs. He graduated Central High School in 1951. He excelled at both baseball and football, eventually becoming semi-professional. He also spent time as ring fighter meeting with much success. After the war ended he attended UCLA studying history. A family illness brought him home to New England where, as a practicing Roman Catholic, he then pursued an interest in theology at Harvard Divinity School while employed by Triangle Plastic Wire and Cable in Jewett City, CT. He continued as an extruder technician and union steward for IBEW for 30 years before his retirement. His job brought him great joy and he relished hard work and friendship. Mat also regaled us with many stories advocating for his coworkers with various grievances and fighting for the underdog, as he always believed in fairness and equal rights for all people. Mathew's extensive travels brought him to almost every state. Hunting, fishing, and quahogging were all hobbies that he enjoyed, although his main passions were spending time with family and making people laugh.

Mathew's greatest childhood fear was the telephone and hid under the bed whenever it rang as his older dear brother Tommy convinced him it was the 'devil calling'. He deeply cared for animals and adored his loyal canine companion “Rhody”, as well as a three-legged dairy cow he tended to as a child. He was an avid reader and storyteller. His love of culinary arts began while he was a 'soda jerk' and continued throughout his life. He loved to cook and was renowned for his breakfast special, “Poppa's Pancakes”. He was a caring and reliable friend. He was a cherished father and grandfather of three magnificent children. “He was the greatest grandpa ever.”

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, ME 04086. Messages of condolence and memories may be expressed at www.shoreynichols.com.


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