Five Years After PA, Former Chair of World Languages Pascucci Passes Away

Former Chair of the World Languages Department and beloved member of the PA community for numerous years, Vincent Pascucci passed away last Sunday. When Mr. Pascucci retired, the Language Department lost “one of the great prizes of the teaching world,” according to Instructor in Latin and Greek Nicholas Kip. “He was literally irreplaceable. People from all over the map would come up to me during teaching conferences to ask me how Vincent was doing,” he continued. Mr. Pascucci taught Latin, German, Ancient Greek and Italian at Andover before retiring in 2001. He taught Spanish before coming to Andover, and he spoke fluent French. Mr. Kip said, “Russian was the only language in the Language Department that he could not have taught.” After suffering an initial stroke six years ago, Mr. Pascucci recovered to lead a full life and tutor students in Latin and Greek until four weeks before his death. He was a graduate of Columbia College and Brown University, received an Honorary Degree from Georgetown University for his teaching, was a Fulbright Scholars in Rome, Italy, and a visiting professor at Dartmouth College. School Physician Richard Keller said, “He had a passion for languages, history, music, literature, and teaching. If Andover ever had a Mr. Chips, he would fit the bill.” Over the years he attracted the admiration, respect and affection of many teachers outside of Andover. John Rassias, the most respected language teacher of Mr. Pascucci’s generation, brought Mr. Pascucci to Dartmouth to teach there as much as possible. Italian flourished at Andover during Mr. Pascucci’s time here simply because of his efforts. He created the first college-level Italian course at Andover, a consistently over-subscribed senior elective. He also took an innovative approach to design the course, incorporating a cultural understanding of Italy in areas such as opera, film, and travel. These teachings greatly influenced students who visited Italy. His approach to the Italian course was typical of his approach to teaching. He was extremely lively and tried to infuse his love of languages into his students. He included conversation in all of his classes, even Latin and Greek. Mr. Kip said, “He tried to make dead languages live.” He was Chair of the World Languages Department when Andover merged with Abbot in 1973. He was vital to former Head of School Ted Sizer in resolving diplomatic disputes with the School Year Abroad program. He also coached tennis and taught the senior class to sing “Gaudeamus Igitur” before Commencement ceremonies every year. Mr. Pascucci had suffered a stroke 10 days earlier. He died in Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, Mass. from complications arising from the stroke. His memorial service will be held in the Cochran Chapel on Saturday, April 22 at 1:00. Mr. Pascucci was a resident in Marland Place, an assisted-living facility in Andover for several years, before recently moving to Wingate, a nursing home.