Albert Paladino

A Tribute to My Brother, Albert Paladino

When you’re a kid with siblings you wonder if you’ll ever like them. At least that was the case for me. One of my brothers was always in the bathroom too long while I waited my turn. Or we fought over who had taken the most meatballs that my mother made with spaghetti every Sunday.

But then you grow up and realize that your two brothers are among your most treasured friends, admirers and supporters. You love them and have a special relationship that endures through marriages, children, job changes, and life, as you grow old together.

Then, one day, you lose a brother.

My beloved brother Al  (left) – the middle child of three – died last week. It was a brief illness. He contracted a staph infection and no matter how hard the dedicated doctors as Mass General Hospital tried, they couldn’t save him. That’s how devastating these nasty infections are.

Al, who exercised everyday for an hour in his home gym and ate all the right foods. How could this possibly happen to such a loving, generous, kind and accomplished man?

Al was the scientist in the family. He attended Alfred University where he earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Ceramic Engineering. Then he went on to earn his Sc.D. at MIT, all while raising a young family. While at Raytheon, he was loaned out to Congress as a resident scientist in the Office of Technology Assessment, advising on legislation.

His greatest success came when he joined a venture capital firm as its resident technology guru. He eventually became general partner and helped to start many successful companies.

As a child of Italian immigrants, Al embodied the American dream. But he never forgot his roots. Unlike many people who achieve great financial success, he was always there to help a child, or sister, or mother or brother. He gave back to his alma mater, and was on the Board of Trustees of Alfred University for many years, because he wanted to help young people starting out to achieve their dreams, too.

He loved his family — his lovely wife Susan, his four children and his grandchildren. A few years ago, he threw a big party for his extended family. There must have been 30 of us there for a long weekend, eating barbecue on his back patio and horsing around in the pool at his club. What fun!

Oh, Al, how I will miss you. You have left a lasting legacy in the companies you built, the family you raised and the lives you touched with your goodness. Rest in peace, dear brother.

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Comments

  1. This is such a wonderful tribute, Jeannette. Al was a remarkable man and you are a remarkable sister. I wish you peace and many wonderful memories.

  2. Dearest Jan

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I know how much you all cared about each other. You have been lucky to have this love in your life. But Oh so painful to lose a loved one.

    My sincerest condolences.

    Xx Joan a

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Joan. Yes, I was lucky to have him in my life and will always have a place for him in my heart.

  3. It’s so obvious from what you write that you loved your brother very much and he loved you. What a rare gift to have fond and warm memories that will last forever. You gave me the goose bumps by reminding me how uncertain our lives can be. Frank

    • Frank — yes, we can exercise and eat all the right things and then a random event occurs that you can never plan for. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Thanks, Susan. As we grew older, my brothers and I grew closer. I think we understood the value of our loving relationship.

  4. What a beautiful, heartfelt tribute Jeannette. I feel so blessed to be a part of this wonderful, loving family.

  5. You said it so beautifully, Jan. Al had a vitality and curiosity that was unflagging. He was gracious and generous and took such pleasure in those he loved, and he was well loved in return.
    Art and I loved him and will miss him forever.

    • Thanks, June. He took great joy in your friendship, too. Al and Art and you and Susan always had so many things in common to share.

  6. Jeannette, I’m glad to note that you are remembering your brother in a positive way.

    He would not want you to suffer but remember him in a loving and caring way. That’s the highest tribute we can give to someone. Big hug.

    • Thanks, Catarina. So true. I’ll always remember him with love and admiration for who he was a person and what he accomplished as a professional.

  7. Beautiful tribute, Jeannette. It’s a solemn day here at Paladino and Company, many of our leaders knew Al personally. One of our employees said it best with a heartfelt smile: “Al’s the reason we are all here working at Paladino!” Here’s to you, Mr. Chairman.

    • Paul — Al was so proud of you and Tom for building your successful company. Hats off to your Dad for his part as advisor and admirer.

  8. You and my dad and Uncle Carl were always a threesome in my eyes. I love knowing that those childhood experiences can pave the way for a lifelong friendship among siblings that is stronger than anything you ever imagined. Thank you, Aunt Jeannette.

    • Cathy — there is nothing like the love that binds families together. I wish that for you and your brothers, too.

  9. Dearest Jan,
    What a beautiful tribute to Al. I met him when Charles passed and I remember what a wonderful person he was- listening intently and asking questions and truly caring about each person he connected with.
    He is now with Charles and your parents and all are your Guardian angels looking down at their beloved Jan.

    • Andrea — thank you for your beautiful remembrance. Yes, he and Charles are probably helping to organize things in Heaven. Al in charge of the books and Charles arranging them neatly.

  10. Jeannette, what a beautiful tribute to a brother who was obviously very well loved. Loss is never easy, but this is a wonderful way to mark the passing of your brother. My sympathies go out to you and your family.

  11. This is such a touching tribute to your brother Jeannette. It choked me up a little and I never had the opportunity to even meet your brother. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    • Sherryl — I choked up writing it but I had to do it. He meant so much to me and to so many people. I wanted to let everyone know what a good person he was.

  12. Oh Jeannette. My heart goes out to you and I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a brother in that way and so fast has got to be the worst. I’m sending prayers to you and your family. It’s but a small thing, I so wish I could do more.

    • Susan — thank you for your prayers. They mean a lot to me. It is a big loss and I’m still grieving.

  13. I am so sorry about your loss, Jeannette – it’s even harder when it’s sudden and unexpected. From your wonderful tribute, I see your brother was a wonderful person and he will forever live through you and everybody else whose life he touched. My heart goes to you and your family.

    • Thanks for your kind thoughts, Diana. He did touch a lot of people’s lives and will always live in my heart.

  14. Jeannette- I am sorry about the loss of your brother. I think many times we take family for granted that they will always be there. I have sisters and they are special to me and make my life whole. No one in your life besides your parents have the history of your siblings. You did a beautiful tribute to a brother who knew you loved him.. My sympathies go out to you and hope this tribute helps in healing his passing. It touched us all.

    • Arleen — thanks, and remember to always keep your sisters close. You are lucky to have them in your life. Losing a sibling is like losing a piece of your heart.

  15. Jeannette, my heart goes out to you and your family. He would be proud of you writing this even though it would have been extremely difficult. He sounded like a terrific guy and you have been in my thoughts daily since we emailed a couple of weeks ago.

    • Susan — thanks so much for having kept me in your thoughts. Al was a wonderful man, truly a good man. I’m still in disbelief.

  16. What a lovely tribute to your brother, Jeannette. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    But it sounds like he was a wonderful man and impacted everyone who knew him. What an amazing legacy to leave behind.

    I’m a firm believer that when your number’s up … it’s up! It was Al’s time to depart. I’m sure he’s already making friends in his new place. Hugs to you, my friend.

    • Thanks, Doreen. Maybe it was his time to depart but it was too soon and too sudden for me and the others who loved and respected him. But he’s at peace now.

  17. Oh Jeannette, my heart goes out to you and your family. I’m so very sorry for your loss and as I know words are so empty at a time like this you will be in my prayers. To have something like that happen so suddenly is just horrible.

    What a wonderful tribute to your brother and I’m sure he’s very proud right now. I wish there was more I could say but please know that I’m so sorry for your loss, truly.

    ~Adrienne

    • Adrienne – thank you. It was horrible because it was so unexpected. I know he’s in heaven rearranging things. He was always so neat. He was such a good man. I know he’s looking over me and my family.

  18. I’m so sorry to hear this news, Jeannette, and my heart goes out to you and your family at this sad time. Your tribute is truly lovely, and I’m sure has brought comfort to friends and family.

    Take good care,
    Betsy

  19. Jan-

    A wonderful tribute. Al was a prince of a man who had a lasting impression whenever you met him. Although our getting together was infrequent, he was the epitome of someone so very special. How very sad there are so few of an Al Paladino in our life.

    I share in your deep loss.

    Sandy Antin

    • Sandy — thank you for your kind remembrance of Al. He thought the world of you, too, and always valued your advice. He was, indeed, someone very special.