Alfred “Al” Pagan, 90, of West Orange, formerly of Hackensack and the Township of Washington, Bergen County, passed away peacefully on January 8, 2019.
The second of two children, Al was born at home in Little Ferry, NJ, to Santo (Sam) and Leontina (Nilda) Pagan, who had emigrated from Lussinpiccolo, Italy (now Mali Lošinj, Croatia) in the 1920s. Sam Pagan entered the United States when he was in the Italian Merchant Marines, jumping ship in a U.S. port. He later became a U.S. citizen.
Al graduated from Lodi High School, where he played on the football team and enjoyed drama. He was a Boy Scout, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. After attending Bergen Junior College, he received his B.S. degree in civil engineering from Rutgers University.
Al volunteered for the U.S. army and served in Germany during the Korean Conflict, where he taught basic reading skills to recruits as a noncommissioned officer and received the Medal of Occupation of Germany. Upon his return stateside, he completed his M.S. in Civil Engineering specializing in Hydrology from Stanford University.
While working for the U.S. Weather Service in Washington, D.C., Al returned to New Jersey to attend his tenth high school reunion, where he met Julia Licciardo. The couple were married in 1958. They raised their three children in the Township of Washington, and enjoyed summers in Bradley Beach, NJ.
Al was Assistant Bergen County Engineer for several years and then executive director of the New Jersey Concrete Pipe Association, after which he “hung out his shingle” as a consulting engineer specializing in drainage and hydrology. He was an expert on retention and detention basins, working for municipalities and engineering firms throughout New Jersey and lower New York state. He also worked as an expert witness, publishing “Ten Commandments for the Expert Witness,” and had a regular column, “Pagan’s Perspective,” in Better Roads magazine. He was active in and past president of the Bergen County Society of Professional Engineers. A Professional Engineer in New York and New Jersey, Al was also a Licensed Land Surveyor
Al, who was known for his sense of humor and lack of a filter, continued to work well into his seventh decade, when playing bridge replaced engineering as his primary pastime. He was a regular at Glen Rock Bridge Center in Glen Rock and Maywood, NJ. After 38 years in the Township of Washington, Al and Julia moved to Hackensack, where they lived for 17 years at the Baridge House before the advancement his vascular dementia precipitated a move to Green Hill in West Orange. The family would like to thank the staff at Green Hill for the excellent care they took of their father.
Al was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Mary P. Wehner. Besides his wife, he is survived by children Elizabeth (David Kleiner) of Bloomfield, Michael (Theresa) of Morris Plains, and Steven (Patricia Flaherty) of Houston, TX, and three grandchildren, Angela, Audrey and Alexander.
Family and friends are welcome to gather on Sunday, January 13, 2019, from 4-8 pm at Dangler Funeral Home, 600 Speedwell Ave., Morris Plains, NJ 07950. A Memorial Mass will be held on Monday, January 14, 2019, at 10:30 am at St. Virgil’s Church, 250 Speedwell Ave., Morris Plains, NJ. Interment will be private.