for Peeps of all Persuasions

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Interspersed with Truth, Justice, and Insight into the Meaning of Life .....
for Nanepashemet Peeps of all Persuasions.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

RIP Lou Panakio

Lou Panakio died in his sleep last night in Naples, Florida,  He was 81.
Greater Lynn area people will know him as the proprietor of Panakio Adjusters, a public insurance adjuster business started by his father, and which flourished under Lou.
I first knew of him when I was eight years old.  My father was proud to be his landscaper, and he took me with him to bury my dead parakeet in Lou's Walnut Street sideyard while we were planting  some marigolds.... unbeknownst to Lou.
He was a quiet and understated presence in the Lynn community and served on the Lynn Zoning Board of Appeals for 43 years with a strong combination of fairness, common sense, and political savvy.
His ability to provide service as an insurance adjuster was legendary.  I remember Jim Starratt, the Lynn Building Commissioner, once stating to me that if he ever had a fire in his house, his first call would be to Lou Panakio and the second would be to the Lynn Fire Department.    That was an exaggeration... but not by much. On every occasion that we used Panakio Adusters, Lou more than took the sting out of the loss.
Lou helped me land my first property management contract after I left the Lynn Housing Authority and later partnered on some ill fated development projects with me that went south in the 80's housing collapse.  There were some harrowing and embarrassing moments for me during that period, but Lou always showed a ton of strength and class.
He could always turn a phrase and was intolerant of Bullshit.  Many times, when I would embellish a situation to him his response was "That and a nickel will buy you a cup of coffee."  That would bring me right back down to Earth.
I was so happy when we reunited with Lou, his daughter Lisa, and son-in-law, Harvey Rowe three or four years ago.  When Lou first came into our Marblehead home at Beverly Ave., which we had just remodeled, he looked around and remarked to Harvey,   "You couldn't keep John Nestor down even if you buried him in a coffin six feet under and nailed it shut."  It was funny at the time, and I was thankful and proud to hear Lou say that.  But it was typical of his wit, good nature,  and genuine affection for other people.
He had a long and happy marriage with his wife, Marcia, and they both thoroughly enjoyed golfing at the Salem Country Club and from his condominium on the golf course in Naples, Florida.  A year and a half ago, when he was inducted into the Lynn Heritage State Park Museum for his contributions to the City of Lynn, his great lament was that his wife of 53 years wasn't alive to experience it with him.
Now Lou, you can tell Marcia all about it, and celebrate with her about the remarkable and fruitful life that you have just completed.

RIP Louis J. Panakio.  You will be missed.

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