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JACK ROBERT PIROZZOLO

Born: June 19, 1940
Died: August 20, 2014

Jack PirozzoloJack Pirozzolo was born in New Haven, son of Alphonse Pirozzolo and Mary J. Cassella Pirozzolo. Son of Italian immigrants and born in the Legion Avenue neighborhood in New Haven, Jack went on to prominence and unrivalled achievements in the law and his life which were unthinkable in his youth.

His father was a tailor for J. Press and his mother a seamstress for Sears. The family moved to Hamden and Jack graduated from Hamden High School, one of 4 in our Yale class, where he pursued not only his love of reading and writing, but also developed an innate fascination with technology; he loved short-wave radio, recording music and working at his uncle's appliance business.

Jack was a resident of Branford College, a member of Dwight Hall, an English major and on scholarship. Throughout his college years he dated Joan Woodruff, also of Hamden, who was at UCONN. Their exuberant dancing and celebrating were legendary in Branford. The two married after exams in June 1962, returning just in time for Graduation Day. It was a remarkable marriage which produced 7 children, ended only by Joan's sudden death in 1993.

After working as a reporter with the Meriden Record and New Haven Register, Jack attended Yale Law School, graduating in 1966 with an L.L.B. Following law school, Jack clerked for the late Judge Robert Zampano of the United States District Court in New Haven. Jack then settled in the Boston area and began his distinguished career at the Boston law firm of Herrick, Smith, Donald, Farley & Ketchum as an associate, leaving in 1974 to start his own firm, Wilcox, Pirozzolo & McCarthy, with his mentor Harold Willcox. For more than 35 years, he appeared regularly in court litigating landmark cases establishing significant principles of patent and copyright law.

In 2006, Jack merged his firm with the Boston firm of Foley Hoag, and, still very active in 2014, moved to the firm of Sullivan & Worcester. He was a skilled trial lawyer, who litigated complex commercial cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States, focusing on antitrust, patent and trademark cases. He served on the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission and the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, and frequently as a trial advocacy instructor and moot court judge. He was an original member of the 100th Inn of Court. Although Jack represented Fortune 500 companies, he routinely provided counsel and advice to many neighbors and friends who simply asked for his help.

Maintaining a keen interest in international law, Jack led a delegation of Yale Law School professors to China to lecture on legal issues and promote understanding of the U. S. legal system and contract law in the mid-1980s. He subsequently made many similar visits to China over the years.

A resident of Lancaster, Massachusetts for over 40 years, Jack served for many years on the town's Planning Board and the Nashoba Regional School Committee. He was, the Lancaster First Selectwoman said at his funeral, "a visionary for the town and a trusted advisor to town officials for many decades without a charge or reward." Jack also served as a trustee of the Clinton Hospital, the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and the Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts, which his children attended. Jack was a longtime member of the First Church of Christ Unitarian in Lancaster, and served on the Standing Committee for many years. His leadership enabled the preservation of this historic 18th century church on the Village Green.

Jack was truly devoted to his family and loved ones. With Joan, his wife of 31 years, Jack was the proud father of seven children and sixteen grandchildren. Often seen at the wheel of a nine-seat station wagon, Jack led family hiking and skiing trips to Vermont and New Hampshire, as well as excursions to see urban sights in Boston and New York. An avid, self-taught recreational boater, Jack spent many hours on the water with his family and friends in Maine, where he met his second wife, Cynthia Cadwalader, in 2005. The couple were constant companions, traveling together and enjoying their many friends both in Blue Hill, Maine, Lancaster and Boston.

Jack was survived by his large, loving family: daughter Lisa, husband Chris Goddu and their children Charlotte and Nathaniel of Boston; son Jack, wife Anne Depew and their children Isabella, James and Margaret of Brookline, Massachusetts; son Josh, wife Tracy and their children Samuel, Jacob and Zachary of St. Paul, Minnesota; daughter Jennifer, husband John Madden and their children Jack, Sarafina and Gabriella of Cohasset, Massachusetts; son Jason, wife Julie and their children Ava and Sullivan of Glens Falls, New York; daughter Jessica of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin; and daughter Rebecca Jan, husband John Mellowes and their children Madeline, Josephine and Jacqueline of Fox Point, Wisconsin. His wife Cynthia survived him as did his brother Richard and wife Jane of Wellesley and brother Victor and partner Lou Pellino of Wallingford, Connecticut.

Jack never forgot his Hamden-New Haven roots and his old friends. For many years he joined Hamden High classmates David "Dynamite" Dunn (wife Arlene), Tony Carbone (wife Patricia) and Gerry Swirsky (wife Holly) along with Larry and Lainie Lipsher, Peter and Jane Cohen, Dan Koenigsberg, and your scribe and wife Barbara at Mory's for a semiannual dinner celebration. Jack's irrepressible, mischievous sense of humor always enlivened the table as he would with, calculated innocence, instigate debate and dissent and deflate pomposity.

The poignant eulogy at his funeral by Dunn, Jack's oldest friend, captured their relationship and Jack's concern for others:

"Jack and I first met in second grade when he moved to Hamden. Almost immediately, we formed a friendship that endured until his death. Even then, Jack had a speculative mind that was always wondering about what was real and why the world worked as it did. After school, we would walk home discussing such issues, a discussion almost always started by one of Jack's comments. This became the basis of our friendship. Through the years, whenever Jack and I were together, we would discuss and debate issues large and small. During our undergraduate years we often spent the entire night talking at the Chapel Street Diner. The purpose of these debates was not to win or lose but to explore a better understanding of the issue, even when we did not agree.

"Throughout the years Jack was there for me providing help, support, and comfort in abundance. Ultimately, this may define what a friend is: a person you can turn to when things seem the worst and be confident you will receive the best help, support and advice your friend can provide. There is no question that Jack was my dearest friend. I miss him and will continue to do so for the rest of my days."

Jack's conclusion in his essay on our 50th Reunion Book, is an equally fitting conclusion here: Paying tribute to his late wife Joan, he wrote, "She always smiled at the world and the world always smiled back at her. The first time I saw her she had joy in her eyes and she always showed that joy. I miss her. I miss her sharing our grandchildren. I miss her sharing our reunion. I miss sharing our senior years. The consolation is that I have had love and I have known love. For this I am grateful."




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