Louis Pagan

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Louis Pagan

Born January 18, 1923, passed away peacefully at his home in San Bruno surrounded by his family on July 19, 2014 at the age of 91. Lou grew up in San Francisco and knew every square inch of the City. Lou was a WWII Purple Heart veteran, having sustained injuries after the escort carrier he was on, the USS St. Lo, was sunk by the first kamikaze attack of the war in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944. As the ship sank, Lou was able to help several shipmates to safety. He survived in the shark-infested water for many hours, with the ship exploding around him and continued enemy attacks, which was a testament to his strength. He received a presidential unit citation ribbon with bronze battle star for his heroism. Lou was an ironworker and a reinforcing steel draftsman, and worked on numerous buildings throughout San Francisco and the bay area. In 1958, he and his wife Nancy built an apartment building in San Francisco's Potrero Hill, which was one of the first "modern" style buildings in that area. Most importantly, Lou loved his family and friends and his concern and caring for them encompassed his entire life. Lou grew up during the Great Depression, and as the eldest son, he dropped out of high school to help support his family when his father became ill. He earned his Mission High School diploma by taking classes while in the Navy, and later took night classes to become a draftsman. Lou was a devoted and loyal husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend who was at his happiest when surrounded by those he loved and he will be greatly missed. Lou is survived by Nancy, his loving wife of 62 years, who took extraordinary care of him especially during his final years when illness took its toll. He is also survived by his son, Ronald (Cindy) Pagan, granddaughters Holly and Amber Pagan, daughter Kathy Pagan (John) Quadros, as well as brothers Randy Pagan and Jerry (Donna) Pagan, sister Carol Pagan, sister-in-law Nellie Pagan, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Lou was predeceased by his parents Krist and Anna (Grigor), brothers John, James and Robert and sisters Ella and Rose (Austin). Lou's family thanks the many outstanding physicians at the San Bruno VA and South San Francisco Kaiser for their excellent care, and to Sutter Hospice, Pathways Hospice, and Professional Healthcare at Home for their incredible support and care of both Lou and his family during his final years. A memorial service will be held on August 15, 2014 at 11 AM in the chapel at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, with interment to follow. Following the service, there will be a gathering at the family home in San Bruno. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the VA (www.sanfrancisco.va.gov/giving) or Sutter Hospice (suttercareathome.org).
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 3, 2014
bullet Purple Heart bullet WWII
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