3 entries
  • "Dear Bunny, I'm so sorry.I never read obituaries,but as I..."
  • "Condolances to you Benita and all the family from..."
    - Eleonora Bonello
  • "Dear Bunny, my mom and I heard from Joe, my brother, about..."
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PAUL VASSALLO 1937 - 2012 Paul Vassallo passed away on Sunday, September 30, 2012 after a long and heroic battle with Parkinson's Disease. He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Benita; children Geoffrey and Lisa; grandchildren, Sean and Casey; siblings: Charles, Lina and Frank; sister-in-law, Sharon; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews, all of whom have provided love and support to Paul over the years. Paul was born on August 3, 1937 in Marsa, Malta, son of Salvatore Vassallo and Josephine (Gravino) Vassallo. After their home in Marsa was destroyed by bombing in World War II, the family moved to the town of Siggiewi, Malta, until immigrating to the United States in 1952. In Malta, Paul attended seminary school at Seminario Arcivescoviles, and then finished his high school education at Southwestern High School in Detroit, Michigan. Paul graduated from Wayne State University in 1959 with a B.A. in Political Science. He received his Master's of Library and Information Science from the University of Michigan in 1962, where he was also honored as Distinguished Alumnus in 1991. Paul began his professional career in librarianship and information management at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., holding various positions of increasing responsibility from 1962 to 1967 including Special Library Recruit, Assistant Head of the Hispanic Exchange Division, Subject Cataloger, Head of the Newspaper and Periodical Section, Assistant Head of the Public Reference Section, and Assistant Chief of the Serial Record Division. He took a one-year leave of absence in 1967 to become Assistant to the Dean of the University of Maryland School of Library and Information Services. In 1968 he returned to the Library of Congress to become Chief of the Congressional Reference Division, where he directed a staff of 55 professional and technical employees responsible for providing information and research services to Members of Congress. In 1972 Paul was asked to be the Director of a newly created program at the Library, the National Serials Data Program, in which he was responsible for designing and administering a program to serve all three National Libraries (Library of Congress, National Agricultural Library and the National Library of Medicine). He was appointed the U.S. representative to the International Serials Data System and other international bodies and played a leading role in obtaining recognition of the "International Standard Serial Number" (ISSN) as an International Standards Organization (ISO) standard. From 1974 to 1986 Paul served as Dean of Library Services and Professor of Library Services at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. During his tenure he successfully led the University's efforts to become a member of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries. He also planned and directed the completion of two major building projects, a new Science and Engineering Library and a new library for the University's School of Management. From 1985 through 1988 he directed all computer and telecommunications services supporting the academic, research and administrative functions for the University of New Mexico community in his role as Associate Vice President for Computer and Information Resources and Technology. In 1988 Paul was recruited to become the first President and CEO of the Washington Research Library Consortium. The consortium was established by eight Washington metropolitan area universities to support research and instructional capabilities of those universities, including the implementation of a telecommunications network linking all eight universities and their off-site campuses to an online database of 2.6 million library records and other information databases. From 1993 to 2000 Paul returned to the federal government serving as Director of the Office of Information Services for the National Institute of Standards & Technology, formerly called the National Bureau of Standards. In 1994 Paul was selected as a Fellow in the Senior Executive Program at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. He was very active in many national and international professional organizations, was a frequent lecturer at conferences and seminars around the world, and his extensive body of published works has been important to the field of information management. Paul provided specialized consulting services on information resource management following his retirement on January 1, 2000. Paul and Benita retired to Santa Fe in 2005. Paul was renowned as a force of life in his family and among his many friends around the world. His exuberant gusto for life, for love, and for enjoyment was contagious and a joy to behold. Among his greatest pleasures were cooking gourmet feasts for family and friends (he started a cooking school for men called "Real Men Cook" after he retired), the opera (and singing arias in full voice), travel, and captaining one of several boats that he owned during his life near the Chesapeake Bay. He was inordinately proud of being Maltese and was always thrilled to share his profound knowledge of Maltese history, culture, geography and cuisine with anyone who showed the slightest interest. His unflinchingly stoic approach to his disease during the last decade of his life will always be a source of admiration and awe to those who were closest to him. Paul's family wishes to express its gratitude to staff members at Kingston Residences of Santa Fe for their loving and compassionate care of Paul during the past two years. Additionally, Vista Care Hospice provided much needed respite and critical care services to Paul during the last month of his life, for which his family is enormously grateful. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to charitable organizations carrying out research on Parkinson's Disease (The Parkinson's Disease Foundation or the Michael J. Fox Foundation) or a . A memorial service honoring the life of Paul Vassallo will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 21 at the Inn of Loretto, 211 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Condolences may be sent to the family at 533 Avenida Primera South, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501. Berardinelli Family Funeral Service 1399 Luisa Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505)984-8600 Please sign our guestbook for the family at:

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