Argeo Paul Cellucci
1948 - 2013
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BOSTON (AP) — Former Gov. Argeo Paul Cellucci, who led Massachusetts from 1997 to 2001 before becoming U.S. ambassador to Canada, died Saturday of complications from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 65.

His death was announced on behalf of his family by Dr. Michael F. Collins, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where Cellucci was involved in raising funds for ALS research.

Cellucci was a moderate cast in the mold of New England Republicans — fiscally conservative yet middle of the road on many social issues. In three decades in politics, starting at the local level on a hometown commission, he never lost an election.

He was elected lieutenant governor in 1990 and became acting governor in 1997 when his predecessor, William Weld, resigned to pursue an ambassadorship. Cellucci won election as governor in his own right in 1998. He also served as U.S. ambassador to Canada.

Cellucci and Weld started as rivals before teaming up to run as a GOP ticket. Cellucci was a statehouse insider who was a key asset for Weld, an outsider.

Cellucci's personality was more reserved than Weld's, but he played a much larger role than a typical lieutenant governor and was credited with guiding Weld, a former federal prosecutor and political neophyte, through the political process during their 1990 campaign. Weld often called Cellucci his "co-governor" and relied on him to work with Democrats and fellow Republicans in the Legislature to help push the administration's agenda.

"A gentleman in the true sense of the word, he worked across party lines for the betterment of the country and the Commonwealth," House Speaker Robert DeLeo said.

After fending off a nasty primary challenge by state Treasurer Joe Malone in the 1998 GOP primary, Cellucci faced Attorney General Scott Harshbarger in the November election, which he won with 51 percent of the vote.

He was nominated for the Canada ambassadorship by the Bush administration in February 2001 after a long association with the Bush family. His departure paved the way for his lieutenant governor, Jane Swift, to be named acting governor and become the state's first women chief executive.

"Paul's long record of public service was consistently defined by grace, integrity and common sense, qualities that are all too scarce in modern politics," Swift said in a statement Saturday.

Cellucci was a longtime friend of former President George H.W. Bush, having spearheaded his presidential campaigns in Massachusetts. Cellucci was one of the first GOP governors to stoke President George W. Bush's presidential ambitions, and he helped get a majority of the state executives behind Bush, even backing the then-Texas governor when U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona overwhelmingly won the state's GOP primary.

Cellucci was approached by Bush's team for a possible Cabinet post, but the governor was said to be cool to the idea. Cellucci was also a close friend of White House chief of staff Andrew Card, a former Massachusetts legislator.

"This son of Hudson, Massachusetts, was a close and loyal friend, a superb public servant, and a devoted family man — and our admiration for the way he served throughout his life, and fought a dreaded disease at the end, knows no bounds," George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush said in joint statement.

Cellucci was known as a dedicated film buff. One of his favorite movies was the Coen brothers' classic "The Big Lebowski." Cellucci, who bore a resemblance to Robert De Niro, could also be persuaded into offering up his impersonation of De Niro's character from "Taxi Driver."

He was born in Hudson, a working-class town where his father owned car dealerships. He graduated from Boston College, where he served in the Reserve Officers Training Corps and received a degree from Boston College Law School in 1973.

His political career began in 1970, while he was still in law school, when he was elected to the Hudson Charter Commission. He served on the Hudson Board of Selectmen from 1971-77, and in the state House of Representatives from 1976-84. Cellucci was elected to the state Senate in 1984.


CARA RUBINSKY,Associated Press

Associated Press Writer Steve LeBlanc contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jun. 8, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
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171 entries
November 7, 2016
Valenda Newell
July 14, 2013
Dear Jan, Kate and Anne,
So sorry about your recent loss. I only met Paul a few times though various Bancroft functions and always saw a great statesman just acting like a regular guy. May his memory and strengths be always there for you...
Robert Dec
July 2, 2013
I am proud to have met Paul and have shared with him many stories about our Italian heritatage.
My deepest sympathy and prayers to the family.
Antonio Musso
July 2, 2013
I was so proud of Paul not only for his professional achievements--but more importantly--for his humility and kindness to others. Just three days after Paul died, my Dad (Salvatore A. Cellucci) passed away--and like a true Cellucci--my Dad's keen intellect was only matched by his kindness and humility. If I do any good in this world, it was due to my Dad's and Paul's constant example...Sincerely, Tommy
The Hon., Dr. Thomas A. Cellucci
July 1, 2013
Paul was a great guy. Knew his family .We had a home onLake boone in Hudson for decades. Paul was a class act. The Lynn Fsmily
Diane Pezzano
June 30, 2013
i'm a dem, that never crossed my mind when he was governor..he was trully for all the people of massachusetts and will be sorely missed by all
al della croce
June 28, 2013
A great loss for all citizens of the State of Massachusetts. My condolences to Governor Paul Cellucci's family and friends. May he rest in peace.
June 28, 2013
my prayers are with the family.
Phyllis Phillips
June 17, 2013
RIP Governor You were a good man now it's time to go home.
frank toner
June 17, 2013
He was a cool dude.
Harry Wolf
June 15, 2013
We fondly remember Governor Cellucci from the many parades he marched in with us in Cambridge. He was a friend to many and will be sorely missed. "May the smile of God light you to glory." And may God give comfort and peace to your family.
John & Mary Boudreau
June 15, 2013
Governor, I remember your 1st election as President of our senior class '66 of Hudson Catholic High School. You were always a gentleman. You did good! Rest in peace. My sincerest sympathies to Jan, Anne, and Kate, sister Roseanne and brother Peter.
Susan (Stanhope) Garland
June 15, 2013
June 14, 2013
The legacy he left his grandchildren will say it all.They will grow up to be so proud of what others thought of him(with such good cause).
Joanne Hyde
June 14, 2013
RIP Paul.
My prayers are with you Jan, Kate and Anne. Paul was a true gentleman, just "one of the guys", with so much class.
Lynne Ripley
14 Blaiswood Ave
Marlboro, MA 01752
Lynne Ripley
June 14, 2013
One politician I truly believed was an honest, caring and trustworthy man-RIP--

June 14, 2013
While a female student with Professor Cellucci at BC, my experience was of a man with power who was utterly grounded and considerate of every opinion. I found that not only refreshing but empowering as a young woman. Later he took the time to stop before a press conference and speak about the recommendation to a Master's program, a kind gesture acknowledging the significance - to me - of my own ambitions, irrespective of his schedule. He took the time, looked everyone in the eye - and really considered what was being said. His mentorship re-enforced my own belief as a young adult that what I was saying mattered and to speak up. A good man. I want to tell you, his family, this little story, one of thousands I am sure. You can be very proud. Warm thoughts to you.
Pamela M. Paquin
June 14, 2013
Paul as he was fondly known will be missed dearly. Romans 15:33.
June 14, 2013
Our thoughts are with you and the girls, Jan, on this very sad day. Paul was an incredible man who never forgot his roots. We feel very privileged to have known him.
Paul and Pam Ellingwood
June 14, 2013
JANET, Kate and Anne, Your Guy was special.....we pray for all of You and PAUL... George and Elaine Sacco
George Sacco
June 13, 2013
Rest in Peace, Governor Cellucci! My condolences and deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends.
June 13, 2013
May you find comfort in the arms of the Angels.
May your family heal with loving memories of you & the great person you were.
Lorraine Porras
June 13, 2013
God bless family of Paul A
Cellucci. Avery good respectable man. God welcome him to Paradise
Mary Norton
June 13, 2013
God's blessings upon the Cellucci family. I am so sorry for your loss.
June 13, 2013
We extend our deepest sympathy to the entire family of Paul Cellucci. He has been a dedicated servant to us and very caring to all.
Deena Segal
June 13, 2013
June 13, 2013
Governor Cellucci was such a force in the history of Boston and MA. I will always remember him, not so much for his politics, but for the way he carried himself in life. ALS is not a kind disease, but he battled it with dignity and grace. Thank you for your service to the Commonwealth and trust me, you will be missed by many. Go in peace Paul.
Jeralyn Levasseur
June 13, 2013
Thank you for your lifelong service to the State of Massachusetts and the United States. You were a great man and I appreciate your commitment. You also made strides for ALS Research.

May you rest in peace.
Donnalyn Sullivan
June 13, 2013
A genuinely gentle man has left his mark on all who knew him. Paul touched the hearts and lives of so many people during his dignified and distinguished public career. I will remember Paul for his kindness and humility. He was truly a man of the people.

Jan, his daughters and grandchildren shared Paul with us and for that our communities, Commonwealth and nation are grateful. May the outpouring of love and respect for Paul sustain you during this very sad time and bring you strength, pride and joy going forward knowing Paul's memory will remain with us all. My deepest sympathies to the Cellucci family.
Deb Williams
June 13, 2013
God bless the family of Paul Cellucci...Stay strong.
June 13, 2013
Please accept my condolences during this difficult time. Mat.5:4
June 13, 2013
May the God of all comfort and tender mercy be with the family and friends.(Isaiah 61:1,2
June 12, 2013
Dear Jan. I am so sorry for your loss. Please relay my sympathies to the girls. Paul was a real friend and totally committed in all his accomplishments. He was to me a close friend who cared about everyone who worked for him. As you know I was proud of him and honored to have served as his Adjutant General from 1993 to 1999. I often look at the picture of He and I the day he took over as Governor of the Commonwealth. What an honor for me to be part of that ceremony. I will try to be at the Church on Friday. Again, God bless and our prayers are with you and the family. Sincerely Ray and Elaine Vezina.
June 12, 2013
His service to the commonwealth and the nation should serve as the standard by which all public service should be measured.
Rick Stone
June 12, 2013
A good man!
June 12, 2013
John And Shrley Geary Se
June 12, 2013
Lori Geary/Winchester
June 12, 2013
To the Cellucci Family I'm sending your family our deepest condolonces from my grandparents. They were friends with Paul's dad.
John And Shirley Geary Sr
June 12, 2013
L'Amministrazione Comunale di San Donato Val di Comino esprime le più sentite condoglianze alla Famiglia Cellucci, per la scomparsa del Governatore Paul, persona di cui la nostra comunità va orgogliosa.
IL SINDACO dott. Antonello Antonellis
June 12, 2013
may you rest in peace
albert lavoie
June 11, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. I'm so sorry to hear you had ALS. Please God hold Gov Cellucci in your arms & everlasting light. RIP Governor Cellucci.
June 11, 2013
So sorry for yor loss, he was a great man and will be missed by all. The Grant and Geary family.
June 11, 2013
It was an honor to serve as the treasurer of the Cellucci Committee. Paul always wanted everything done properly. He supported my working with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance to help make the state election finance compliance process easier to understand for all candidates.

One of the best moments that I recall was assisting Paul when he decided to close the Committee. The newspapers in their extensive praise of Paul have failed to mention that the Cellucci Committee gave nearly half a million dollars to charity. The charities included: the Jane Doe Fund (for battered women), the Children's Trust Fund, the Boys and Girls Club of Metrowest, Horizons for Homeless Children, the Mass. Museum of Contemporary Art, Boston College and other charities that helped everyday people.

While he has held many prestigious titles, he always said, "Just call me Paul."

We worked together for nearly 20 years. I started in September 1993 when Paul was Lieutenant Governor.

After an election, behind the scenes, campaigns have a long life. While the Committee was officially dissolved in 2006, it was only in December 2012 that we could finally dispose of the last documents.

Paul was a person of integrity and vision. He worked hard to do what he believed was best for the Commonwealth.

He will be a role model for how to be an effective politician/statesman.

My deepest sympathies to Jan and the entire Cellucci Family.
Wendy Reasenberg
June 11, 2013
Rest in Peace.
June 11, 2013
I am sorry to know of his death. Time seems to have passed too quickly since his ALS diagnosis. We will miss him. E. Hoiska, NH
June 11, 2013
Dignity Courage Class One of the all time great Governors in Massachusetts History
Doug Cardinale
June 11, 2013
You were a good friend & a distinguished gentleman.
Rest in peace, Paul.
June 11, 2013
You did our family name proud! May God bless you with all of the joys of Heaven.
Daniel Cellucci
June 11, 2013
May the God of all consolation be with you and your family at this time of loss. Be assured of a remembrance in my Masses and Prayers. Rev. Walter J. Conlan, SJ - Alumni Chaplain, Boston College
June 11, 2013
As a lifelong Democrat who believes in "crossing the aisle" and working together to accomplish what is best for the people, I mourn the loss of Gov. Cellucci. He was one of the last (and few) willing to work with other elected officials to make the Commonwealth and world a better place. People can say what they want, but his leadership of the "Big Dig" has turned Boston into a wonderfully accessible city for everyone to enjoy. His honesty, integrity, and dedication will be his legacy. May his rest be in peace knowing he truly did make a difference.
Brian Falvey
June 10, 2013
May you Rest in Peace Paul!! My thought's are with your whole family<3
Deidre Bernier
June 10, 2013
My condolences and prayers go out to the Cellucci family and Paul's friends. I remember voting for him as Governor of Massachusetts. He was a great man and way too young to die from this horrible disease. May Paul rest in peace. I will never forget him.
Sara McHale
June 10, 2013
My sincerest sympathy to your family i campaigned for Paul in 1984 when I lived in Maynard he will surely be missed!
Ruth Cole
June 10, 2013
It was with great sadness I heard about the passing of Ambassador Cellucci . Although I had met him and Mrs Cellucci only briefly during his stay in Ottawa as the Ambassador to Canada I did have the pleasure of doing some automotive business with them ( Ambassador Cellucci was a "car man" in his youth like myself but rose to a higher calling ) and the great privilege of attending a fabulous Fourth of July party at their residence . Claire and I will remember that forever.The Cellucci's made us feel right at home. I'm sure Paul will be deeply missed by Mrs Cellucci and their children . I admired Ambassador Cellucci's straightforward no bull attitude and speech , he was a great patriot and will be sorely missed. You have our heartfelt condolences.
Fred Woolfrey
June 10, 2013
Jan and family:
It was an honor and pleasure to work for Ambassador Cellucci as U.S. consul general in Calgary. I have worked for many ambassadors during my career, but few, if any, could match his dedication, love and commitment to our country. He personified public service and I am grateful for the opportunity to have served under his leadership. How about learning to ride a horse for the Calgary stampede! How many ambassadors would do that? Mr. Ambassador, you will be missed. Thoughts and prayers from Linda and Naim Ahmed.
June 10, 2013
thank you for your service to the Commonwealth. My condolences to the Cellucci Family
meg doherty
June 10, 2013
My thoughts and prayers to all of Mr. Cellucci's family. I might be a democrat, but Mr. Cellucci had such a wonderful caring person.....Your family was very lucky to have him the time you did.....
liz distasio
June 10, 2013
Paul was Goodness personified. Simply The Best! I am grateful to God that our paths crossed and for Paul's many kind gestures. I pray that God will provide your family strength and peace.

Jack Flood
Jack Flood
June 10, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire extended Cellucci family at what we know is an incredibly difficult time.

He was a wonderful man, self-less individual and gifted public servant who put the interests of those he served above his own. We will miss you Governor but your legacy will endure.
Flynn Family
June 10, 2013
Mr. Cellucci was a wonderful person. He used his final years to promote a cause that is, and will be, so important to so many people. God Bless his family.

Bonnie Collins
June 10, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
June 10, 2013
Gov. Celucci a man of integrity, honesty, and a wonderful governor. This state was lucky to have him at the helm as our governor. Our sympathies to the Celucci family. May all the memories of your loved one sustain you at this sad time. May he rest in peace.
Angela & William LeBeau
June 10, 2013
.Paul was always a kind ,caring and compassionate man to friends,family and strangers alike.He had a real gift to want to reach out and help everyone whenever and wherever he could.And he never wanted thanks.He was just happy to help and make a difference in the lives of so many.People are better for having known him.We all owe him are gratitude.Many Blessings to all his family.You'll remain in our prayers.
Mary Ellen Dwyer McCullough and Family
June 10, 2013
May your memories bring you comfort and joy and the strength to continue in your daily life routine...
June 9, 2013
Thoughts and prayers to Jan and the family,Paul will be deeply missed.What a great friend he was
Christopher Doll
June 9, 2013
My husband passed last fall from ALS.Paul helped my husband fight AlS and bless him for all that he did to raise awareness and fight for a cure!! On top of being a great governor!!! My deepest sympathies to your family.
Janet Buhler
June 9, 2013
Obedient humans will soon receive the full benefit of Jesus' ransom sacrifice.
This will occur under the rule of the Kingdom for which the upright have long prayed, saying:
“Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come.
Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:9, 10)

June 9, 2013
Paul was a great Governor and an exceptional human being. Rest in Peace and thank you for your service.
June 9, 2013
You will be missed
andrew j fitzgerald
June 9, 2013
My deepest sympathy goes to the Celucci Family.My heart is heavy.Paul was a wonderful man and I loved him as our Govenor.Paul is in good hands and will live for eternity happy and healthy.R,I.P.Paul.
Susan Furman
June 9, 2013
Gov. Cellucci there will never be another. You were a man of class and had our respect. RIP
June 9, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with the Cellucci family. My name is also Paul Cellucci and I was truly proud of the Governor when he stood with and supported the Worcester Firefighters after the cold storage warehouse fire in 1999. I am a firefighter in Troy Ny. God Bless!
Paul Cellucci
June 9, 2013
Dear Cellucci Family hello there my condolences's to the name is Faith Tobin and he'll surely be missed.luv,Faith
Faith Tobin
June 9, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with Paul's family. Paul was a wonderful governor. Rest in peace.
June 9, 2013
To the Cellucci Family:

Please accept our deepest sympathies. Paul was one of the greats. He took the time to care about people from his practice of law in Hudson to the State House and beyond.

You are in our prayers and thoughts.


Walter and Michael Sullivan
Walter and Michael Sullivan
June 9, 2013
Paul and his wife Jan visited Labrador in the summer of 2004 and inspired all who met him. He was a sage counsel for us when our military base, 5 Wing Goose Bay, was in a precarious position. The community defintely needed political profile - which he was able to lend without interference of offence at the federal, provincial, municipal or even aboriginal government level. It was another deft example of that diplomacy that Canadians appreciated throughout his term. He is fondly remembered here often and we toasted Paul and Jan here in Goose Bay this evening.

Thank you United States for sharing this great man with those north of the border.

Our thoughts are with all who knew him.

Perry Trimper
June 9, 2013
To my Hudson neighbor, God Bless and condolences to all the Cellucci family.
June 9, 2013
Thoughts and prayers with the Cellucci family.
June 9, 2013
A great man and model public servant. Too bad we don't have more like him.
Robert Bixby
June 9, 2013
One of the finest gentleman to ever serve the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Rest in Peace my friend.
Wayne Brasco
June 9, 2013
my daughters shared school years with his daughters

I am so sorry. My condolences to the family. Joge Tsang
June 9, 2013
So sorry for the loss of Paul. I thought I misread the comments on facebook. This is a difficult time for all of you and also for all the lives he touched in such a wonderful way. A true loss for all who knew him. God Bless your entire family.
Carolyn Collins
June 9, 2013
Just thought he was one of the most wonderful and kind people I've ever had the opportunity to meet on Beacon Hill. Heartfelt sympathy and prayers to his family. We just loved this brilliant and sweet, thoughtful man. We are so sad at his passing.
Susan Phillips
June 9, 2013
As a Canadian I remember Ambassador Cellucci as being very much liked and respected on both sides of the border. Canadians were sorry when he stepped down as American Ambassador to Canada. I am very sorry to learn of his passing. R.I.P.
mary mcarthur
June 9, 2013
My condolences to the Cellucci Family and May God Bless you Mr. Cellucci
June 9, 2013
My prayers go out to Paul and his family. What a wonderful man. May God bless you all and keep you in His loving care.
June 9, 2013
A class act! A life of public service and an advocate for ALS!
Barbara Redmond
June 9, 2013
condolences to the family.
deolinda depina
June 9, 2013
When I was in grad school a professor recommended I call Gov. Cellucci to help me with a paper I was writing. I never expected to hear back from him, but he called me back himself and was unbelievably helpful and down to earth. He even gave me contact information for other government officials who could assist. I was lucky enough to meet him at other events and he was extremely gracious and remembered our conversation. I have met many government officials at the federal and state level, and Gov. Cellucci was one of the most approachable of all of them. My deepest sympathies to his family.
David Jacobson
June 9, 2013
My sympathy to the Cellucci family and friends. God bless. RIP.
June 9, 2013
Mr. Cellucci,

Glad that you were a part of my life growing up as Gov. of this state of MA. May you be the arms of the angels...
June 9, 2013
Paul will be missed by all. He was an every day guy and helped so many people. He was a great Governor and did so much for Massachusetts. We only wish that there were more like him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Cellucci family. God Bless. Nick & Carolyn Zayka, Bolton, Ma.
Nick& Carolyn Zayka
June 9, 2013
Our condolences and sympathy to his family.You were a wonderful man. Rest in peace!
Michelle Agri
June 9, 2013
To the Cellucci family: Our sincere condolences on the passing of Paul. An honest,hardworking and very respected public servant but also a most loved husband and father. Rest in Peace
Marge and Jack O'Leary
June 9, 2013
Valiant to the end. My thanks to you for your service to our state and your fight to end ALS. I lost my sister-in-law to ALS and pray that medical research finds a cure.

My deepest sympathy to the Cellucci family, especially Roseanne.
Christa Jessico
June 9, 2013
Having grown up in Hudson, everyone knew the Cellucci family. Paul Cellucci was a great man, and a class act. He will be missed.
Carol Lanigan
June 9, 2013
Our heartfelt sympathy for former Governor Paul Cellucci's family. We will remember his upstanding life as a public figure, and keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers.
Bill & Sharon Lamond
June 9, 2013
So and Duaine gerke
Dorthy Jonson
June 9, 2013
I'm so sorry to hear of Paul Cellucci's passing. He was an excellent governor of our state and a very down to earth person. He will be sadly missed.
Karen Robinson-Roach
June 9, 2013
I met Gov. Cellucci as an 8-year-old little boy at the State House with my mother. I forgot why I we were there, but I was honored to meet him.

Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requesicat in Pace. Amen.
Christopher Whittle
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