Earlier this month, the Malden community lost a beloved member when Paul “Mr. Fam” Famiglietti hit a guardrail on April 14 while riding his motorcycle and died.
‘Mr. Fam’ was 54. He was a staple in the community, especially at the local high school, where he was a study hall teacher, class adviser, photographer for the yearbook, and a publicist for the school promoting everything from sporting events to fund-raisers. To students, however, he was more than that, he was someone who they genuinely enjoyed spending time with.
“I found refuge in Mr. Fam’s classroom, I knew I was guaranteed to smile if I spent some time with him,” said Molly Brickman, who graduated from Malden High in 2009. “It breaks my heart to think that Malden High lost such a dedicated and passionate employee. He was a rare breed.”
Famigletti had been employed at Malden High for nine years, but his services started even before that, during the time his children attended the high school. He was an eager volunteer who dedicated himself to any cause he was involved in. He always had his camera out at sporting events, school-sponsored events, or even just an average day in study hall. His classroom walls were covered from top to bottom with photos of students he had over the nine years he worked there.
“When I think of Malden High I literally think of [Mr.] Fam’s room with a million pictures on the walls and him in the corner of the classroom sharing his newest plans to raise money for our class, so eager and excited to get started,” recalled Stephanie Rossi, a 2009 graduate. “He made my senior year the best it could be and I’ll be forever grateful to him for that.”
After his death, Famiglietti’s past and present students took to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to express their sadness. On Twitter, his name became a trending topic in the Boston area.
“Wow, I had no idea he became a trending topic, I think that shows you right there just how much his death impacted our community,” said Jared Rogers,a Malden High alum.
More than 500 people paid their respects at the George L Doherty Funeral Home in Somerville last week. The family asked that the funeral Mass be private. Multiple candlelight vigils have been held at Malden High in his honor, along with flowers, candles, and messages students left on the front steps of the school in his honor.
“Just an all around beautiful person, and I’ll always look back on my high school career so much more appreciative knowing that I got the privilege of meeting such a great, great man,” said 2008 graduate Tessa Pelligrini.
This story was published under an agreement between Boston University and Boston.com.