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by Terri Hogan
Senior Staff Writer
Larry Joseph Pagliai is remembered as a smart and honest accountant, who was devoted to his daughters and four grandsons.
Larry Joseph Pagliai, pictured with his grandsons, George Redbord, 5, and Stefan Redbord, 2, was “not unkind to anyone,” said his daughter, Kelley Pagliai Redbord. Pagliai died in a fire in his home on March 2.
Pagliai, 71, died in a fire that destroyed his Rockville home on March 2. Since his death, his daughter, Kelley Pagliai Redbord, has been calling the clients of his small accounting practice to tell them to file an extension for their taxes. The outpouring of support has been heartwarming, she said. “So many of his clients have told us that he was not just their accountant, but also their friend,” Redbord said. “It’s hard to call because people are shocked and saddened, but they all tell us how honest and selfless he was.” She is not surprised by their words. “He was not unkind to anyone,” she said. Redbord said that although her father was a “private guy,” his neighbors kept an eye on him. “On a recent unseasonably warm Sunday, one of the neighbors had him over for a last-minute dinner,” she said. “The neighbors have showed us lots of love and support — they too are shocked and saddened by the loss of a wonderful man.”
At about 10:15 the night of the fire, firefighters arrived at 16100 Willow Lane to find the two-story house fully engulfed in flames. Willow Lane is located near Emory Lane. Firefighters were unable to account for Pagliai, who lived alone in the house. The next morning, a body was found with the assistance of a search-and-rescue dog and sent to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office. Pagliai’s identity was confirmed. It was determined that he died of smoke inhalation.
According to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer, the cause of the fire had not been determined by The Greater Olney News press time.
Redbord, a Col. Zadok Magruder High School graduate, said the fire demolished the family home. Her parents were divorced. She and her sister Danielle lived in the home until they went away to college. Redbord said her father was healthy and still working fulltime at his small practice in Washington, D.C.
Redbord has two sons, George, 5, and Stefan, 2. She said her father would often come over for dinner, spend the night and have breakfast with his grandsons the next morning. “That was so special,” she said. “He was the most amazing grandfather and great with all children. He would get down on the ground to play with them.”
He loved nature and plants, but she said his grandsons were his life. Pagliai always had cats and had gotten a kitten less than a month before his death, Redbord said. Fire investigators located the remains of a cat near his body.
Redbord has fond memories of a recent trip to Italy with her father and sister, where they visited the town where his ancestors lived. “That was such a great trip and it is so special that we were able to do that together,” Redbord said. “I just wish we could take more trips — to the beach and to the mountains. And for my sons, I wish they could have more love, more bedtime stories and more tickle-fests.”
Pagliai grew up in Silver Spring and attended Northwood High School and the University of Maryland. He also served in the U.S. Navy.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charlean and Dario Pagliai. He is survived by daughters Danielle (Jeffrey) Brown and Kelley (Ari) Redbord; and grandsons Jordan and Aiden Brown and George and Stefan Redbord.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. John the Evangelist Church on March 10.
Memorial contributions may be made to HEROES Inc., 1200 29th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20007. or www.heroes.org.
Terri Hogan can be reached at email@example.com.
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