[act-ma] Ed Agro Obit

Charlie Welch cwelch at tecschange.org
Sun Jun 14 10:17:27 PDT 2020

Ed was a keen supporter of Act-MA among his many other interests.

AGRO, Edward Robert Carl Phillip Of Randolph, MA, passed away on May 26, 
2020. He was 81 years old. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, to Joseph and 
Lydia (Melina) Agro, second generation immigrants of Italian descent. He 
grew up in several states as part of a military family with a father who 
served in WWII and Korea. Ed, as he liked to be called, settled in the 
Boston area after graduating, on full scholarship, from MIT with a BS in 
Physics. He was a scientist, an artist, an activist and most of all, a 
humanitarian with strong spiritual, moral and ethical beliefs that 
guided him throughout his life. He eschewed materialism and was quite 
happy with few possessions. First ensuring his children had what they 
needed, he often gave away what he did have for a cause or to someone 
less fortunate. When he was 27, his body became confined to a 
wheelchair, but graced with an indomitable spirit, he proceeded to live 
his life to the fullest and on his own terms. He spent his career at the 
MIT Press, editing math and science textbooks, dictionaries, and 
encyclopedias. He committed his life to social justice, and was a 
founding and active member of the New England War Tax Resistance and 
believed strongly in conscientious objection. He traveled the world via 
his mind and computer, engaging in many social justice activities that 
included helping families communicate and reunite during the Bosnian 
War. He joined the Search for Artificial Intelligence, edited Wikipedia, 
served on the Resident Advisory Board of the Boston Housing Authority, 
and memorized poems that were recited to family and friends. He loved 
boats, trains and planes, to sail and spend time with his family. He was 
an accomplished artist - many of his paintings adorn the walls in the 
homes of family and friends. Over espresso, he enjoyed long 
conversations on politics, idealism, technology, literature, and 
etiquette, often asking questions to elicit self-reflection. He 
exemplified joie de vivre. He shared many wondrous things with his 
daughters - midnight comet viewings, good and bad movies at MIT, 
paintings at the MFA, insects (which he would never kill; only observe 
alive or if already dead) under a homemade microscope, fishing for 
calamari, sailing in the Boston Harbor, and the folk/anti-war/civil 
rights music of the 1960s sung and played on his guitar. As a child, he 
enlisted his younger brother, often as the subject, in varied science 
experiments. He was gentler with his sisters, always lending an ear when 
needed. He was a devoted brother, father and grandfather who never let 
his physical limitations interfere with the experiences he shared with 
his family - but also sorely wished he could do so much more with his 
grandchildren as he aged. His physical presence will be forever missed - 
his spirit was recently beheld diving in and out of the clouds in a 
small plane over his brother's farm, Festina Lente. Ci vediamo, Papà. 
Devoted father of Lydia Agro of Milton, Jessica Buonagurio & her husband 
Mark of Hingham. Loving grandfather of Joseph & Andrew DeAscentis and 
Brian Buonagurio. Brother of Robert Agro of Brooksville, FL, Angela 
Schimelman & her husband David of Plano, TX, Sr. Joan Agro of 
Orangeburg, NY, and Eileen Agro of Port Richey, FL. Funeral Service and 
Interment private. In lieu of flowers to the family, donations in memory 
of Edward may be made to Union of Concerned Scientists - alternatively 
flowers may be sent to his nurse Carol, whom Ed called "a regular 
Salvation Army <http://www.legacy.com/memorial-sites/salvation-army/>," 
and medical team at the Harbor Health Service Plan at 1135 Morton 
Street, Mattapan, MA 02126. The NEWER historical documents preserved by 
Ed will be donated by the family for public use.

Pictures of Ed can be viewed at 

For guestbook, please visit www.lehmanreen.com 
<http://www.lehmanreen.com> Lehman Reen McNamara Brighton 617 782 1000

Published in The Boston Globe on May 31, 2020


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