DPW garage named in honor of longtime employee

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The late Ronald “Butch” Pasquarosa, a longtime employee of the town of Canton, will be honored when the Department of Public Works names its garage on Bolivar Street in his memory on Sunday, October 19.

Butch Pasquarosa

Butch Pasquarosa

Pasquarosa was born on March 30, 1939, on Lincoln Street in Canton. He attended Canton High School, graduating in 1957. He went on to serve in the Marines, and when he was discharged, he returned to his hometown. He and his wife, Helen, married in 1961 and had five children: Ronald Jr., Dawn Pasquarosa, April McKee, Celeste Ruggeri, and Milissa Clark.

Pasquarosa had a long career with the town, starting as a pitch and shovel man and working his way up to assistant superintendent. During his many years of service, he also drove the bulldozer at the town dump and dug the hole for the town swimming pool. He retired in 2003, but he didn’t stop working.

“He never really retired,” Ruggeri said of her father. “He became a tree warden.”

Residents called Pasquarosa if they thought one of their trees was diseased or if they had a question about whose property a tree was on. He inspected the trees, took photos, and made decisions in many situations.

He also plowed snow in Canton during the winter months. Ruggeri explained that the town subcontracted plowing jobs to private snowplowers and Pasquarosa worked for one of them. One morning the plower called Pasquarosa’s home to tell him that they needed him to work. Helen tried to wake him up, but couldn’t. Pasquarosa had suffered a fatal heart attack during the night. It was January 11, 2009.

Ruggeri said that her father knew the town inside out. “My father was a very knowledgeable person, especially about the town of Canton,” she said. “He knew everything about the town, maybe because his father (Michael Pasquarosa) was born here and worked for the town. If the selectmen needed information, they would call my dad.”

She said he was also a very generous person. “He was willing to help anybody out,” she said. “He would take the shirt off his back for you. Many people lived with us. People would call my father and say, ‘Can you go over and help someone?’ He liked to joke. He loved to see people happy. That was his thing.”

Selectman John Connolly is coordinating the naming ceremony in honor of Pasquarosa. He remembered him as a big man with an even bigger heart.

“I was lucky enough to have known Butch for over 20 years,” he wrote in an email. “He was my go-to guy. If something needed to be done, he would get it done. He loved the town of Canton and he truly bled Canton green.”

“One of the best things of my 25-plus years on the Board of Selectmen was getting to know Ronald ‘Butch’ Pasquarosa,” Connolly added. “I loved him dearly and truly miss him.”

Pasquarosa’s memory is also being kept alive by one of his nephews, Jim Penza. Penza works for the town and now drives the same truck his uncle did — a green Ford pickup emblazoned with the number 72. He has added the word “Butch” on the door.

The October 19 dedication ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at the DPW garage, located at 150 Bolivar Street.

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