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Paul Sardi (1958 - 1981)

A photo of Paul Sardi
Paul Sardi
1958 - 1981
Born
June 29, 1958
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire County, England
Death
April 25, 1981
Boulevard Exit off I-95 in New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, United States
Last Known Residence
New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut United States
Summary
Paul Sardi of New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut United States was born on June 29, 1958 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire County England. Paul was baptized c. 1958. Paul Sardi died at age 22 years old on April 25, 1981 at Boulevard Exit off I-95 in New Haven, New Haven County, and was buried on April 29, 1981 at Kings Highway Cemetery in Milford.
Updated: December 16, 2022
Biography ID: 7277083

Paul Sardi's Biography

Family, friend, or fan this Collaborative Biography is for you to show & tell Paul's life so that he is always remembered.
About Paul

Introduction

Paul was a fun person with an amazing personality. He enjoyed living life fully, and was a great brother and friend to many of his classmates and acquaintances.
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Paul Sardi
Most commonly known as
Paul Sardi
Full legal name
None stated
Other names or aliases

Name & aliases

New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut United States
Last place lived

Last residence

June 29, 1958
Birthday
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire County England
Birth location

Birth details

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Ethnicity & Family History

Paul was born in Cheltenham, England. His mother was English and his father, Hungarian.

Nationality & Locations

Paul grew up in Milford, CT, and lived locally his entire life.

Education

Paul graduated from Lenox Avenue School in 1972, and from Jonathan Law High School in 1976. He later attended Southern Connecticut State University for Art courses.

Religion

c. 1958
Baptism date
Unknown
Place of worship

Baptism date & location

Although raised Christian, Paul changed his views later in his short life. He did not consider himself religious.

Professions

Paul was a chef, and then a welder, although he was talented in many areas and aspired to be an artist for the Walt Disney Company.

Personal Life

Paul attained the rank of Life in the Boy Scouts while part of Troop 71. He was active in many school athletic programs, played baseball at several league levels, was excellent at chess, and was honored by many scholarly awards such as membership in the National Junior Honor Society. He was chosen to participate in Boys State for the State of Connecticut.

Military Service

Paul did not serve in the military.
April 25, 1981
Death date
Injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident
Cause of death
Boulevard Exit off I-95 in New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut United States
Death location

Death details

April 29, 1981
Funeral date
Kings Highway Cemetery in Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut United States
Burial location

Gravesite & burial

Obituary

SARDI, PAUL -- In New Haven, April 25, 1981, Paul Sardi of 73 Loomis St., Devon, devoted father of Kristen Lee Sardi and beloved son of George and Sheila Herbert Sardi of Milford and brother of Stephen, Richard, Andrew, and Miss Julia Sardi, all of Milford. Friends are invited to attend the funeral on Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. from the Gregory F. Doyle Funeral Home, 291 Bridgeport Ave., Devon and in St. Ann's Church at 9 a.m. with a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment in Kings Highway Cemetery, Milford. Friends may call Tuesday from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sardi was born in Sheltenham, England and had been a Milford resident for 19 years. He was a 1976 cum laude graduate of Jonathan Law High School. He was a member of the school's honor society, chess, wrestling, soccer and track team, a Connecticut State Scholar, and was featured in Who's Who of America High School Students. He had also received awards in art and sculptures. Survivors include a daughter, Miss Kristen Lee Sardi of Bridgeport; his parents, George and Sheila Herbert Sardi, of Milford; three brothers, Stephen G. Sardi, Richard E. Sardi and Andrew J. Sardi; a sister, Miss Julia G. Sardi all of Milford; and his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Herbert of London, England. Services will take place Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. in the Gregory F. Doyle Funeral Home, 291 Bridgeport Avenue, Devon, and at 9 o'clock in St. Ann's Church, Devon. Burial will be in Kings Highway Cemetery. {Transcribed *directly* from the Bridgeport Post newspaper announcement --sic }

Average Age & Life Expectancy

Paul Sardi lived 53 years shorter than the average Sardi family member when he died at the age of 22.
The average age of a Sardi family member is 75.
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Memories: Stories & Photos

Who is Paul Sardi to you? Share memories and family stories, photos, or ask questions.
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Paul (left) and me (Stephen), approx. 1962
Paul (left) and me (Stephen) standing in front of our father's `1956 Ford. Taken shortly after moving into 73 Loomis Street in Milford where we both lived until the late 1970s. Paul was taller than me at the time, but as we grew older, eventually we were similar in size to the point where we shared clothing.
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Hi Stephen,
I just read the story of Paul & you. I am so sorry that your Brother died, & so young. You have memorialized him here in a most beautiful way. You are very brave. I didn't know Paul or you, however his story has touched me.
Thank you for that,
Lynn
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Paul Sardi
Paul (on the left) and me (Stephen) approx. 1962. This is my favorite picture of the two of us together.
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04/13/2022
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04/13/2022
A promising young life, ending so early! That's the problem with motorcycles - it doesn't mater how safe and careful YOU are on your bike - it's all those yahoos out there, not paying attention, who will kill you, and there are no "fender benders" on bikes - you are totally exposed. 😢
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Paul Sardi (1976)
Painting by Paul Sardi
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I've heard that memories coupled to music stay around in our brains for a long time, which is why we remember the words to early childhood songs we learned as small children into adulthood.

From the time I was born and as a small child, Paul and I slept in the same twin bed. We had no choice, as there wasn't much room in the house. With time, our father finished the upstairs in the house, effectively adding two additional rooms. Paul and I took one of the rooms, and we each had our own twin bed on opposite sides of the room. We felt like we'd moved into a palace.

When we both worked at Perry's in Milford, we had the same hours so generally came and went at the same time. But by 1976 he got tired of working there and left to find something else, eventually working at a Friendly's in Stratford (which is no longer there). At that point, I still worked at Perry's (and did until it closed at the end of 1977), so our hours didn't overlap the way they used to.

One night, I came home from work and entered our room. Paul got home earlier from work than I did, and was lying on his bed, listening to his 8-track player using his headphones. The song he was listening to, which I could barely make out, was 'I'm Not In Love' by 10CC.

Soon after, he got married and we had one final night sleeping in the same room. He was packed up and ready to go, and he was getting married the following day. I looked over at him while he was sleeping and wondered what the future held, for both him and me. My mother had been very honest with us --- once we moved out -- we weren't coming back. This was *it*. Whatever the outcome, we were on our own.

That night was over 44 years ago, and Paul is now long gone. But, occasionally, I hear the song play on the radio, and it brings back very specific, very visual memories of those long-ago days. While I wish someday I could forget the sounds of the past, I'm pretty sure I never will.
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Thank you for sharing your wonderful stories about your brother…they are beautiful and sad and full of life…a life too short, but he was well-loved by you, and family and his friends…glad you have this space to tell us about him.
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Hi Pam, thanks for reading about my brother, and for your very kind comments.

You are right -- the team at AncientFaces made this all possible. I knew about this platform for many years, but any time I thought to sit down and write -- the words were impossible to put down on the screen. Hopefully, I have conveyed why the thoughts and words just wouldn't come easily.

You, on the other hand -- have been a member for many years. I give you credit for having the confidence and desire to contribute. I'm sure the very capable and committed AncientFaces team appreciates your involvement (for now two decades!); these are excellent people who are supremely committed to their message of giving people like me, a voice in remembrance of others.

Thank you again for reaching out!
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Hi Stephen, loved reading your stories and I understand the pain in writing, but the desire to have a permanent record of someone you love. I have done the same with my many of my close relatives, but now you have inspired me to write about my best friend from Jr. High who played such an important role in who I am today (she passed away in the early 1990's)...I do hope you write more about your brother (and those others you miss} as you have a one of those rare 'writing-talents' that brings life to your words=you paint a picture that puts the reader 'right there' inside your story!
Yes, I have been a long time member of AF, but I am also a founder, and you and your photos and stories epitomize the reason we brought this site to life. Thank you so much for sharing and letting us all enjoy your love of your brother and your wonderful adventures! It's truly a gift for us all!
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Hi Stephen,
Thank you for sharing your memories of Paul. It’s given me new perspectives about the life of a close friend from so many years ago.
As you know, Paul and I were best friends at Lenox Avenue Elementary School. We met in 3rd grade in 1966. I can place the date because I’ll never forget going to your house for a play date, and Paul was excited to tell me we were going to watch the Monkees on TV. I expected to see primates but was delightfully introduced to the pop band! You might say Paul introduced me to Rock and Roll at a young age! Paul and I became fast friends due to a broad range of common interests. We both loved art (although Paul was much more talented), loved science fiction (our imaginations were captivated by the space program and the robot on the TV show Lost in Space), and making up stories and adventure games on the playground.
One of our favorite past times on the playground was designing machines using sticks to draw in the dirt. We knew for example the Lost in Space robot was an actor in a robot suit. We were convinced we could build a similar suit and spent days at lunch break drawing plans to build our own robot suits. Ultimately realizing it was beyond our capability, we turned our attention to drawing plans for a rocket ship. We read about them in the library, but again, we didn’t quite have the technology!
Perhaps our most creative and useful invention was our own sign language. We created hand signs for letters and punctuation and for a few common phrases like “come here” and “erase/start over”! We could sign messages across the playground or classroom as fast as 'kids' can text today. On one occasion, we were interrupted while messaging across the classroom by our Teacher. Mrs. Jenkins asked us if we wanted to let the class in on our “conversation.” A bit mortified, we resolved to limit signing to more appropriate venues. In retrospect, I think the teacher probably found it funny and a little bit impressive!
Paul and I never had a dull or idle moment, from creative projects and riding bikes, to telling scary stories inside your pitch-black garage until we were so scared we bolted out into the sunlight! I think you may recall a few of the games we played as well.
Paul and I went separate ways in High School. But he was my earliest and most influential friend. He was brilliant, creative, and exciting to be around. I regret that the world lost a wonderful man way too early. But I think of him often and know he touched my life and others in a wonderful and enduring way.
Seth
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Hi Seth, it's great to hear from you.

Thank you for sharing your personal experiences with Paul -- you have a unique perspective that I could have only seen second-hand. But I do remember how close the two of you were as friends, and I recall how kind and friendly your family was to him as well.

In contributing to documenting part of Paul's life for future readers, you've helped give great insight into his grammar school years. I hope they will see, in your words, his relationship with you -- and the things that interested and fascinated you both. Those were simpler times, and friendships were what helped us through our early years.

Seth, thank you for your friendship with my brother. Whenever I think of our early years growing up, I remember your being there, and making things all the more interesting and fun.

The excellent AncientFaces team, with their commitment to creating this platform -- giving people like me the opportunity to share memories for future readers -- deserve great thanks and appreciation. But also, contributions like yours that shed light on the distant past from a first-hand perspective really add the content that make my brother's life even more interesting and insightful.

Seth, on behalf of my brother -- thanks again!
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Paul Sardi wrestling team Co-Capt.
Paul Sardi wrestling team Co-Capt at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, CT. Approximately 1976
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Drawn by Paul Sardi
Program from Paul's high school graduation
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The world of the early 1970s was not anything like the lives we lead today. Back then, there were no computers, cell phones, or even much to watch on TV with limited channels and content. It was very easy to get bored.

We would play outside starting early morning, but by the afternoon, we would run out of things to keep us entertained, especially in the summer. Once we delivered our newspapers, the rest of the day was left up to us to figure out what to do with.

At that time, Paul and I both played baseball, so we usually played catch for a while, but if the day was too hot, we came inside the house, and unfortunately -- continued our efforts to keep ourselves entertained. Our mother strictly forbade us throwing things inside the house, but on this particular day -- our minds were elsewhere.

My mother had an Amaryllis plant in a pot in the living room. It was tall and flowering, and it was quite happy sitting where it was -- until we decided to use the room to extend our game of catch. I forget what we were throwing around, but eventually, one of us hit the plant and completely bent the stalk in half.

We knew the repercussions. We'd been told many times not to do it, but we did it anyway, and we broke our mother's plant.

But Paul had this idea -- my mother had placed a stake in the soil to hold the plant up while it was growing, and had placed a piece of yarn loosely around the stalk as support. He simply stood the plant upright, attempted to 'round' the stalk, and then placed the yarn higher up on the plant to make it stay. It seemed to work.

Later that night, we were sitting in the living room watching TV. At a commercial break, I looked over at my brother and saw a look of horror on his face. He very slowly gestured to me to look at the plant.

Slowly, very slowly, the yarn was sliding down the stalk and the flower was starting to droop. My mother hadn't noticed it yet, but we knew what was coming. Eventually, down it went.

I don't recall what happened after that. Likely, we were asked if we had been horsing around in the house, and we tried to weasel our way out of it. But eventually, we were caught and had to admit our foul deed.

I think my mother (despite her frustration with us killing her plant) was a bit bemused by Paul's efforts to hide the outcome. In the future, we learned our lesson because we both felt badly about the plant and decided what we had done was very stupid. But I'll always remember the look on my brother's face as the moment of doom approached for both of us.
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Many years ago, Paul and I received a gift of a record from our parents -- 'Peter and the Wolf'. We listened to it many times as small children. Our father, no fan of rock and roll, was fine with us playing it because it is orchestral in nature, with a story to tell that is easily understandable. We could only listen to it in our living room at the time because that was the only record player we owned as a family.

The two of us would sit by the record player and listen to the recording over and over -- we loved it. I believe it gave us both some insight into forms of music we would enjoy in our futures. While both of us liked rock, we also listened to classical music as well.

When Paul was in first grade, he had the fateful idea to offer to bring in the record to let his class enjoy it the way he did. His teacher said it was fine, as long as our mother gave him permission to bring it into school.

And then the discussion began -- my mother didn't want him to bring the record into school. But Paul had been telling his classmates how much he enjoyed it -- and how much *they* would enjoy it, so it became a matter of pride. He *had* to somehow get his classmates to hear it and enjoy it the way he did.

Finally -- he managed to convince our mother that he could get the record to school and bring it home successfully. When we were little, and our parents got angry with us (usually deservedly), Paul always managed to make my mother laugh. It got us off the hook sometimes, but I always saw it as the special relationship between our mother and her first born child. This skill also allowed him to be very convincing when in reality, we knew she really didn't want us to do something.

Since records are now old technology (although making a comeback), a bit of description -- there was a cardboard cover with a picture on the front and information about the record on the back. Inside the cover, there was a sleeve that protected the record from scratching by the cover. It also, when oriented correctly, prevented the record from sliding out of the cover. To store the record, you put it first in the sleeve, then oriented it so that the sleeve opening was pointed at the top of the cover when inserted.

That fateful day, the record was in the sleeve, but the opening was in the same direction as the opening in the cover.

As Paul was carrying the record, and as he was crossing Naugatuck Avenue just before arrival at school -- the record fell out of the cover/sleeve and onto the road surface, along it's edge. The record, being made out of a hard, brittle material, cracked from the edge to the center, and a chip fell out along the outer edge.

He picked it up and brought it in anyway, but the teacher told him she believed it was too damaged to play and wouldn't try.

When we got home that afternoon, Paul showed the record to our mother and told her what happened. She tried to fix it, but the damage was too much for the needle to be able to track the grooves successfully.

We were heartbroken -- in those days, there were no 'do overs' -- our parents weren't wealthy and buying another one was either not possible or not affordable. We were stuck.

I remember the two of us listening to the record together, enjoying the music and asking for it to be played over and over. Once it was broken, it was over -- we were never able to listen to the record again.

My parents saved it anyway, and years later, Paul and I would take the record out (even though we couldn't play it) and look at it with fond memories. These days, with everything available online, I could probably find the record for sale somewhere and get it, for old time's sake.

But the reality is -- it was enjoyable because my brother and I both found it entertaining and fun, together. I recall sitting there on the living room floor in front of the record player, cross-legged, with huge smiles as we listened to it for the hundredth time.
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A memory of a Christmas, long ago...

Paul and I slept in the same bed -- our 4 room house had two bedrooms, but there were eventually four of us boys. My parents had one bedroom, we had the other. Paul and I slept in an upper bunk.

It was early Christmas morning -- 1962 or 3. The presents were under the tree, and since we slept about 15 feet away, we could hear things through the night. We knew Santa had arrived.

In the main room of the house, there was a large heat vent where the hot air from the furnace entered the room. We got up -- it must have been about 4am, and we sat together on the vent to keep warm. We knew we would be in trouble if we woke our parents up.

The two of us watched the twinkling lights on the tree. We saw the presents, but couldn't open them until given the go-ahead. So there we sat -- enjoying the heat, relishing the idea of presents to come, and talking about the Christmas dinner we were going to enjoy.

Sixty years have gone by since then. I remember our excitement as we waited for the morning to begin, thinking it would be the beginning of a never-ending lifetime of Christmases together.
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A few weeks ago, I was in Milford on an errand and decided to take a look at the house that I grew up in on Loomis St. After our parents passed, the house was sold and is now owned by someone outside the family.

In front of the house there is a small plot of land, and by the sidewalk next to the street there is a hedge that forms a waist-high fence. There is an opening in the hedges that allows someone to walk to the front of the house to knock on the front door.

As children, our mother would not allow us to handle the sharp tools used to maintain the yard, hedge-clippers among them. So, Paul and I used to watch our mother doing the yard work, wondering when we would be able to use the equipment. None of it was motorized, so there was quite a bit of manual labor to finish any yard job.

One year, when he was still quite young, Paul decided he was tired of watching and wanted to get in on the action. When our mother went out there to start trimming, Paul followed shortly after and told her that he was ready to take on care of the hedges as 'his' chore. Our mother was not sure -- but decided to let him try it to see if he would do it safely, and what kind of job he might do.

It took him a long time -- much longer than it would have taken my mother. But he stuck with it, and did a fantastic job. That was it -- it was his chore from then on.

He never asked if he should do the chore -- he simply grabbed the trimmers and did it when it was needed. And always -- a great job.

I saw those hedges during my drive-by of the house. As back then, they are still standing -- waiting for a caring hand to form them to perfection.
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When we were in our early teens, Paul and I would ride our bikes to the movie theatre located at the Connecticut Post Mall. At the time, it was a single screen white building located on the very edge of the mall as a separate location. In those days, movies tended to come out and stay out -- for long periods of time. In 1974, late one summer, we decided to go see 'The Sting'.

We rode our bikes from our home to the theatre, but along the way -- we passed the King's Highway Cemetery. Paul would stop there and wait for me to catch up. He would point to the cemetery and ask me: 'Do you know why there's a fence around the cemetery?'. Of course, I knew it HAD to be a joke, so I played along and said I didn't. He laughed and replied: 'Because people are dying to get in!'.

At the time, I thought it was a morbid joke -- not very funny. But with his sense of humor, he couldn't help it.

We went to the movie and as it turned out -- we were the only two people in the entire showing. We got big boxes of popcorn and completely enjoyed our personalized event.

About 7 years later, Paul would be buried approximately 200 feet from where we shared his little joke. Any time I go visit him there, I think about the joke and how he would never have imagined the eventual outcome. I used to be sad in thinking about the irony of his laughter, but I now realize he lived his life the way he wanted and having a laugh at mortality, even potentially his own, was just the way he was.
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When Paul and I were growing up, he was always one school year ahead of me. So, thanks to him, many things I learned a year early because he showed me what he was doing and gave me instruction. Among us siblings, he was our leader and went first in virtually everything.

One year he taught me basic math, and we used it to figure out something very interesting to us both: in the year 2000 (a very long ways off at that time), he would turn 42 years old, and I would turn 41. Imagine our surprise at those numbers considering how young we both were.

Of course now, in hindsight, by the year 2000 he would already be gone for 19 years.

In 1972, he graduated from Lenox Avenue School 8th grade. For their graduation ceremony, the school would pick someone from the 7th grade to announce the names of the graduates to come to the podium to receive their certificate. I was asked to call out the names, which I was very pleased to do.

At the ceremony, I announced the names one by one. Eventually I got to my brother.

I remember seeing the smile on his face -- that same smile that he used to try to make me laugh at very bad, inopportune times. But this time, there was pride and excitement -- he was moving on with his life, and would be going to Jonathan Law High School (JLHS) in September. I would be curious and nervous about going there, but he would be a year ahead and give me guidance. He always told me: 'don't worry, and don't take it too seriously'. I was proud of him -- and also, anxious for him. But he never showed any hesitancy -- he was ready for the next steps, whatever they were.

Lenox Avenue School closed (as a school) in the early 1980's and was turned into a community center. It still looks the same, and if you drive by the building you can see the entrance to the kindergarten rooms where Paul and I first walked together (while he was heading for his first grade class) in 1964.

After graduating from JLHS in 1976, he lived for less than 5 more years, and those were hectic, difficult years for him. I know that had he lived, things would have worked out well for him in the long run.
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Back in the mid '60s, our grandmother gave Paul and me a dime each to spend any way we wanted. It was incredible -- such a gift!

In those days, you could do quite a bit with 10 cents. Paul's idea was simple -- he wanted to go to a candy store, not for candy, though -- he wanted a glass of soda. Whatever he wanted -- so did I.

There was a corner store in downtown Devon (part of Milford) near our house. Paul and I convinced our mother to let us walk there together to spend that dime for something we would really enjoy: a glass of Coca-Cola. Picture this: it wasn't just a can of Coke. You sat at a soda bar on tall chairs that swiveled, where the man behind the counter served up a big glass of 'fresh' Coca-Cola -- first, he filled it with the most carbonated water you ever tasted, then added two pumps of Coca-Cola syrup using a big hand pump -- then used a long spoon to stir the mixture. For 10 cents, you never tasted anything better.

We handed over our dimes for the fun and excitement of enjoying something we seldom had as kids. So commonplace today, but back then, it was a serious treat.

A short time later, emboldened by our trip to the store, Paul and I walked around the big block near our house. Part of our trip took us alongside the Boston Post Road, even then a busy road. We hadn't informed our mother, though -- and she came looking for us. Eventually, she calmed down when she saw we were 'just out for a walk'. Those were different times.

When we were walking home together, she asked me: wasn't I afraid? I told her no -- I was with my big brother who would always look out for me.
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Paul Sardi
This is the front of Paul's previous headstone, in place from April 1981 to August 2020.
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I'd like to give credit where credit is due. Thank you -- AncientFaces team!!

I had dropped by AncientFaces for many years prior to writing about my brother. I wasn't ready -- but clearly AncientFaces was -- at any time. For a long time, I just couldn't find the internal will to remember my love for my brother in detail.

I used to think that what I knew about my brother would be handed down to family members. As time has gone by, though, the family has remained apart. I don't have access to those who might benefit from hearing these stories about their relative who died way too young. I want them to feel pride and perhaps an 'aha!' moment when they think about what they might have inherited from him.

Maybe, also -- there is just no interest. That's why AncientFaces is such a critical way for people like me to preserve history. The person I write about had a great, interesting life and his effect on me lingers to this day. He deserves to be remembered.

Someday, someone out there will stumble on my musings and learn something about their distant relative. He was a young man with hopes, dreams, and a bright future. He was and would have been a valuable member of society, contributing in many positive ways. His death made the world a poorer and less happy place.

Thank you, AncientFaces team -- without you, the memories would die and there would only be a simple stone in a cemetery informing the world of absolutely nothing. Thank you for the chance to give my brother a little hope for immortality in the digital age.
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Thank YOU Stephen for sharing your memories of Paul. I look forward to reading about Paul and things he did and loved while he was here with us. I also have missed him everyday since he's been gone. I have many pictures and things Paul had given me when we were together. Do you remember the clay dragon with the castle on it's back? I still have it! I have the program from Paul's high school graduation that he drew the picture on the cover. It makes me happy to hold these things and remember him. Nancy (DiFederico) Mandeville
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Hi Nancy:

Yes, I do remember him working on the dragon with the castle, I saw him sculpting it. I didn't know at the time that he intended it as a gift to you. I just saw it as a whimsical approach to his making the world seem stranger than it actually is -- he had that surrealistic approach to life that I sometimes found amusing and yes, startling. I'm glad you held on to it over the years as a memento of your time together.

There were many things he created with his energy and talent that unfortunately are long gone. I have so few things of his -- his chess set reminds me so much of our times together where he won game after game. At one point, I believed he might actually play chess for a living, but his artistic skills were even more exciting as a potential future. Thanks for posting the program with his hand-drawn picture of the school.
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Thank you Stephen for sharing about your brother Paul. Everyone here at AncientFaces loves reading your stories and memories.

You understand 100% what AncientFaces is all about. We exist to remember our loved ones and our ancestors before us so that their memories live on. Our hope is to show who people really were through sharing our recollections, photos, and stories together. A living memorial where everyone can share easily with their devices.

Thank you for the very kind comment. We promise to continue to do our best to create a community and platform worthy of remembering those people, like your brother, who are important to us.
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I've written most of these posts *not* in chronological order, but mostly as they came to me during times of reflection.

Whoever might read this in the future might wonder -- how did it all end up? Of all my thoughts, this story is perhaps the most difficult of anything I have written.

I recently saw a part of an interview with Barry Gibb, who was reflecting on his relationship with his brothers, all deceased. With a very sad look on his face, he said: "I lost all of them during low points in our relationships, which I very much regret". I know exactly where he was coming from.

My brother got married in 1978 -- he was very young, and not ready (maturity-wise) for a lifetime commitment. At that time, I was going to school and working to pay for it -- a very bad combination which meant I had zero time for a personal life. It was a high-stress, difficult year.

When Paul got married, he had a baby on the way and his life and mine went in different directions. He moved out of my parent's house into a small apartment with his wife. I was so bogged down in my own life that I wasn't really paying attention to his.

After a short time being married, I found out that he decided to get a divorce. Since neither he nor I were old enough to really understand how life worked, I took his announcement very badly. I felt that he was abandoning his wife, and even more importantly, his infant daughter. How he could do this was severely troublesome to me. Our relationship strained and we didn't speak for some time.

Frankly -- I didn't know what to say, how to react, how to offer to help -- none of that. I'm disappointed in my 20-year old self to this day. I was not there for him.

In 1979, I got my first 'real' job at Dresser Industries in Stratford, CT. As fate would have it, my brother got a job there as a welder working second shift in early 1980. We ran into each other in the hallways of the factory and starting speaking again. We never did discuss his marital status, or what was happening with his daughter -- he was more interested in talking about his motorcycle, and how he (finally!) had freedom to do the things *he* wanted to do. He told me he was working two full-time jobs, and for the first time in his life, he had money.

We never talked about how his future potential as an artist was completely derailed by two full-time blue collar jobs. He looked tired, but appeared to be content. I knew the night foreman at Dresser who told me that sometimes he found that Paul had fallen asleep next to his welding machine, but because he was such a good worker, didn't have the heart to reprimand or turn him in -- I thanked him for taking care of my brother. That was the story of Paul's life, people liked him and tried to look out for him.

Since he and I were planning on living forever (of course!), I figured my hard feelings about how he had 'freed himself' from his family would be reconciled at another time. But -- we never followed up on that discussion, there was no time...

We were -- 'at a low point in our relationship'. I didn't know it then, but who really does?

The last time we spoke, he took me outside the factory to see his new motorcycle. To me, it looked scary -- way too big for a new rider. My mother had not allowed Paul and me to drive until we were 18, which meant that Paul had very limited time as an experienced driver, let alone a motorcycle rider.

I asked him to please be careful driving it. With his typical nonchalance, he laughed off my concern.

When you are younger, there is always a future -- at least, that's what you think. I recall these events with sadness and frustration -- why did I have to be so tough on him? Could I have been supportive in any way instead of judging him by my own thoughtless standards? With 40+ years of hindsight, I know I should have been there for him -- he would have been for me.
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Many years ago, TV Guide was published as a weekly, and you needed to have it to know what was showing on all the major channels. In the back, there was an ad that ran all the time -- a company that showed a picture and asked "Can you draw this figure?". If you could, and sent it to them, they would assess your artistic skills.

Paul convinced my mother to let him give it a try. He did, and sent the picture to them -- and amazingly, a man showed up at our door from the art school looking to speak with Paul.

My mother heard what the man said and saw it for what it was -- a sales pitch. They wanted to sign Paul up for their art school, but my mother would not approve him signing up. There was money involved, and without knowing who she was dealing with, refused to go along with his pitch.

The man eventually gave up. He knew my mother would not sign Paul up.

But I remember what the man said as he was leaving. He turned to Paul and said: 'your mother is right -- I see many of these where there is no talent, and our school tries to get people who have no talent to be able to fulfill their wish to become artists. In your case, though -- you are very talented already. Whatever you do with your life, use your skills to show what you can do. Your picture showed serious talent'.

With that, the man left, and we never heard from him or the company again. Paul went on to show his artistic ability in many ways for the rest of his short life, and while watching cartoons, he would say to me: some day -- that's what I'm going to do -- animation!
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Immediately after Paul died, the decision was made to have his wake and funeral at Doyle's Funeral Home at the top of Loomis Street in Milford, where we grew up. Doyle's had been a newspaper customer of ours so going there for the ceremony was grief-enhancing -- too many memories of our earlier days as their paperboys.

The wake was incredibly well-attended. There had to be hundreds of people there, the room was filled and there was a line outside the building. Since he died young, Paul still had all his friends from high school, including teachers both from the high school and the grammar school as well, even though he had graduated from grammar school in 1972. Paul was not the type you would easily forget.

On the morning of his funeral, I was the last one to step up to his coffin to say goodbye.

I didn't say a prayer, he wouldn't have wanted that. Instead, I put my hand on his shoulder.

Underneath the cloth of his letter sweater (I don't think he owned a suit), I could feel the strength of his muscles -- the same strength I felt when we played king-of-the-hill in the years before, or while in the swimming pool playing knock-over games with one of us on the other's shoulder, having friendly battles. Muscles he had built while struggling for success on the high school wrestling team -- but would be denied the chance to see him through the rest of his life.

Right after I walked away, the funeral director closed the coffin for the trip to the church for the funeral. I would be the last person to touch him before burial. To this day, those memories stay with me -- his shattered head (the funeral home had attempted to make him look as he did in life, but the damage was too extensive -- they tried their best), his letter sweater that he had been so proud to earn and received during a ceremony honoring his athletic achievements, and the roses he would have in the coffin with him as gifts from people who deeply cared about him.

No matter how I might feel about all this, he was not there -- what had been was no more. The echoes of his voice, the thought of our laughter over a shared joke, the times we went places together where we were the only two of our family who would ever experience what we did -- all that, gone forever.
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Many years ago in the late 60's, we went to church together as a family and sat in the very first pew. Paul and I always sat next to each other, and he used the opportunity to figure out ways to get me to laugh out loud. It was tough, he could be very funny, and sometimes we got in trouble.

But I remember one particular morning. The morning sun was bright, and the light was streaming through the stained glass windows. It looked very beautiful and serene.

We always arrived early, and while waiting, we read the weekly bulletin published by the church. This particular morning, I read the entire page and stopped at the remembrances. There were names of the deceased, showing how long they had been gone for -- 10 years, 20, 30, even 40 years. I asked myself -- would you even remember someone who was gone for 40 years? My experience with death was so limited at that time.

On April 25 this year (2021), Paul has been gone for 40 years. When I asked myself that question while sitting in church, the answer (as it turns out) was sitting right next to me.

The answer is not only yes -- but each year that goes by, the memories of what was, what might have been, and how much you can miss someone just increases. I picture myself looking at my brother and smiling -- with his smile right back at me, ever ready to try to get me to laugh. Sometimes, those 40 years seem like just yesterday.
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Paul Sardi
This is the back of Paul's previous headstone, in place from April 1981 to August 2020.
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Paul Sardi
This is the back of the Sardi family headstone. When Paul and I were growing up, one of our favorite albums was 'Dark Side of the Moon' by Pink Floyd. We must have listened to it hundreds of times.

One night, in a reflective mood, Paul told me that if anything happened to him, he wanted this verse from the album on his headstone. At heart, he was a poet and for some reason, he found this verse particularly appealing.
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I've mentioned before that Paul and I were in Boy Scouts together (Cub Scout Pack 14, Boy Scout Troop 71 in Milford). During our time in the troop, we were encouraged to earn the highest rank -- Eagle Scout.

At the time, a scout needed to earn (something like) 21 merit badges, and there were many to choose from. Some were mandatory, but the rest were discretionary. You tended to select those you felt most comfortable learning about. The traditional badges were earned by almost all scouts (Camping, First Aid, Cooking, etc.)

For some reason -- Paul wanted to go after Corn Farming merit badge. It was so unusual for our geographic area that the counsel didn't have an adult to review performance and sign off, a necessary step to actually receiving the badge. That didn't stop Paul -- he told our Scoutmaster (Mr. Gourdier) that he planned to do it, and got it approved. I think Mr. Gourdier wasn't 100% sure Paul *wasn't* kidding, but since he treated us all like adults, he assumed Paul meant it and told Paul he would find the right person to sign off on the badge

Where we lived, our house had no real property on which to grow a crop like corn. But behind us on Fairview Street, our neighbor Mr. Lauridsen and his wife had a large plot of land they used for farming and growing flowers. Paul went over there and discussed his plan with Mr. Lauridsen -- who was very happy to try this experiment with Paul and was very encouraging.

So -- from around May until late summer, Paul went over there and learned how to grow corn. It was exciting and fun to see, and he never lost confidence that it would happen. When the time came, the man required to sign-off on the badge visited and reviewed the 3 rows of corn my brother had planted and nurtured all summer long. The man asked many questions, but the end result was -- Paul received the badge.

I remember looking at Paul's sash (where Scouts are required to sew their actual badges when received) in order to display them at more formal events. You could see all of Paul's 'regular' badges, but then you'd see the unusual one with three ears of corn on it as well. He was proud of that badge -- nobody ever asked him about it, but I remember Mr. Gourdier being very pleased to see it be awarded to him. I remember his astonishment at the choice, and more importantly, that Paul had followed it through to success.

Neither Paul nor I made it to Eagle Scout. Generally, those that achieve that lofty goal do it with the motivational and enabling support of their parents. We didn't have that, so we hobbled along doing what we could until we ran out of time. My brother taught me something very important -- to be motivated and do what you want to do, even if everyone else thinks it strange. You might not even get any help in achieving the goal -- but just stay with it. My brother was fortunate to have adults who really cared in his life.

Both Mr. Lauridsen and Mr. Gourdier are both long gone, but they were key figures in my brother's short life. I'll always remember them, and thank them for treating my brother with respect and giving him the mentoring support he deserved.
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Our entire family went on a vacation to Niagara Falls, Canada, in the summer of 1968. As it turned out, even though my youngest sister was not born yet (our mother was expecting that December) -- it would be the only time we went on vacation together as a family. It's also the farthest from home my brother ever traveled and the only time he ever left the US.

The itinerary took us first to Old Forge, NY, where we went to the Enchanted Forest Theme Park (I'm not sure it even exists anymore). I don't remember much about the actual place, but the night before we went there is very clear in my mind.

Back then, our father worked second shift at the Avco-Lycoming factory, so he slept until later in the morning and came home at night after we were in bed. Aside from weekends (if he wasn't working overtime), we really didn't interact with him that much. On this trip, though, he was free in the evenings. One night there was nothing to do, and we were going to the park the next day, so my father, Paul and I went into the back of the hotel room where my father came up with a game for us -- he combined two decks of cards for a mega-version of War. We thought that was the *coolest* thing, and the game took hours.

We had a blast, the three of us. Ironically, it's the thing I remember most about the whole trip. Sitting there, playing cards with my older brother, with our father's full attention. It had never happened before, and as fate would have it -- it never happened again.

Paul and I talked about 'the game' in the years after. It's funny how such a simple thing became legendary in our minds. Eventually, we didn't speak much about it as we matured and other events became more important to us. But I'll always remember the feeling of being together with my brother that night.
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Paul Sardi
This photo was published in the Bridgeport Post (now Connecticut Post) shortly after Paul's accident. His age and address as described were incorrect -- he was 22 at the time, and lived in New Haven.
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Paul Sardi
This is the front of the Sardi family headstone at King's Highway Cemetery, which replaced the previous one for my brother that had been in place for almost 40 years. The original had his name. the years he lived, and the inscription: "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want". On the back was a chess piece King with the inscription "Checkmate". After my parents died (in 2016 and 2018), they were buried next to Paul and this stone shows the three of them.
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When Paul and I still lived on Loomis Street, we were expected to go to church every Sunday.

Since we had a paper route, either he or I would need to deliver the Sunday paper very early. After that, we would come home and get ready for church (9:30 Mass). Both Paul and I were altar boys, and my typical week was to serve the 7am Mass every weekday before going to grammar school, in addition to going to church on Sunday.

There were times in spring and summer when the lure of beautiful weather was just too much. Instead of going to Mass, we would walk by St. Ann's church (making sure people saw us) and continue straight past, heading down Naugatuck Avenue to Silver Sands beach. At the time, there was an Ann's Newfield Bakery right next to the beach -- that's where we headed.

We bought cream puffs and sat along the wall, watching the waves, the birds, the wind, and enjoying the sun on our faces. It was great -- we talked about all kinds of things, but we also knew that eventually these little naughty trips to the bakery instead of church might catch up with us. But -- they never did. We didn't do it often, so it was a welcome break and a chance to enjoy life at the Silver Sands shore, even for a short time.

When the time was up, we walked back and mingled with people leaving the service, making sure people saw us leaving.

I don't regret any of those little side trips. It was our little secret, and something we both enjoyed that made us closer as brothers. Now looking back and realizing how short his life turned out to be, I recall relaxing and spending our time together with fondness and yes, a small smile on my face.
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Over the past 40 years, I've considered that my brother did not live long enough to have ever been 'the best' at anything. He was never on a championship team, never won a chess tournament, never received the top prize in an art exhibition. But -- he was best at something during his grammar school years.

At Lenox Avenue School, when Paul was in 5th grade (1968-1969), there was a 6th grade teacher named Ms. Jenkins. She was tough -- tough with the kids, and a tough teacher. Both Paul and I were desperately worried about getting her in 6th grade. When the time came -- Paul got her as a teacher. Since he went first in everything among us brothers, he would find out first-hand what it was like to be taught by this imposing lady.

One of her assignments was to select a country -- about one a month -- for the students to report on. There was an outline to follow, but no real 'quality' requirement -- that was entirely up to the student. Since my brother was an artist, a really good one, he not only completed the report with great content, but also -- for each one -- created a cover made of slightly-yellow oaktag paper. He would hand-draw a representative cover picture for the country in the report.

When assigned the Soviet Union, Paul drew a gorgeous picture of the St. Basil's church, showing the unique spires. He also showed the buildings that make up the Kremlin -- but nearby, he had written, in his great calligraphy, 'The City of Kremlin'. Unfortunately, this is not accurate --it is simply called 'The Kremlin'. But Ms. Jenkins not only gave the report an A+ (as all of his eventually received), but she didn't want to mark-up his report by actually writing the grade on the cover. She inserted a piece of paper behind the cover with the grade, and the correction.

It turns out Ms. Jenkins was not mean -- she just wanted and respected quality efforts. She saw in Paul what she wanted from her students. Paul did this not because he was directed to -- but simply because it was his way. He had the talent and he used it.

These must have meant something, even to my mother -- her famous line being 'What do you want -- a medal?" to remind us that our accomplishments weren't really all that good and undeserving of her pride in us. But -- we found that she saved all of the reports anyway, so maybe even she was impressed.

After my brother died, my mother called Ms. Jenkins and told her what happened.

Ms. Jenkins told her that Paul "was the best student she ever had."

That was Ms. Jenkins' last year teaching -- she retired the following year, so I never experienced her as a teacher myself. Thanks to my brother, I would have known what to expect -- just do your best, and somebody out there will respect your effort and maybe even give you praise for a job well done. To this day, that lesson has stayed with me. He was worried, but ultimately he benefited from his relationship with her.

I don't know where any of those beautiful reports are these days -- my parents are both gone, and likely the reports are as well. Many years ago, I used to look at them in awe at the quality of talent they contained. After Paul died, the things in life he valued were buried with him, and everything else was given away. I do have his chess set to remind me of the endless days when that was (pretty much) the only thing we had to keep us entertained. I miss those days and sometimes think about the effect of his 6th grade lesson in my life.
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To anyone in the future who might read this -- you might wonder, why am I writing about my brother this way?

We were never a close family, but among us, I was closest to Paul. He and I did everything together, so I experienced much of what he did and knew his thoughts and feelings. I don't see any other way for the world to know who this young man was. And, even though this is on the internet, who knows who will ever read it -- but it makes me feel better to know that at least some aspects of his life won't be forgotten forever.

The day Paul died was a sunny April Saturday. Earlier that day, my father-in-law had asked me to help him install a range hood. I told him I expected to be at their house by around 2pm. But, my wife Dawn and I were running late, and we didn't actually get started to go there until about 2:30. I went out to my car and opened the hatchback to put my toolbox in, not noticing anything unusual.

We got in the car and started driving, but at 2:30, the car filled with the intense sweet smell of flowers -- like being in a room filled with thousands of blooms. I immediately pulled over -- thinking 'What is THAT?'. I got out thinking maybe I had lost a hose and the radiator fluid was leaking onto the engine -- the only thing I could think of with a sweet smell. But outside the car, nothing was wrong. The smell completely passed in a few minutes.

We continued to our destination and completed the job, and got back home that afternoon around 4 pm. The phone rang -- it was my youngest brother telling me that Paul had died in a motorcycle accident. I asked what time, and he told me 2:30.

Since then, I have seen this as a sign that Paul wanted me to know what had happened in his final moments.

Before he died, Paul had gotten a divorce. He needed a place to live, so he approached my parents asking them if he could move back into the house they owned. They told him no. With nowhere else to go, Paul rented a backroom in a house somewhere in New Haven. He was working two jobs to make ends meet. He was alone.

It says in his obit that his address was Loomis Street. That is not correct -- he was not welcome to move back in there, into basically a big empty house.

If he had, he might still be with us today, but my parents were not inclined to help their male children. We were on our own.

I am not a religious person, but I believe somehow Paul wanted me to know what he was going through in his final moments. My wife experienced the same event the way I did, so I know I wasn't imagining things. Even almost 40 years later, this all sticks in my mind. Along with the great memories are the sadness of what might have been had decisions been made just a little bit differently.
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Wow, just wow. Amazing memories in life and after passing.
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In the late 1960's, Paul and I both needed bicycles to get around in our lives. It was a bigger need then than it is now...

Paul went to a bicycle store and brought home a brochure showing his perfect bike: a yellow 10-speed Schwinn Continental. It was his dream, but the price was steep: $115 -- a huge amount for a 10-year old. But he had his heart set on it, and he started saving every dime. Despite no encouragement or help at all, he somehow managed to save it up and went back to the store to buy it.

I never saw a person more proud of something he had worked so hard to earn. He rode it for years, until he finally got a car and the bike was less useful. But, he was so proud of that bike, and took such good care of it.

After Paul died, my younger brother got the bike -- and years later, I saw it in his basement. My parents wouldn't have seen any value in keeping it.

Seeing it reminded me of how very proud I was of his achievement, and how much it meant to him. They went everywhere together, and when he was coming home from work at night in the summer, I could hear the 'tick tick tick' of the gears while he was coasting down Loomis Street, getting ready to park the bike in our garage.

The bike looked lonely. I'm not sure what came of it since then, but it meant so much in such a short life.
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What wonderful memories - and so well written. Thank you so much for sharing the life of your brother.
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Thanks, Kathy. I have many unique memories, and I didn't want to think he would be completely forgotten.
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Paul and I joined a few other older scouts that had moved on to high school for a last outing -- we would hike part of the Appalachian Trail. We started in New York State, and walked across Connecticut into Massachusetts. During that hike, we camped in tents we carried with us. One night, it rained very hard and our tents filled with water, so sleep was pretty much impossible.

He and I sat on the bank of a nearby river and managed to build a small fire. We spoke of things yet to come -- that no matter what, we would be friends and do everything together in the future. We completed that hike, but it was the last time we would do anything like it. That year (1974), Paul started working at Perry's Restaurant and I joined him in the summer of 1975.
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Paul and I were the closest members of our family -- he was less than 14 months older than me. Whatever he did, I did -- so when he joined the Scouts, so did I. Our best times together were during summer camp at Camp Sequassen, where we could enjoy a week (or two) camping and vacationing from our paper route. Some of my best memories surround the things we did together then that we won't have a chance to ever do again -- the long hikes, the athletic competitions with the other Troops, and the morning canoe rides on West Hill Pond -- in the early morning when the sun was just rising, and there was a beautiful mist on the water. We were young and our lives stretched in front of us, but we could not have realized that he had so little time left to live.

It took me many years to be able to write this -- I still think of him every day and remember fondly all the good times we had, and the things we did together as brothers and friends. I wonder what he would have been like had he lived, how much he might have accomplished using his artistic skills, and what it would be like to still have my big brother.
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Paul Sardi
This was Paul taken for his class picture, around 1975. It is a 'picture of a picture' since digital photography did not exist at the time.
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Family Tree & Friends

Paul's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Sardi family tree.

Paul's Family Tree

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1958 - 1981 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Paul's lifetime.

In 1958, in the year that Paul Sardi was born, on January 1st, the European Economic Community (Common Market) came into operation. The first members were France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The Common Market was formed as a way to strengthen members' economies and deter wars in Europe.

In 1962, when he was only 4 years old, on August 5th, actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe died in Brentwood California. She was ruled to have died from suicide due to a drug overdose. There has been controversy regarding the circumstances ever since, due to her relationships with Jack and Bobby Kennedy.

In 1968, when he was only 10 years old, on January 31st, the North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive, a turning point in the Vietnam War. 70,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces swarmed into South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese and US troops held off the offensive but it was such fierce fighting that the U.S. public began to turn against the war.

In 1975, at the age of 17 years old, Paul was alive when on September 5th, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme tried to assassinate President Ford in Sacramento, California. She failed when her gun wouldn't fire. President Ford escaped a second assassination attempt 17 days later on September 22 when Sarah Jane Moore tried to shoot him in San Francisco. A bystander saw her raise her arm, grabbed it, and the shot went wild.

In 1981, in the year of Paul Sardi's passing, on January 20th, Ronald Reagan became the 40th President of the United States. He ran against the incumbent, Jimmy Carter, and won 50.7% of the popular vote to Carter's 41.0%.

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