Wednesday, March 4, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

In memory of my classmate, Dr. Victor Agnello

vic c

By
From page A2 | June 30, 2014 |

I met my high school classmate Victor Agnello in Mr. Scherr’s 10th-grade English class at Armijo High School. I have a vague memory of him and David Salvitti, who was then and is now the biggest Parliament-Funkadelic fan in the universe, debating the merits of P-Funk versus hard rock.

Victor was a drummer with infectious energy. He was very charismatic and girls swooned over him because of his looks and yet he was cool to everyone. A friend of Vic’s, Todd Frank, said it best: “I’ve always said if Victor wasn’t such a great guy, I would have hated him.”

In our senior year, 1982, Vic’s band Sorcerer played in the Armijo gym. One song I remember them doing was Van Halen’s then-popular cover version of the Roy Orbison classic “Oh, Pretty Woman.” He later joined an up-and-coming metal band called Lääz Rockit.

They released their first album, “City’s Gonna Burn,” in 1984 and were part of the burgeoning Bay Area thrash metal scene. That year I saw them at Solano Community College and also opening for Mercyful Fate at the Kabuki Theatre in San Francisco. The latter was memorable because it was the first time I’d experienced moshing, which I was shocked to see a metal crowd doing, as I thought only punk fans “slam-danced.”

In 1999, I was at a cabin in a church camp with three other guys, all of us in our mid-30s. We stayed up late, talking like teenagers, and one guy mentioned he used to jam with a local band. Another guy said he knew a guy in high school who played bass for a band. I told them about Vic. We were all stunned to discover we were talking about the same band, Lääz Rockit. When the fourth guy came in and had no connection with Lääz, we jokingly ostracized him.

In 2008, I reconnected with Victor to do a feature story for the Daily Republic. I Googled him and was surprised to find that he was a beloved allergy doctor with his own practice in North Carolina. He’d also served in the U.S. Army. The story, “Vic Agnello, Heavy Metal Doctor,” ran in the spring of that year.

In the spring of 2013, Victor was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. His initial post on a website called Caring Bridges was full of his usual optimism. He was confident he would beat it.

His wife Emily posted periodic updates of the ups and downs of his treatment. Victor posted in November of last year. He fought hard and he fought well, but on June 1, Victor died.

I have had classmates die. Vic’s death has been hands down the hardest to deal with simply because of what a genuinely nice person he was.

There was a memorial for Victor in Pleasant Hill recently and the members of Lääz Rockit spoke as well as me and two close friends of Vic’s and my classmates, Brad Farmer and Miguel Rivera.

I have already been more committed to the American Cancer’s Society’s Relay for Life (Fairfield’s is July 19 at Armijo) than ever before, but the tragedy of this brutal disease taking such a loving and kind person who leaves behind a wife and seven daughters has steeled my resolve.

Action aids in healing. The Agnello Family Fund has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank and you can deposit a check at any Well’s Fargo branch nationwide. You can also mail a check (made out to “Emily R. Agnello – Agnello Family Fund”) to: Wells Fargo, 352 Williamson Road, Mooresville, NC 28117.

To donate to my Relay for Life team or dedicate a luminaria in Victor’s name online, visit: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/iguift.

Now, to be clear, I was not a close friend of Vic’s. There were many people, such as the aforementioned Todd, Brad and Miguel, as well as Ralph “Bruddah Keahi” Renaud and Michael Weese, who knew him much better than I did.

But that’s the point. I am torn up because Victor Agnello was only the third person I have met in my life, besides John Gibson and Matt Garcia, who had the unique ability to make everyone feel like they were his special friend.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at [email protected].

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Bruddah KeahiJune 30, 2014 - 5:16 am

    EŌ E AKONI, E KO LEO ME'E NO KĀKOU Keu kou kalena palena'ole e ha'i'ōlelo maoli e pili ana ko kākou palala pilipū pa'a pau'ole. MAHALO NUI iā 'oe e nēia hana kāko'o a me kou mau mea ho'omana'o me he makana la. 'A'ole hiki iā kākou ke poina i ke aloha o loko o Victor a me 'oe kekahi. 'Oaia, E mau nō ku'u kulu waimaka, e kahe iho nei, e ho'olewa e ku'u pu'uwai ma muli o kou ho'ola'a 'ia ka hana like 'ole o Victor Alexander Agnello. He mau makahiki paha pono no'u no ka 'emi 'ana o ko'u kaumaha hononu loa... aka 'a'ole na'e e piha 'iki 'ia ka puka e waiho ai no ko ia hala 'ana Me kēia ko kākou aloha laha'ole no ku'u palala eia pū kekahi ke kuleana kaumaha o ko ia pau 'ana a me ka 'ike o ke 'eha pili. 'A'ole kākou e waiho wale, e hele a maopopo ma'a i ke 'eha pau'ole. E Victor Alexander Agnello, E ku'u kaikaina pilipu pa'a pau'ole Kū ke ha'oha'o !! E 'olu'olu, e moe i ka moe kapu o Niolpua Kau a kau, mau a mau loa aku "Rocker Ralph" ('O kainoa nau e kau mai ai)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Bruddah KeahiJune 30, 2014 - 5:20 am

    Hey Tony, Whose Voice is a Powerful Mentor to us all, Your boundless talent speaks purely relating to a brother who's forever tightly bound to us all. MUCH THANKS/ADMIRATION to you for this supportive effort and your ongoing memorial here as a gift. We cannot ever forget the love within Victor nor in you also. Although, my ongoing tears continue to flow, my heart is lifted because of your tribute to the various works of Victor Alexander Agnello. Maybe several years are required for me to reduce the very depth of my sadness... but in no way shall even a bit be filled of the void left by his passing. With the type of aloha we all had in our brother, so too comes the weight of the loss and the sense of the pain. We do not lose it more than we learn to live with it. ***************************** Hey Victor Alexander Agnello, My younger brother bound tightly forever You are missed incredibly, PLEASE Sleep the sacred sleep of Niolopua For season upon season, always forever onward. "Rocker Ralph" (The name you gave me)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • William Clark DeLashmuttJuly 19, 2014 - 2:34 am

    I learned last night about the passing of Vic Agnello, MD. He was a customer of mine for quite a few years and I got to know him well. He was a nice guy and did make you feel welcome at all times. Vic let me into his office where he shared the story about his past including his background in a heavy metal band, time in the Army at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the fact he was a 49er fan with a helmet on his shelf to remind everyone who #1 is! He had a great laugh and a smile on his face. I first met him when he opened his first office and had the pleasure to meet his lovely wife and the first 2 or 3 of his daughters. Over the years I kidded him about how he was filling out the roster for an all girls softball lineup with each new addition. Vic I miss you. You were a God fearing man and a wonderful human being to all. If the world only had many, many, more people like you it would be a better place. God Bless you and your loving family. Rest in peace my friend. God willing I will see you again.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Robert SarroOctober 07, 2014 - 4:05 pm

    Hi Tony: Thank you very much for your exceptional words regarding Victor. I met Victor during our first week of medical school in 1993; he became a best friend and a brother. He had an innate ability to succeed at whatever he attempted. Music, academics, medicine, the military, being an exceptional husband and a father. Victor was a dreamer who put his beliefs into motion with success. He did this through humility and as you so eloquently stated he had the unique ability to make everyone feel they were his special friend. This fact was so apparent when family and friends had the opportunity to get together and speak about Victor prior to his funeral. He was a very special person that I will miss dearly. I would also like to thank you for posting information regarding the family fund. Victor left behind Emily, an adoring wife and fantastic mom, and seven beautiful daughters. These are very trying times for the family and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for the memorial; it was very touching for me to read. Rock on Victor!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
County honors Meadows Trigueiro as Woman of the Year

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Police shut down Fairfield street after shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
Celebrity chef motivates Armijo students

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
State schedules work on Highway 12

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Bridge work to shut down Highway 12 east of Rio Vista

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

Highway 12 Association to meet this month

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Caltrans reschedules work on J-Mack Ferry

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
 
 
Robots, raucous businessmen set to arrive on big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Teen hit by SUV remains in hospital

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
 
 
 
Fairfield police log: March 2, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

Fairfield police log: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Feb. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun police log: March 2, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Feb. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Enrollment of non-residents to be capped at some UC campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

US / World

California survey finds Sierra snowpack far below normal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Ex-CIA chief admits sharing military secrets with mistress

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Agents target industry helping Chinese women have US babies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
Family of girl declared brain-dead sues Oakland hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

US marshals say man killed by Los Angeles police was wanted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
72 passengers reach settlements in Asiana crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Netanyahu warns US ‘bad deal’ would put Iran on nuclear path

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Mines, bombs slow Iraqi advance on Islamic State-held Tikrit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
India orders TV stations not to give rapist a platform

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Health officials perplexed by vaccination skeptics

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
Lawmakers taking another crack at expanding gun checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

 
Editorial cartoon: March 3-4, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Minority outreach that works

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

 
Israelis worry about inequality, not Iran

By Daniel Gordis | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 4, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Mushrooms are nutrient-packed, with a deep, savory flavor

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

 
Get ready to add white to the rainbow of produce you eat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
My husband and I want different things in our retirement

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

Horoscopes: March 4, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

Apollo to celebrate Holiday birthday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Oprah’s Chicago studios to close down

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fashion week moves Milan to Paris

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

.

Sports

Bumgarner hit hard in spring debut, A’s beat Giants 9-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
 
Vanden girls roll, advance to SJS championship game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

Raiders officially release S Tyvon Branch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Trooper: Fingerprints show victim in Hernandez’s rented car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Play ball! Quickly! Baseball tries to speed game this spring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Australian rugby star Hayne signs 3-year deal with 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Maid: Hernandez messed with security camera after killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kings bring back former player Divac in front-office role

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

No ‘floating rubbish’ collection for Olympic sailing venue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cal senior Reshanda Gray named Pac-12 Player of the Year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rudy Gay, Kings hand Knicks worst loss of season, 124-86

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cubs’ scramble on Wrigley Field hits bump when mayor balks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Oil glut could soon lead to plummeting prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
.

Obituaries

Jacqueline Mendes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert C. Thierry

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Garland (Curly) Henry Tackett

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Otto Vasak

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

John Henry Fechter, Jr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7