Thursday, August 28, 2014
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 kelvinsbrother@sbcglobal.net.

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 | 3 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
.

Solano News

 
Locke an unparalleled universe in the Delta

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Small-town heroism on display in Napa

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
 
Review set for Vacaville fitness center suit

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield motorcyclist hurt in Beck Avenue crash

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Chamber event looks at health care law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5 | Gallery

Fairfield police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Winterhawk Winery up for auction

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Suisun City police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

Boy hurt in California quake: ‘I should be dead’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
California beach town sees flooding from hurricane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California Senate passes gun restraining order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Lawmakers approve groundwater management bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

California sets ride-sharing insurance standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Feds allow logging after huge California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Q&A: Few laws govern children at shooting range

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Mom pleads for release of captive US journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Israeli premier, Hamas declare victory in Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Q-and-A on Westerners who join the fight in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Sources: US considering new relief mission in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Shooting by 9-year-old girl stirs debate over guns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

US to consider spousal abuse in immigration claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
UK sex abuse report prompts outrage, reflection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Dad acquitted in slaying of driver who killed sons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

 
.

Opinion

Seizing the day with old friends

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Signs of possible healing in Ferguson

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

Poor constituent service no longer acceptable

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 28, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

Let’s improve entertainment control units

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 8 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My boss insists that we all eat lunch with her in cafeteria

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Source: BET suspends producer after Blue Ivy joke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Judge lets ‘X-Men’ director’s accuser drop lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Rapper Young Jeezy pleads not guilty to gun charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

‘Cops’ crew member killed in Omaha police shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Chris Soules is ABC’s new ‘Bachelor’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

John Lennon’s killer sorry for being ‘an idiot’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Reality star accused of rape, child molestation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Fuld’s homer in 9th lifts A’s over Astros 5-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Posey hits game-ending 2-run homer for Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Maria Sharapova comes through in 3 sets at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr to start vs. Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
USC’s Shaw admits to lying about injuries, rescue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

IndyCar sets April 12 New Orleans date

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
No. 23 UNC suspends 4 players for opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Clippers sign Doc Rivers to 5-year extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cal needs more from its running game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford’s Kevin Hogan a ‘stabilizing agent’ at QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Chicago’s Little League champs return as heroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

NFL suspends Browns star WR Gordon for 2014 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Keenum, Savage to settle Texans’ backup QB duel vs. 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders hope rebuild pays immediate dividends

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
After trio of near misses, 49ers chase Super Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

US economy forecast to grow by 1.5 percent in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Malaysia Airlines set for shakeup after disasters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

IMF chief Lagarde under investigation in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
SEC adopts rules on loan-backed securities

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Stocks drift higher; S&P 500 holds on to 2,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Reports: FBI probes JPMorgan hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Time Warner Cable says outages largely resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Video games come of age as spectator sport

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Fernanda Dee Villarosa

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Herman P. Sorensen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Lyle R.C. Cullum

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9