Stoughton is overcome with grief over the deaths of Al and Aldina Pedro who were killed in a motorbike collision last Monday evening, June 28, around 8:30 pm on Highway 138. They leave behind three children in the around twenty.
City officials shared their memories of Al, a dedicated 32-year Public Works Department employee, affectionately known as “Al Rubbish” and his wife, Aldina. The couple were driving north near 1317 Washington St. … on a Harley Davidson when they collided with a Toyota Corolla sedan traveling south, according to a statement from the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office.
Impact on the city
“It’s one of those things where everyone in the whole city has been destroyed,” said managing director Robin Grimm, calling it “really, really tragic.”
Al Pedro has dedicated his entire adult life to the Stoughton Department of Public Works (DPW).
“He started working for the city at the age of 18,” said Grimm. “He was well known and extremely respected by all. He worked extraordinarily hard, was dedicated, and was a family man.
“One of the stories I heard from an Al colleague at the Public Works Department is that when he left on Monday afternoon he had planned to leave on Tuesday to go fishing,” he said. Grimm said. “It just shows you the fleeting nature of life. It is not very easy to understand. And now her children have lost both parents at the same time.
The loss of a close friend
DPW’s superintendent of operations, Rich Jasmin, worked with Al Pedro throughout his 28-year career and developed a close friendship with him, as they rode a garbage truck together for many years.
“He had 32 years of service with the DPW, but he actually started working for the city when he was 16,” said Jasmin. “He was a member of the Cedar Program, a summer job for young people that was popular in the 1980s but faded in the 90s.”
Jasmin described Pedro as the accomplished family man, caring deeply for his wife and three children and working multiple jobs to make sure they were happy. He treated his colleagues with the same brotherly affection.
“Everyone loved him,” he says. “He would do anything for anyone. He would always go the extra mile. And his family is wonderful.
Pedro showed the same compassion at work. In one instance, Jasmin said Pedro found a wallet while driving the recycling truck, which has been his job for 16 years.
“I came across a letter in his file from the gentleman who collected his wallet,” he said. “He scoured everything to find the owner, then went there in the recycling truck to give it to him.
“I found a handwritten will while going through his papers,” Jasmin continued. “He left in his will that his family should ‘feed his brothers in the DPW.’ After breaking the news to everyone, family members showed up with trays of food. “
Before taking up his recycling job, he drove a garbage truck, which earned him the nickname “Al Rubbish” all over Stoughton, he said.
“He didn’t care about the nickname,” said Jasmin. “He loved her.”
In addition to these tasks, he has spent his entire career at DPW sanding and salting the roads with every storm.
Although the Pedro’s do not have life insurance, Al Pedro left specific requests for his family.
“His wife wanted to be buried in a blue or white coffin,” said Jasmin. “And he wanted to be cremated. It was almost if he had a hunch that something was going to happen.
Plans to go fishing
Jasmin was the person Pedro had told him about his intention to go fishing on Tuesday, the day after his death.
“I spoke to him just before he got on the bike,” he said. “He was going to the Easton office for his part-time job and picking up his wife. She very rarely rides this motorcycle.
“He said to me, ‘Hey, turkey! I’m leaving tomorrow, ”he said, noting how the two enjoyed joking with each other. “I’m going fishing. I’m going to relax and have a good time, and the next day too.
Not long before, Al Pedro had discussed the possibility of retiring with Jasmin, who said he had reviewed the time he had spent to see if it would be financially feasible.
“The hardest part was being up all night and having to tell your three kids, who are all in their 20s,” he said. “They had no idea what to do with the funeral arrangements, so I worked on that.”
Equally difficult was to break the news to his colleagues.
“I had to tell the 45 guys, some of whom had worked with him for 25 or 30 years,” said Jasmin. “We are a very close group. Some of the guys broke down.
Support from officials
He thanked the police and firefighters for their support during the tragedy. Officers and firefighters stopped at the DPW offices with coffee, donuts and expressions of condolence.
“[Police] Chief Donna McNamara really stepped up and supported us, ”he said. “Robin [Grimm] was also very supportive. “
His greatest source of strength has been Select board chairman Joe Mokrisky, his neighbor and friend since childhood.
“He walked into my office, closed the door and asked me how I was,” said Jasmin. “He said, ‘I know you; you hide everything.
“I told him it was killing me,” he continued. “He said, ‘Dude, you’re human.’ “
The new one hit Jasmim harder the next day.
“It didn’t even hit me until Tuesday night, when I finally got home and sat on my porch, that I just lost one of my best friends,” said Jasmin. “As a leader, I wanted to be strong for the kids and my brothers at DPW. I just had to help because he’s like a brother to me.
He said his friends told him he “had just adopted three children.”
“And I would gladly do it again, because I know Al would have done the same for me,” he said.
Pedro had insisted that his wife, Aldina, not work full time so that she could take care of the children, according to Jasmin. She worked part-time in cleaning offices, sometimes holding two part-time jobs.
“Aldina is from Portugal and has a sister here,” said Jasmin. “She was a sweetheart. But she’s the only relative she has here, as 90 percent of the family still lives in the Azores.
She and Al worked nights in cleaning offices part-time as a side job.
Between spending and travel restrictions with COVID-19 in Portugal, he said the rest of the family may not be able to comfort the family in person.
Seventh death for Stoughton DPW
This is the seventh death of a comrade the DPW has experienced in three years, Jasmin said. Usually Pedro was the one to tell his coworkers not to cry and “suck her”.
Pedro was the DPW joker, added Jasmin.
“He once tied a bucket full of water to the door and pulled it out when I walked in,” he said.
The two had a special kind of camaraderie, joking with each other rather than expressing their emotions.
“I would give him a search, then he would say, ‘You are stupid (so and so)!’ and hang up, ”said Jasmin. “Before even getting on the bike, he said, ‘See you soon, fruit cake.’ He always had to have the last word.
Funeral service will be held at Farley Funeral Home, 358 Park Street (Rt. 27) Stoughton on Friday July 9 at 9:30 am, followed by a funeral mass at Immaculate Conception Church, Stoughton at 10:30 am. Visiting hours are Thursday, July 8, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Interment at Evergreen Cemetery will be private. The link is https://farleyfh.tributes.com/obituary/read/Alfredo-J.-Pedro-108521647.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the family and help cover expenses. The link is https://tinyurl.com/9cd4y9c8