Administrators, faculty, and students at Lynn Classical High and the community at-large offered fond tributes to John Michael “Jay” Alicudo, who died on Jan. 31, 2013.
Hundreds of people attended a visitation Sunday at Solimine Landergan and Richardson Funeral Home and a funeral Mass Monday at Sacred Heart Church.
Classical teacher and coach Justina Alicudo, who like her father Jay was a standout athlete at Lynn Classical, delivered a heartfelt eulogy before the assemblage that filled the church.
“It was a beautifully done tribute, the best eulogy I’ve ever heard,” said Classical Principal Gene Constantino. “Justina masterfully spoke of her father’s wonderful life and how so may people came to admire him for so many different acts of kindness along with his generous spirit.”
Classical held moments of silence at its athletic events for the former two-sport athlete who starred for the school’s 1976 Super Bowl team and played football at Boston University. The sports community paid tribute to Mr. Alicudo with a tribute before the City Swim Meet Saturday at Lynn Tech. School officials will sit down with the Alicudo family to discuss a permanent tribute at the school in his memory.
Constantino joined Classical vice principals Amy Dunn and Dennis Thompson and director of athletics Bill Devin in remembrances of a man who served as a school security monitor and a coach.
“Jay Alicudo touched many, many people not only at Lynn Classical but throughout the city of Lynn,” said Constantino. “The many people who attended the benefit last year for him showed how much people cared for him. Classical was his home. It’s hard for me because Jay was a personal friend as well as a colleague. I coached Justina and I got to know Jay before he was a monitor here. He was so well respected here by everyone and he was a mentor to so many kids and he encouraged them to do the right thing.”
Dunn said Mr. Alicudo also accentuated the positive attributes in students.
“If I could say anything, I would say that Jay was a great friend and that he had a way of finding the best in all kids and helping to bring out the best in everyone,” said Dunn, a Class of 1994 graduate of Classical. “The Alicudo family lived around the corner from my house. His daughter Justina and my sister graduated from Classical together.”
Thompson played in the Lynn English football program when Jay Alicudo was an assistant coach.
“He was a great influence on the players and a great role model, someone we all looked up to,” said Thompson. “He came to practice every day and taught us a lot about the game of football but more importantly taught us a lot of life lessons. When I came to Classical two years ago as vice principal, Jay really helped with the transition. Everyone will tell you that Jay was Classical through and through. He loved the kids. Even when he was struggling with his condition, Jay told me every day that seeing these kids and seeing the look on their faces was giving him strength.
“Jay Alicudo is going to be really missed,” said Thompson. “He was a great guy and a great person and someone that will be always be dear to us and in our hearts.”
Devin said Jay Alicudo never sought personal recognition for his many contributions to the Classical school community.
“The loss of Jay Alicudo is a tremendous loss to the Classical community,” said Devin. “He was a prolific athlete at Classical and BU but more importantly he was a friend and a mentor to every student at our school and he was deeply involved with the student-athletes. A lot of the stuff he did was behind the scenes. He was our strength coach and every year he volunteered to coach the girls powder puff team. There wasn’t a day that Jay didn’t come in to the athletic office without talking to Chris Warren and me about something related to sports at Classical. He was deeply loved by everybody. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Gary Molea, director of athletics at Lynn English, recalled playing against Jay Alicudo at Classical and then watching him play for the Boston University football team.
“He coached at Classical and coached at English and did a great job in the city for the kids,” said Molea. “He always put in a lot of time and was very well liked by the youth in our city.