Edward A. Pagels
Brigadier General, United States Army
Retired Brigadier General Edward A. Pagels, a former Mahwah, New Jersey, school board president who received numerous medals for his World War II Army service, died Friday. He was 91.
"He had a great sense of humor," said his youngest daughter, Marie Pagels Sullivan of Northvale. "He was very friendly, outgoing, well-liked."
Born January 26, 1910, in Worthington, Ohio, he graduated from Ohio State University in 1934 where he studied commerce and rose to the top of his class.
He was always athletic, and stayed active well into his 80s. He was an avid golfer, tennis player, and skier.
Within three years of reporting to active duty at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 1941, he rose to Lieutenant Colonel, commanding an artillery battalion of 1,000 men.
In 1944, he was ordered to North Africa where he was assigned to the general staff of a division preparing for the invasion of Sicily in Italy. He was fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and later served with General Albert Wedemeyer as chief of psychological warfare in the China Theater of World War II.
At the war's end in August 1945, he was appointed senior army officer in North China where he acted as liaison with the 3rd Corps of the U.S. Marines who were ordered to evacuate Japanese soldiers and to ensure the coal supply from the gigantic Kai-Lan mines.
In 1947, after resigning from active service, Pagels was assigned to the 78th Division of the Army Reserve. He attained the rank of Brigadier General in 1956.
General Pagels founded an exporting firm in New York, trading with China and Korea, which thrived until the Communist takeover of China. Then, he established an engineering firm.
He settled in Mahwah in the 1950s and served as president of the school board, overseeing the construction of a new high school.
General Pagels was awarded the Legion of Merit by the Army, the Bronze Star by the Marines, and a citation from the Navy, among others.
General Pagels moved to a retirement community in Monroe Township in 1994 after living in Mahwah for 30 years.
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife Alma Duncan; three sons, Edward D. of Houma, Louisiana, George G. of Glen Arm, Maryland and James A. of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania; another daughter, Marcia Pagels Brice of Lavalette, New Jersey; 10 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 8 p.m. Monday at the
Lester Memorial Home, 16 W. Church St., Jamesburg. Private burial will
be in Arlington National Cemetery.
PAGELS, ALMA D