Former Commissioner Pagano dies

Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- State flags will be at half-staff today and Thursday in memory of the first Native Alaskan to serve as adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard.

Maj. Gen. Edward Pagano, 74, died Saturday at Elmendorf Air Force Base Hospital. He served as adjutant general and commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs under Gov. Bill Sheffield.

Born in the Aleut village of Unga, Pagano began his service as an Army private during World War II. He was awarded the Bronze Star with V Device and a Purple Heart for his actions during the battle for Okinawa.

After the war, Pagano earned a degree in business administration from San Francisco State College. He then served tours of duty with both the Alaska Army National Guard and on extended active duty with the Selective Service in Juneau, Denver, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

He served in the Army until his retirement in June of 1982, when Gov. Sheffield hired him for the cabinet job.

After Sheffield left office, Pagano was appointed head of the Alaska State Defense Force, which he commanded from 1986 through January 1993.

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