Friend says Vince Pesky, 99, dies
Lifelong Portland resident, educator and sports enthusiast Vince Pesky has died, according to a close friend.
Author Don Nelson, who received permission to release the information from Pesky's friend Jackie Ray, said Pesky died on Sunday after several weeks of being in poor health. Pesky was 99.
The Tribune wrote about Pesky as his 99th birthday approached in August. Pesky was well-known in Portland in his own right, and he had a famous brother, the late pro baseball player Johnny Pesky, who starred for years with the Boston Red Sox.
Nelson said that memorial service and funeral arrangements are still being made.
Nelson wrote the book "Sons of Slabtown and Tales of Westside Sports," about the Paveskovich family — Johnny and Vince changed their last name to Pesky partly for simplicity sake — and the other Northwest Portland kids who gravitated to the Vaughn Street Ballpark and Portland Ice Arena.
Nelson worked with Vince Pesky upon the elder statemen's move to Regency Park Assisted Living and Memory Care on Southwest Barnes Road some years ago. Nelson has curated a treasure trove of Pesky's photos and memorabilia from the garage and basement. It's a peak into yesteryear and Nelson said he enjoyed his time visiting with Pesky.
Vince Pesky turned 99 on Aug. 21. He said in a video interview conducted for the Tribune at the time that "they're taking good care of me. … I think I'm doing well. I want to thank them for being nice to me."
Pesky had said that the COVID-19 pandemic had not affected him; Nelson and Ray say Pesky tested negative for COVID-19 and died from natural causes.
Initially, Valerie Hurst, Regency Park community relations director, had set up a drive-by parade for Pesky's 99th birthday, in which he would sit on the lawn and watch cars with revelers go by, but it had to be postponed because of health protocol at the home.
"He is very dear to all of us here at Regency Park," Hurst said in August. "We are so disappointed that we have to put the birthday party on hold …"
Pesky worked for 44 years with Portland Public Schools, much of it at old Marshall High School. He's been a staple of the Portland sports scene — athlete, hockey fan, famously the brother of Johnny Pesky and a Portland Interscholastic League Hall of Fame member.
Johnny Pesky died in 2012 at age 93.
'Sons of Slabtown'
• Read our August story on Vince Pesky.
• Read more about Vince Pesky, including the Tribune's 2015 feature on him by Kerry Eggers.
• Read the Tribune's feature on him by Kerry Eggers.
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