Tempa's Story

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NEWBURYPORT: Tempa K. Pagel, 65, died June 19, 2015 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She had been admitted earlier in the month and faced a daunting diagnosis and care plan.

Tempa and her husband Thomas Pagel lived in Newburyport for over 37 years where they started their family. They raised a son, Brody Pagel, who now resides in Portland, Maine, and a daughter, Maggie Pagel, who now resides in Washington, D.C.

Tempa was born on December 13, 1949 in Pontiac, Mich., to Dolores (Williams) Jones and the late Harold Jones. She was a special education teacher at the Junior High School in Exeter, New Hampshire for nine years and then at Haverhill’s J.G. Whittier Middle School for 20 years. She also worked as the Religious Education Director at the Unitarian Church in Newburyport for several years.

Tempa enjoyed camping, reading, gardening, and traveling. She was a passionate writer and published two historic mystery novels set in New England (Here's the Church, Here's the Steeple, and They Danced by the Light of the Moon). Her other writing includes contributions to Newburyport Tales: Children of the late 1800’s, A History of the First Religious Society Vol. II, and various newspaper articles. Tempa was working on her third book when she died.

In addition to her husband, son, and daughter, Tempa is survived by her mother, Dolores Jones of Waterford, Michigan; sister, Alisa Herbertz of Breckenridge, Colorado; two brothers, Donald Jones and his wife, Grace of Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Stanley Jones and his wife, Patricia of Monatague, Mich.; along with many nieces and nephews.

The Pagel family wishes to thank relatives and friends who visited and sent cards, flowers, prayers, and loving thoughts.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the early fall at the Unitarian Church in Newburyport.
Published on  June 27, 2015
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