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The Magic Cafe Forum Index The Society of American Magicians! Sad to report -- CESAREO PELAEZ A/KA/ MARCO THE MAGI (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Maria Ibanez
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Heavy and sad does not describe my heart and soul this morning as I share the news that my dear friend, my close confidant, supporter and a part of my life which is irreplaceable, Cesareo Pelaez, has passed away. If there is any consolation to this news it is that he passed away peacefully.

Word comes directly from David that Cesareo passed away peacefully at 3:00 a.m. after a long battle with congestive heart failure. The schedule of funeral arrangements to take place in Beverly, Massachusetts, USA, will be forthcoming.

It is impossible to type through my tears and this is a loss which will truly be felt round the world by everyone and anyone who has even remotely heard the words Le Grand David.

May my friend rest in peace and may the Lord give us all the strength to deal with his terrible loss. David, Avron, Anne and the rest of my Beverly family are in my thoughts and prayers. Plans are in the works for me to fly to be with them.

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Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Le Grand David will always be with us.
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
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I agree with Bob. It was a privilege to know him. He will not soon be forgotten.

Rich Lavengood
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Maria Ibanez
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Beverly, March 31, 2012

Cesareo Pelaez, “Marco the Magi” was laid to rest this morning after what was a very moving wake and mass. Countless hundreds of people came from as far away as England to pay their respects to the man who helped change the lives of a town and of all he came in touch with.

Walking into Campbell’s Funeral Home was like walking through an enchanted garden thanks to the unbelievable amount of flowers that were received in his honor. There were photos of Cesareo, giant oil paintings which have hung at the theaters at other times, a very special painting of Cesareo in a suit, a different look for us who had seen him so often in his beautiful performance outfits. There were of course, members of Le Grand David Company, past and present there as well.

The funeral wake was scheduled for 4-8 on Friday, however, members of the Company and a few of us were asked to be there earlier for a private viewing and time with Cesareo. It was a very special time for each of us and it was very meaningful to have our own few minutes with him. Shortly before 4 p.m. the line of those wishing to pay their respects started and it was a non-ending line which wound at times all the way outside the funeral home. David asked Jay and myself as well as a couple of other long time friends to be a part of the greeting line. It would take volumes and volumes to tell you about the touching, moving stories that some of those who came shared with us as they made their way down the line paying their respects. There were former students, fellow professors from his days at the University; those Cesareo had helped to get teaching positions; former members of Le Grand David. There were people who met at the theater and who had married and whose children had grown up visiting the show throughout the years. There were second generation admirers of the man, the Company and the show. Waiters and waitresses from restaurants Cesareo ate at, took turns on their shifts to come and pay respects. Doctors, nurses, hospice workers who had cared for Cesareo through the years came. Try as I might, I could not share with you the magnitude of the impact Cesareo Pelaez had on so many people.

Dignitaries from all walks of life were present, the Mayor, members of government, banks, chamber of commerce, news media members who had written articles on Cesareo and the Company, clergy and more. The magic community was represented by Life Vice President of the Magic Circle, Henry Lewis, MIMC; Past International President of the I.B.M. Phil Wilmarth, MIMC; Most Illustrious President of the Society of American Magicians Vinny Grosso AIMC; S.A.M. Past National Presidents Brad Jacobs MIMC, Fr. Cyprian Murray MIMC, Gary Hughes MIMC, Bruce Kalver MIMC, and the writer, Maria Ibáñez AIMC. One of Cesareo’s dearest friends, Ray Goulet MIMC and his lovely wife Ann came from Watertown. Peter Lentross, Tom Gentile, Tucker Goodman, Eddy Gardner and numerous members of S.A.M. Assembly 104 also came to pay their respects. Following the wake, people driving past the Cabot Theater noticed the marquee had been changed to read “Thank You Cesareo. Vaya Con Dios”.

Early this morning we headed back to the funeral home for a last chance to pay our respects and to see Cesareo. A brief while later, the procession of cars followed the hearse to St. Mary’s Church. The procession was led by the floral car, followed by the hearse, the limousine with Katie, Martha, Jane and some of the pall bearers, this was followed by David Bull’s car in which Jay and I were, then a line of vehicles which went for countless blocks. The ride took us round the block to the right, wound us round that block and brought us to a stop at the front door of St. Mary’s where the mass was held.

Webster Bull was the planner and organizer for the mass. Having attended many Catholic funeral masses in my life, I can tell you without any reservation that this was the most touching and special one I have ever attended. The hearse was opened and pall bearers pulled the casket and cautiously and lovingly took it up the several steps to the front door of the church where they placed it on the bier to take it into the church. The Father came forth to meet us at the door and a drape for the casket was provided; David, Martha, and Katie opened it and spread it to cover the coffin.

The Father, and Webster Bull carrying the cross preceded the draped casket carried by the pall bearers. They were followed by David Bull, Jay and myself, Katie Bull, Martha, Avrom and Ann Surath, Henry Lewis, Ray and Ann Goulet, Phil Wilmarth, Jane, Ellen, and the rest of the Le Grand David Company. Pews had been reserved for the members of the family up front.

It was a full church that we walked into with not an empty place to be seen. The mass was very moving yet inspirational. Webster served as altar server. Communion was given to all who were prepared to receive it and blessings were given to all who desired but were either not prepared to receive communion or who were not of the Catholic faith. Readings were by John “Lapo” Laport, Ann Goulet and Martha Bull. The order was reversed as we left the church to go to St. Mary’s Cemetery.

The funeral procession got underway once the pall bearers had placed the coffin back in the hearse. The cars went around several blocks as they made their way down Cabot Street and past the “home” Cesareo had built….the Cabot Street Theater.

St. Mary’s Cemetery is an easy 10 minute drive from the church, it is a beautiful, old cemetery with almost symmetrical headstones. The top of the hill, at the very top and on the left hand side was the green canopy under which Cesareo’s body would be laid to rest.
The funeral procession came to a stop at the top of the hill and all who came proceeded to the canopy area to wait for Cesareo’s remains to be brought forth by the pall bearers and the funeral director. The priest delivered a beautiful prayer and blessing for the soul of our beloved friend and a blessing and prayer for peace for all those who would miss Cesareo. Everyone was then invited back to the Larcom Theater where a lovely catered lunch was served to a couple of hundred people who attended the funeral.

Cesareo R. Pelaez Perez, October 16, 1932- March 24, 2012. His passing will be felt by the many people whose lives he touched, by the town whose course he altered with the purchase of that Cabot theater so long ago and by anyone and everyone who were blessed to have come in touch with him.

Today the town of Beverly and the magic world is in mourning, Mayor William Scanlon has ordered the flags flown at half mast in honor and memory of Cesareo. Quite a road and magical life for the man who left Cuba so many years ago.

I will leave you with the words on the memorial card from the funeral wake….

In Loving Memory of
Cesareo R Pelaez Perez
October 16, 2012-March 24, 2012
“The Country Teacher”
Even though you do not get
to see the fruit of your labors
Sow, always sow
life is to sow
is to sow
is to grow,
is to love.

Rest in peace my beloved friend. I will miss and love you forever!
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Inner circle
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Thank you Maria for writing such a moving and detailed account.

"Life is not measured in the duration but in the donation " (unkonwn) Cesareo certainly had plenty of both. RIP.

Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
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