Roslindale panhandler memorialized, family fundraising for funeral

A photo and kinds words left by a stranger has grown into a noticeable memorial on the gate surrounding the Granary Burial Ground on Tremont Street.

The memorial is in honor of George B. Dagraca, a 43-year-old panhandler and heroin addict who died from heart complications on August 4.

IMG_0177(1)George, who is survived by three sisters and several nieces and nephews, was laid to rest in Roslindale.

Most might not know who George was but most likely walked by him daily as he kept to his spot, according to a kind stranger.

“George is catlike in keeping his patch of the sidewalk spiffy, sweeping nightly,” the kind stranger, who often saw George and filled his cup with dollar bills, said in a note.

The note is no longer there, but a large greeting card calling George the best of friends is in its place along with bouquets of flowers and a Puerto Rican flag with the words “RIP Bro, Gone But Not Forgotten” hangs right above his photo.

What else is known of George is that he liked to read and received books from the kind stranger, who called him “a survivor, a hero of a different stripe” because of his battle with addiction and unique run in with the law.

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The stranger also noted that George was once a talented athlete who participated in the Special Olympics when he was younger. He was also fond of Prince and Marvin Gaye and was hoping to get a hold of an iPod.

Now his family is looking to for kind strangers to help them pay for his funeral arrangements, as stated on the notepad in the spot where George often stood.

“George wished me a happy day on my first work day here in Boston. And many more ‘have a good day’ followed after that,” Violet McDonald wrote on the Go Fund Me page created in honor of George. “I am going back home to the UK and never had a chance to say goodbye and wish him well. RIP.”

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Jordan Frias

Jordan Frias is an editorial assistant at Boston Herald and a contributor of Spare Change News. He is vice president of the New England Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a graduate of Northeastern University's School of Journalism.

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