LOUIS A. PANARALE
May 4, 1933 – March 10, 2019
Lou Panarale passed away peacefully on March 10 after a long illness. A native of Chicago, Lou attended Catholic schools and served two years in the Army during the Korean conflict. After discharge he attended Marquette University and graduated in 1960 with a degree in journalism.
Just out of school, he landed a job with United Press International (UPI), where he worked as a reporter at the Chicago Bureau for five years. Lou moved to Washington in the 1970s, where he continued his career in as a journalist at the Catholic News Service. During these years he became an expert photographer with an original eye, an asset that he used to enrich his news coverage. After a stint at the US Navy Office of Public Affairs he spent several years as chief of publications for the Peace Corp.
In 1997 he returned to his original vocation, rejoining the Catholic News Service where he covered the Vatican and spent considerable time in Rome. Always interested in his Italian heritage, he was especially pleased with this post because it gave him the opportunity to connect with relatives who still lived in Italy, improve the rudimentary Italian that he had learned at home, and continue his photography. Lou retired from the Catholic News Service in 2000.
With an extensive knowledge of culture, arts, and history, he was valued as a docent at Mt. Vernon for several years. He spent a lot of time in museums, walked the neighborhoods of DC, and admired the city’s burgeoning public art. In 1996 he joined a small group of artists and historians who had embarked on a project to document the city’s murals (see Marilyn, US Capitol, and 100 Years of African American History, to name a few.) Lou served as principal photographer for this team (now DC Murals: Spectacle and Story) and is credited with the best photos of the city’s public art to date. Although he lived in Virginia, his home base was DC, where he had gathered a large community of diverse friends. He served as a role model and source of encouragement to many.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, March 30, 4:30 pm, at St, Alban’s Church, 3001 Wisconsin Ave., NW. All those who knew Lou or just admired his photos are invited to attend.