Alphonse “Al” Palaima of Kennebunkport, died peacefully on May 6, 2020 in York Hospital with his wife, Leonora, by his side. He was born on Nov. 19, 1927 in South Boston, Massachusetts, to Anthony Palaima and Agota Zarancky, both of Lithuanian descent.

Al attended B.C. High and graduated from Boston College with a master’s degree in 1951. In 1951 he married Helen Ryan and they lived in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He started a teaching career as a classics instructor.

He taught Latin, Greek and Philosophy at St. Mark’s, St. Sebastian’s and Assumption Prep School in Worcester, Massachusetts. At Assumption, he was a director of the middle school and coached a sailing team. After retirement he and Helen moved to Kennebunkport, where they built a house in 1989. They both loved to sail their sailboat and go deep sea fishing. Helen died in 1997.

Al’s longtime interest in rare books expanded to an interest in collectibles and antiques. He became a regular at auctions and briefly operated his own business. He was interested in travel and sought out opportunities in Bermuda, England and Greece. He returned to his parents’ native Lithuania often, reestablishing close ties with his relatives and deepening his serious and lifelong interest in the Lithuanian Catholic Church.

Al met his second wife, Lithuanian native Leonora Sasnauskaite, in 1999 in Kennebunkport. They married the same year and lived in their house by the ocean.

Al was a man of deep faith which sustained him and determined all his actions. He was a scholar and a wonderful teacher, loved by his students who called him Uncle Al. He himself was a lifelong learner, he had an open inquiring mind. Reading was his favorite activity, he read every day, until the last day of his life.

Al was keenly interested in politics. He was incredibly knowledgeable and respectfully disagreed when he felt it necessary. He was wise and perceptive and above all he was very kind, always and to everyone. Even though he didn’t have children of his own, he loved and spoiled his friend’s and neighbor’s kids, who enjoyed his sense of humor, playfulness and stories about learning horseback riding and sailing.

Al loved life, people, nature and animals. He never met a stranger. He took a personal interest in everyone he met and had friends everywhere. As one of his friends’ young son said, Al had a beautiful soul, he valued a beauty in everything – nature, art, creation, music and human relationships.

He was predeceased by his parents, first wife Helen Palaima of Kennebunkport, and older brother John Palaima of Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts. He is survived by his wife Leonora Palaima of Kennebunkport, and twin brother Edward Palaima of Biddeford.

A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 26, 2020 at St. Martha’s Church in Kennebunk followed by a reception at the Franciscan Monastery Guest House, 26 Beach Ave., Kennebunk.

Memorial contributions can be made to Schepens Eye Research Institute at

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Al’s Book of Memories Page at

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St., Kennebunk.