Andrew Puopolo '77, the Harvard football player who was stabbed in Boston's Combat Zone on November 16, died December 17 from a cardiac arrest while he was listed in critical condition at the Tufts-New England Medical Center.
Puopolo had suffered extensive brain damage from a lack of oxygen after he was stabbed. The respirator which was keeping him alive was still attached when he died at 4:12 a.m., after a 31-day coma.
The entire Harvard football team served as pallbearers at the funeral service held December 20 at St. Leonard's Church in the North End of Boston. Family members estimated yesterday that close to 2000 people attended the service.
Puopolo's mother, Helen Puopolo, said the family has established a memorial scholarship fund at Boston Latin School, Puopolo's high school, under the auspices of Paul F. Costello, Puopolo's football coach at the school.
Costello said yesterday that "Puopolo exemplified the Boston Latin School story of a city boy, who through outstanding work as an athlete and a scholar had propelled himself into Harvard."
Joe Restic, head football coach, said yesterday that Puopolo "will be dearly missed not only as a person, but for everything he represented that is good in our society."
One of Puopolo's roommates said yesterday that although Puopolo's family life meant more to him than anything else, he was a well-rounded individual with a wide range of friends in Jamaica Plain, where he grew up, in the North End and in the Harvard community.
The roommate, who asked not to be identified, also emphasized Puopolo's ability to combine scholarship with athletic skill, adding "sports were a major part of his life, but not the only part of his life."
Puopolo was a Biology major, and planned to attend medical school next year.
Lawrence D. Glueck, defensive back- field coach, said yesterday that the highlight of Puopolo's football career were two interceptions made this year at the Pennsylvania game.
Harvard coaches named Puopolo defensive player of the week for that performance.
Glueck added that when each senior spoke to the team about his four years at Harvard before the Yale game, Puopolo said, "Winning the Yale game is just the frosting on the cake, because as a member of this team I already have my cake."
Charles Kaye '78, a defensive tackle, said yesterday that although Puopolo had not been a football star before he became a starting cornerback as a senior, "his attitude was never disgruntled, but one of total self-involvement."
Kaye added that Puopolo played for the sake of the team as well as for personal gratification.
Puopolo was stabbed when several football team members got in a scuffle when Kaye's wallet was stolen in the Combat Zone.
David Herlihy, master of Mather House, where Puopolo lived, yesterday described Puopolo's death as "tragic and a great waste.