David Tagliaferro, for six years a familiar and friendly face to Davis Square Red Line commuters, died on Saturday, and this week there's been an outpouring of condolences from the straphangers he interacted with every work day.
Tagliaferro was a promoter for the Metro Boston newspaper, and every Monday through Friday he handed out the free daily publication to T riders at Davis Square Station.
"He was quite well liked in the area" and he "lit up commuters' lives every morning," said Walt Zorkers, distribution manager at Metro Boston.
"He touched a lot of lives positively," Zorkers said. "The Metro family sorely misses him."
Zorkers said Tagliaferro passed away Saturday night at his home. He was 66 years old. Although the cause of death hasn't yet been officially determined, it's likely he died of a heart attack, Zorkers said.
He's survived by a brother, and the family hasn't planned any public services to Zorkers' knowledge.
One Somerville Patch reader emailed to say that Tagliaferro was "a bright light every morning at Davis Square" and that "he always had a kind word to say to everyone."
Tagliaferro was known for his love of dogs. "One of his hallmarks is he put out dog biscuits," said Zorkers, who added that some people visited Davis Square station with their dogs just to get a biscuit and spend some time chatting with Tagliaferro.
Metro Boston has posted an article about Tagliaferro that includes some photos.
Tagliaferro was also the subject of a short profile in Boston Magazine in 2007 that describes his morning routine, which included dropping off newspapers at a nearby residential center for senior citizens—likely Ciampa Manor, which is near the MBTA station—even though it wasn't part of his job.
Zorkers said Metro Boston's Twitter feed has been "lit up" with condolences, and he's received more than 20 phone calls about Tagliaferro.
The newspaper promoter's brother hung up a rememberance poster in Davis Square Station, and so far it's been signed by scores of people. It reads, "Rest in peace, David. You will be missed."
The poster will be back at the station from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday morning, said Zorkers.
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