Obituaries

Robert Silva

April 15th, 2021

Robert Silva, age 70, of Wilmington formerly of Somerville, passed away on April 12, 2021.

Robert was born on April 5, 1951 in Somerville, MA; he was the cherished son of the late Bernard and Ann (DiBiase) Silva. Robert was raised in Somerville and graduated from Somerville High School.

Robert married Janice M. (Johnson) Silva in 1977; they lived in the city for a few years before settling in Wilmington in 1983, where they raised their three children: Kelly, David and Daniel. Robert was always involved with the kids’ activities; he volunteered as a Wilmington Youth Hockey coach for many years. Being a hockey coach was something he loved to do. He was instrumental in starting up the Wilmington Hockey Booster Club and served as their President. Often you would see him at the Wilmington Carnival operating the Booster Club booth. He also attended his children’s many other sporting or school events throughout the years. Robert was their biggest fan and it brought him joy to watch them. Recently he was involved in the committee for establishing and building a hockey rink in Wilmington.

In his spare time, one thing Robert liked to do was vacation with his family and friends in New Hampshire. He enjoyed being on the lake and relaxing at the pool. He also enjoyed going out to new restaurants with his wife and enjoyed day trips to Maine. Robert also was an avid Three Stooges fan. Every year he would watch the Three Stooges Marathon on New Year’s Eve. He has quite the collection of movies, posters, pictures, and pop culture in his office.

Robert was an avid collector of cameras and photographic equipment. He loved taking pictures of family, friends and scenery. At family gatherings or colleague events you could count on him to have his camera. He was the official photographer for those events and occasions.

Robert was a true friend; his relationships with his family, friends and co-workers were most important to him. He was the friend who always “kept in touch”; he would call or text regularly just to “check in” and to see what was going on in their lives. He was kind, generous and reliable. Robert would go out of his way to make sure those he loved had everything they needed.

Being Grampa to his beautiful grandson and namesake Andrew Robert brought him great joy. He would love to go and visit him or facetime him daily, Andrew would always have a great big smile for Grampa. He would always want Grampa to hold him, and they would hang out together.

Robert will be remembered as a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. His warm and thoughtful personality will truly be missed.

Robert was the beloved husband of Janice M. (Johnson) Silva, devoted father of Kelly Silva of Burlington, Daniel Silva of Andover, and David Silva & his wife Kelly also of Andover and loving “Grampa” to their son Andrew Robert Silva, cherished son of the late Bernard and Ann (DiBiase) Silva, dear brother of Bernard Silva & his wife Betsy of North Andover, Steve Silva & his wife Sue of Franklin, TN and the late Michael Silva & his wife Heidi of Worcester, son-in-law of Jeanne Johnson and the late James Johnson of Peabody. Robert is also survived by many loving sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Family and friends will gather for Visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Sunday, April 18th from 2:00 -6:00 p.m. and Monday, April 19th from 9:30-10:30 followed by a Graveside Service at Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, 185 Lake St., Peabody at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, Memorial donations in Robert’s name may be made to the Jolly Jump (www.jollyjump.org) benefiting a hockey family dealing with a loved one battling cancer or the James Mark McGonagle II Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o 6 Freeport Drive, Wilmington, MA 01887 providing scholarships to local students.

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Richard “Dick” Hayden

April 13th, 2021

Richard K. Hayden “Dick”, age 82, of Wilmington, formerly of Somerville, passed away peacefully on April 12, 2021.

Dick was born on March 16, 1939; he was the dear son of the late Mary (Donovan) Hayden. Dick was raised and educated in Somerville; he went on to put himself through private school by caddying at Winchester Country Club and graduated from Malden Catholic High School; an accomplishment to which he was very proud of.

Dick met his wife Joan or his “Joanie Girl” as he fondly referred to her while working at First National. The couple were soon inseparable and were married on June 30, 1962. They moved to Wilmington in 1966 where they raised a beautiful family.

Dick had many interests including his love of learning, reading, golf, sports, music, theater & travel. He had a genuine curiosity and interest in what others were doing. Family, faith & service were the most important things in his life along with a strong work ethic to which Dick always led by example.

He loved hanging with the guys at the Knights of Columbus, on the golf course at Thompson Country Club where he was a long-standing member or catching countless sporting events. Dick loved his Boston sports teams, but he especially enjoyed following the New England Patriots where he was a season ticket holder for 40 years or the Boston College Eagles football team where he held his season tickets for 35 years. He was an avid fan of local youth and college sports, whether or not he knew anyone personally playing. Dick loved to dance and talk with everyone; he never met a “stranger”.

Dick never forgot his Somerville roots and was proud of that as well as his time in the Marines. He felt very strongly that the Marines, as well as his catholic school education taught him life lessons and helped to guide him. Dick had a thirst for knowledge and a craving for self-improvement; he spent 13 years in night school while raising a family and managed to earn his Associates Degree from Bentley College then on to Northeastern University for his Bachelor’s Degree and finally his Master’s Degree from Boston College. Dick always encouraged his six children and eighteen grandchildren to pursue their own interests through education and he was always there to help and support them in any way. Dick was always so proud to march in the annual Memorial Day Parade in Wilmington along with his fellow Veterans. Dick also enjoyed a successful career in operations and information systems starting out at First National grocery stores, then moving to GSX, Cabot Corporation, Fresenius Medical Care and the May Institute.

It was not uncommon to walk into the Hayden household on Arlene Ave. and find Dick with one of his kids (or a friend’s son or daughter) sitting at the dining room table going over their resume or discussing a difficult work or school situation. He guided all to think through solutions with a leaning towards what was best for your career but also your family. He felt strongly that new opportunities and experiences were the best learning opportunities. Dick encouraged everyone to do their best and was quite a mentor to many. In his retirement he volunteered his time as part of the Wilmington Finance Committee, the Friends of the Library and Wilmington Education Foundation.

Dick wanted to see the world and he did with his wife Joan – traveling with her, as well as family and friends was a great joy. Although seemingly opposites, nothing was more important to him than his wife. They were partners in every way as they raised their children and genuinely enjoyed their time together golfing, traveling, dancing at the K of C with friends or hosting their family at the house – especially by the pool!

On any given weekend Dick would have a list of maybe 10 or so sporting events to watch of the grandkids. He would travel all over the place to watch hockey, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, football, track, basketball, field hockey – basically anything the grandkids did. He was also a fixture at dance recitals for his daughters & granddaughters for many years – absolutely enjoying every performance.

Dick will be fondly remembered as a “great guy”, a true family man and a trusted friend to many; he will forever be in the hearts of those he loved.

Dick was the beloved husband of Joan Hayden (White), devoted father of Michele and Bryon Kincaid (Wilmington), Laurie & Dennis Robarge (Wilmington), Andrea & Eric Braciska (Tewksbury), Richard & Maureen Hayden (Wilmington), Jennifer & Eric Cushing (Wilmington) and Jacqui & Tim Allard (Wilmington). He was the Loving “Pa” of Jonathan Kincaid & wife Marion, Matthew Kincaid & wife Kristin, Zachary Kincaid, Nicholas Robarge & fiancée Meaghan, Hayley Robarge & fiancé Kyle, Caroline Robarge, Christian Robarge, Allyson, Meghan & Kyle Braciska, Emily, Melanie & Ryan Hayden, Shea, Owen & Luke Cushing, Colin & Emma Allard and his Great-Grandsons Ben, Jonathan & Jake Kincaid. He was the dear brother of James Hayden & wife Carol (Stoneham) and the late Edie Previdi & husband Bill (Gloucester), son-in-law of the late Leonard & Winifred White, brother-in-law of Leonard & Maureen White (Burlington) and the late Lois & Richard Jackson. He is further survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA, on Friday, April 16th from 4:00-8:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place in the Church on Saturday, April 17th at 10:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Masks are required to be worn while in Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Dick’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452 or to Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Sheldon F. Maga, Jr.

April 13th, 2021

Sheldon F. Maga, Jr., “Shelly”, age 63, of Wilmington, formerly of Haverhill, passed away peacefully at home on April 11, 2021, surrounded by his loving family following a courageous battle with cancer.

In life, there are not many things that are impossible, but trying to explain Sheldon Frank Maga Jr. in just a few paragraphs is one of them. Shelly was born December 28th,1957 to loving parents, Mother Joan and father Sheldon Maga. He was the oldest of six siblings to John, Steve, Joanne, Judi, and Scott. He played the best role of big brother anyone could ask for. Sometimes getting them out of trouble (sometimes getting them into trouble) but always protecting them. Sheldon spent most of his childhood here in Wilmington where he was more than a staple in this town.

When Sheldon wasn’t being the exceptional older brother, he was also an exceptional soccer player in high school. He was not only an excellent teammate but enjoyed soccer so much that he was a coach for many years after High School. Being head of the Fourth of July Committee, his mother Joan asked if Shelly would be Santa Claus at the Wilmington tree lighting. After he saw the enjoyment, he could bring the others, he became Wilmington’s Santa Claus for the next 42 years. So, chances are, you or someone you know has sat on his lap and told him what you wanted for Christmas.

Sheldon had four Sons. Sheldon F Maga III, Christopher James Maga, Kyle Richard Maga, and Cory Philip Maga. He always made it a point to take them camping in the White Mountains every summer. Spending time with his boys was his first priority.

Shelly met Lisa Morris who was also a huge part of his life. They would go on fun adventures together and even adopted a roughneck monitor lizard into the family.

Sadly in 2018, Shelly could no longer play Santa Claus for the town of Wilmington. In November of 2018 he had been diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer known as adenocarcinoma. The cancer had already spread through his lymph nodes and to his spine. It was believed that he would not be able to see the year 2020. Shelly was a fighter and had a long battle to spend more time with the ones he loved and got in a few more of his camping trips. But in January of 2021 his body could no longer handle the cancer treatment. Sheldon passed in the family home he grew up in surrounded by his loved ones.
Shelly was the devoted father of Sheldon F. Maga III “Shelly” & his girlfriend Caitlin Browne of Haverhill, Christopher Maga of Lowell, Kyle Maga & his girlfriend Angela Cunha of Tewksbury and Cory Maga of Haverhill. Cherished son of Sheldon F. Sr. and Joan L. (Drinkwater) Maga of Wilmington, dear brother John Maga & his wife Susan Middleton-Maga of Wilmington, Steven Maga & his wife Betty of Billerica, Joanne Vultaggio & her husband Peter of Tewksbury, Judi Curcio-Hayes & her husband Charles Hayes of Wilmington and Scott Maga & his wife Michele of Wilmington. Shelly is also survived by his beloved companion of Lisa Morris of Derry, NH and is further survived by many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, April 15th from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Masks are required to be worn while in the Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Shelly’s memory may be made to Care Dimensions Hospice, 75 Sylvan St., Danvers, MA 01923. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Paul E. Surrette

April 12th, 2021

Paul E. Surrette, age 87, a life-long Wilmington resident, passed away April 11th, 2021 at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  Paul was the beloved husband of Peggy L. (Loud) Surrette of Wilmington.  He was the loving father of Peter Surrette and his wife Jane of Woodinville , WA.  Paul was the cherished “Big Grampa” of Paul and AJ Surrette of Woodinville , WA.  Son of the late Walter and Beatrice (Suprenant) Surrette.  Paul is predeceased by his siblings; Walter, Joseph, Robert and Gladys Surrette.  He is also survived by his sister-in-law Joyce Loud of Andover, his special niece Karen (Surrette) Skavicus as well as many other nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, for visitation on Wednesday, April14th, from 11:00-11:45 a.m. immediately followed by a funeral mass at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 12:00 noon.  Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.  Memorial donations in Paul’s name can be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Attn: Office of Development, 2900 N. Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607.  Paul proudly served his country in the United States Army.

June N. (Brisbois) Scurini

April 12th, 2021

June N. (Brisbois) Scurini, age 89, of Lowell, formerly of Stoneham, passed away on April 9, 2021.

June was the beloved wife of the late Stephen D. Scurini, Sr., devoted mother of the late Lydia Bernard & her late husband Dennis of Wilmington, Susan Cronin & her husband Patrick of Lowell, Stephen D. Scurini, Jr. & his wife Rosemary of N. Andover and Ronald Scurini of Chelmsford, loving “Nana” of Stephen Scurini, III & his wife Jessica, Laura Stone & her husband Joshua, Jack Scurini, Caitlyn Cronin and Ryan Cronin, “Great-Nana” of Zachary Scurini, cherished daughter of the late Louis and Marie (Walsh) Brisbois, dear sister of the late Louis Brisbois, Francis Brisbois, John Brisbois, Marie “Rose” Malone and Louise Kelly. June is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62) Wilmington on Friday, April 16th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 17th from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 11:30 a.m. Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

Memorial donations in June’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452.

Dianne J. (Bell) Smith

April 2nd, 2021

Dianne J. (Bell) Smith, age 78, a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away on April 1, 2021.

Dianne was the beloved wife of the late Peter S. Smith, devoted mother of Gordon Smith & his wife Tammy of Windham, NH, Barbara O’Donnell & her husband John of N. Easton, MA and Robin Smith & her husband James Michaud of Sandown, NH, loving “Gramma” of Christine Starke, Madison O’Donnell, Morgan O’Donnell, the late Samantha & Cassandra Ray, Adam Jean, David Jean, Jaclyn Michaud and Nicholas Michaud, “Great-Gramma” of Zachary, Denise, Lillian, Ethan and Maddox, cherished daughter of the late Ralph A. and Barbara (Wharmby) Bell, dear sister of Christopher Bell & his wife Karen of MI and the late Jacqueline Bell.

Family and friends will gather for Visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, April 7th from 12:00 -1:00 p.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 1:00 p.m. Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

Memorial donations in Dianne’s name may be made to Angels Helping Animals, PO Box 120, West Tisbury, MA 02575. www.angelshelpinganimalsmv.org

James J. Flaherty, Jr.

April 2nd, 2021

James J. Flaherty, Jr., age 40, of Wilmington, passed away on March 30, 2021, following a long and courageous battle with Multiple Sclerosis.

Jimmy was born on February 13, 1981, in Winchester, MA; he was the cherished son of the late James J. Flaherty, Sr. and Lisa (Guzzo-Flaherty) Nett. Jimmy was raised in Wilmington where he made many friends throughout the years; he spent countless afternoons after school with his best friend Mikey Carlson or with his High School Sweetheart Danielle who was a very special person to him. He attended Wilmington Schools and was quite an athlete; Jimmy played soccer and football but his passion was hockey. Jimmy played Wilmington Youth Hockey for several years and High School Hockey for the Wilmington Wildcats; Jimmy loved playing hockey, he had a competitive spirit and was a good player and teammate.

Jimmy’s family was the center of his world and he loved them with all his heart. Jimmy had lots of support from his family and extended family following the death of his dad when he was a small boy. Jimmy’s Uncle Jay took him under his wing; the two were very close and spent lots of time together. Jimmy had a great relationship with his Grampa Joe; their bond was unbreakable throughout the years. His Grampa Joe and his Gram Joannie were always there to help him out with anything he needed; he held such a special place in their life. Jimmy was always grateful for the help, love and support from his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins during this difficult time in his life.

Jimmy and his brother Nolan along with their Mom Lisa were extremely close; Jimmy and Nolan were “best buds” who enjoyed hanging out with friends, going camping and following their favorite Boston sports teams. When their Mom married Bill, Jimmy welcomed his new brother Anthony into his life who he loved to tease like a big brother would do and he was just thrilled when his baby sister Annalise was born; he fondly referred to her as his “little Nanooz”.

Jimmy had a great personality and sense of humor; he loved kids and was a typical prankster who enjoyed teasing them. Jimmy had a huge heart and great empathy for others less fortunate. His generous spirit along with his kind and loving nature led him to go out of his way to help anyone in need. Jimmy worked in the kitchen at Woodbriar Nursing Center for a few years and always took the time to sit and visit with the patients no matter how busy he was; the seniors held a special place in his heart.

Jimmy loved all the New England Sports teams but his all time favorite was the New England Patriots; he enjoyed watching Tom Brady become an incredible quarterback and lead his teams to many playoff games and Super Bowls. Jimmy looked forward to taking in the games with his family and friends; they always had a great time when they were together. Another favorite past time was music, Jimmy, enjoyed listening to music of all kinds and was known to belt out a few tunes every now and then.

Jimmy was a fighter who never gave up; upon receiving his devastating diagnosis nearly 20 years ago he never felt sorry for himself but kept pushing himself to get better. As his health declined he relied on his inner strength to get through some life threatening situations; Jimmy’s body was giving up on him but his mind and spirit were always present and he wanted to live as long as he could and spend as much time with his family as possible. Jimmy taught others the true meaning of unconditional love and strength.

Jimmy will be fondly remembered as a wonderful person, an angel on earth who spread love and kindness to everyone he met. His passing has left a huge void in the heart of his family and friends who will forever miss and love him.

Jimmy was the beloved son of Lisa and Bill Nett of Salem, NH and the late James J. Flaherty, Sr., loving brother of Nolan Flaherty of Derry, NH, Anthony Nett and Annalise Nett both of Salem, NH, dear Uncle of Liam Flaherty, cherished grandson of Joseph and Anne Guzzo and the late Paul and Joan Flaherty all of Wilmington and Gert Nett of Plaistow, NH. Special nephew of Teri Torchia & Olivier Morteau, Jay Guzzo, Steve Flaherty, Lynn Flaherty, Jean Perry, Kelly & Wayne Velozo, Timmy Flaherty, Carol & Jim Butler, Patty Stokes, Marty Flaherty, Joseph & Trudy Nett, Alice Roberts, Fran Nett, Tony Nett, John & Tracey Nett, Jim & Robin Nett, Peter Nett, the late Peggy DiDonato and Brian Roberts. Jimmy is further survived by many cousins and friends.

All are welcome to gather for a Graveside Service on Thursday, April 8th at 11:00 a.m. at the Wildwood Cemetery in Wilmington, MA. In honor of Jimmy’s love for the New England Patriots; please wear your favorite Patriots Jersey and come in casual dress.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to https://gofund.me/ecce0107

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington, MA. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Doris M. (Richards) Downs

March 30th, 2021

Doris M. Downs (Richards), age 91, of Tewksbury, formerly of Wilmington, passed away peacefully at home on March 29, 2021, with her family at her side.

Doris was born in Wilmington, MA, on August 5, 1929; she was the dear daughter of the late Albert and Mary Richards. Doris was raised and educated in Wilmington and a graduate of Wilmington High School with the Class of 1948.

Doris married her “sweetheart” Clesson Downs and the couple moved to Tewksbury in 1955 where they raised their family. Doris was very devoted to her husband, children, and grandchildren; the family shared many wonderful times together throughout the years and she looked forward to the times they spent together. She enjoyed shopping with her daughter Cheryl and picking out each other’s Christmas Gifts or heading over to Margarita’s Restaurant for their famous Chips and Salsa.

Doris was very talented; she loved to crochet afghans and baby clothes or knit countless pairs of mittens for her family and friends. Doris looked forward to going to various Fairs where she would get new ideas for her knitting and crocheting and enjoyed getting her French fries with lots of salt on top.

Doris was an avid Bingo player and quite competitive at times; she even won several times and surprised her husband with her winnings.

Doris loved people and enjoyed being involved at the Tewksbury Senior Center where she had many friends. She also looked forward to playing cards on Saturday nights with her brother and sister-in-law Ned and Helen along with their many friends. Doris went with her sister-in-law Helen every couple of months to have lunch with their classmates and reminisce about old times.

Doris was a woman of great faith and an active communicant of St. William’s Church in Tewksbury where she loved to help in any way she could.

Doris will be remembered as a wonderful lady who was friendly, kind and generous to everyone. She loved her family unconditionally; they were always her number one priority. Doris will be forever in the hearts of those she touched.

Doris was the beloved wife of the late Clesson W. Downs, devoted mother of John C. Downs & his wife Linda of Polk City, FL, Stephen M. Downs & his wife Kathleen of Marshfield and Cheryl A. Downs of Tewksbury. Loving “Nana” of Christopher & Marya Callaghan of Gales Ferry, CT, Paul & Heidi Downs of Holden, Stephen Downs of Hanson, Gregory Downs & Meagan Bigsby of Oxford, ME, Andrea Downs of Athens, GA, the late Erica Downs, Catherine Downs of Orlando, FL, David Downs of Polk City, FL and her Great-Grandchildren William Downs and Erica Downs. Cherished daughter of the late Albert and Mary (LeClaire) Richards, dear sister of Irene Murphy & her late husband Eugene of Woburn, the late Gertrude Greeley & her husband Nicholas, Mary Alice Lehman & her husband Jack, Albert Richards & his wife Jean, William Richards & his wife Evelyn, James Richards & his wife Margaret and John Richards & his wife Helen. Sister-in-law of Clifton & Charlotte Downs of Mansfield, the late Edward & Joan Downs of Wilmington, the late Francis & Betty Downs, Charlotte & Irving Goddett, Clayton “Buddy” & Miriam Downs, Forrest & Helen Downs, Estella & Joseph Flynn, Harvey Downs, James & Fay Downs, Pauline & John Russo and Geneva & Frank Morrison. Doris is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Monday, April 5th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, April 6th, at 10:00 a.m. in St. Williams Church, 1351 Main St. (Rte. 38), Tewksbury, MA. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA. Masks are required to be worn while in the Funeral Home and at Church.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Doris’ memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452.

Americo “Sonny” Enos

March 26th, 2021

Americo M. Enos, Sr. “Sonny”, age 91, a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on March 25, 2021.

Sonny was born on August 29, 1929, in Somerville, MA; he was the dear son of the late Peter and Margaret Enos. Sonny was raised and educated in Somerville and Cambridge; he was one of ten siblings who were brought up in a large and loving family.

As a young boy, Sonny showed signs of being a very talented musician. By the age of 9, he was proficient on the drums, and, a year later, he started a professional career with the Portuguese Liberty Band of Cambridge. Throughout those early years, Sonny’s musical career moved quickly; he combined extensive musical training and the practical experience he learned with bands of all types and sizes to perfect his skills. Sonny was always learning and looking forward to the day when he could form his own musical group; through much trial and error, he finally succeeded in putting together the Sonny Stephens Orchestra. Sonny carried his passion for music throughout his whole life. He shared this talent with his children, who are also successful musicians; one who is a professor of music.

Sonny enlisted in the United States Navy on September 29, 1950. He proudly served our country during the Korean War. Sonny served overseas aboard the USS LST 529 for more than two years before returning stateside. He was honorably discharged on March 3, 1954 and returned home to his family.

On June 23, 1956, Sonny married the “love of his life” Ermelinda “Emily” Souza; the couple lived in Arlington for several years before moving “up country” to Wilmington where they made their home. Sonny and Emily became parents to eight wonderful children and shared many happy times as a family before tragedy struck, and Emily passed on September 3, 1971, leaving Sonny to raise their family. Sonny’s deep faith in God along with help from his family and friends aided him in the adjustment to his new role as a single parent. After a few months, he was able to manage on his own but was forever grateful for their help. Sonny’s family was always his priority; he showered his children with unconditional love and devotion while leading by example. He showed his children the importance of faith, family, friends, a good education, hard work, and community involvement; all lessons that have made them successful parents and responsible individuals. Sonny was very active in their daily lives with school, sports, band, and other activities. He coached his sons on several championship teams in the Wilmington Little League for many years. Sonny treated all his players as if they were his own children and encouraged them to be their best; he was a beloved coach, mentor, and friend to many.

Sonny’s work ethic was commendable; in 1958 he took a position as a furniture repairman with the Jordan Marsh Company in Quincy and was appointed shop foreman. After the passing of his wife, Emily, he transferred into a furniture sales position at Jordan Marsh in Burlington to be closer to his children. Sonny’s endearing personality, along with his impeccable people skills, earned him the top salesman award for many years in a row. Sonny was a great provider for his family. When his children were young, he worked during the day as a furniture repairman and in the evening and on weekends would play gigs with his band; his energy was endless. Sonny retired from Jordan Marsh after more than 34 years with the company and left having made many life-long friends.

Shortly after moving to Wilmington, Sonny and Emily became active parishioners at St. Thomas of Villanova Church where they attended Mass with their children. Sonny would help in any way he could and was the head Usher at 9:30 Mass on Sunday for many years. Sonny had a strong and deep faith throughout his life; he instilled that faith in his children, taught them to trust in God, and how the power of prayer would help them through their toughest times. He joined the Fr. Croke Council #4982 Knights of Columbus, working his way up to a Fourth Degree Knight and volunteering many hours to help out in any way he could. Throughout the years, Sonny served as Grand Knight, Faithful Navigator, and Commander of the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard. He marched in countless parades, stood Guard at the wakes for his Brother Knights who passed before him, organized yearly Mass of the Roses ceremonies at the Church, and helped with many fund raisers to benefit the community. In his later years, Sonny, joined the Men’s Club at St. Williams Parish in Tewksbury where he ran the weekly Bingo games. The culmination of his active service to God and God’s Church was the awarding by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Bishop Cheverus Award of which he was extremely proud.

In his spare time, Sonny enjoyed golfing, playing cribbage, and traveling the country in his RV where he could see new places and meet new people. He loved baseball and was an avid Red Sox fan; Sonny looked forward to taking in a game with his family and was thrilled to see them win the World Series more than once. Sonny also loved “his Patriots” and was excited to follow their dynasty over the last twenty years.

Sonny’s passion for big bands and love for good musical talent never waned throughout the years; his home was always filled with the sounds of Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, and Frank Sinatra to name a few; all talents that he enjoyed listening to with family and friends.

Sonny will be fondly remembered for his endearing personality, big heart, and million dollar smile. He was outgoing, friendly, and went out of his way to help anyone in need. Sonny had a great sense of humor. He was a “people person” and a big flirt who loved to greet the ladies with a “Where’s my Kiss?”. Sonny was a great friend and neighbor who always asked about your family and how you were doing. He was truly interested in the welfare of others. Sonny’s love for his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren was evident in everything he did; they were his world, and he was so proud of each of them. Sonny was certainly “one of a kind” and a great guy who will forever be in the hearts of those he touched.

Sonny was the beloved husband of the late Ermelinda “Emily” (Souza) Enos, devoted father of Ermelinda M. “Linda” Whitten and husband Charles of Gorham, ME; Americo M. Enos, Jr. “Rico”and wife Katherine of Wilmington; Stephen F. Enos of Cleveland, OH; Philip J. Enos, Sr. and wife Sharon of Wilmington; Janet E. Day and husband Scott of Gainesville, GA; Peter M. Enos and wife Marilyn of Woodland Hills, CA; Robert J. Enos and wife Teresa of Tewksbury; and Christine E. Camp and husband Stephen of Thousand Oaks, CA. Loving “Papa” of Amelia, Tiffany, Jessica, Emily, Sara, Philip Jr., James, Joseph, Sean, Emily, Bethany, Emma, Nicholas, Jonah, Bianca, and Felicia and “Big Papa” to his great-grandchildren Arianna, Samaya, Kennedy, Elias, Joseph, Emily, Hailey, Caitlin, Madeline, Colin, Teagan, Fallon, Quinn, and Augustine. Cherished son of the late Peter and Margaret (dos Santos) Enos, dear brother of the late Peter Enos, Mary Gouvea, Frank Enos, Margaret Pimentel, Lawrence Enos, Virginia Enos, Emily Morgan, Joachim Enos, and Anthony Enos. Sonny is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and their families as well as his long time companion, Donna Carifio.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA, on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial for Sonny will take place at the Church on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Sonny’s memory to the Americo M. Enos, Sr., Memorial Scholarship Fund, and mail checks to Philip J. Enos, Sr., 25 Dadant Drive, Wilmington, MA 01887. Sonny was a passionate and talented musician; his Scholarship Fund will be awarded to a student who plans to further his/her education in music.

Funeral Arrangements are under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington, MA. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Fred W. Merten

March 23rd, 2021

Fred W. Merten, age 81, a long-time resident of Wilmington, MA, passed away peacefully on March 22, 2021, at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers.

Fred was born on May 27, 1939, in Oranienburg, Germany; he was the cherished son of the late Karl and Luise (Friesecke) Merten.

Fred was the beloved husband of Karin (Dall) Merten of Wilmington, devoted father of Sonja Angel of Billerica and Tanya Merten of Haverhill, loving “Papa” of Katelin, Courtney and Ryan Angel.

Funeral Services for Fred will be private at this time. Arrangements are under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington, MA. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com.