Obituaries

Leo R. Smith

July 1st, 2020

Leo R. Smith, age 71, of Wilmington, formerly of Medford, passed away on July 1, 2020.

Leo was the beloved husband of Margaret (Maher) Smith, devoted father of Joshua Smith & his wife Kelley of Woburn and Jacob Smith & his wife Lynne of Wilmington, loving “Bampie” of Gavin, Lily, Megan and Lauren, cherished son of the late John Smith and Margaret (McCusker) & John Hughes, dear brother of Edward Smith of N. Reading and Carole Green & her husband Gary of Osterville. Leo is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Tuesday, July 7th at 9:00 a.m. immediately followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Dorothy’s Church, Main St., (Rte. 38) Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Mass. National Cemetery, Connery Ave., Bourne, MA at 1:30 p.m. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Monday, July 6th from 4:00-8:00 p.m. All guests attending the services are asked to wear masks.

Memorial donations in Leo’s name may be made to the Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.

Leo was a U.S. Marine Veteran who proudly served during Vietnam.

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Joseph F. Ruszkowski

June 30th, 2020

Joseph F. Ruszkowski, age 87, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on June 30th, 2020.

Joseph was an avid fisherman.  He loved taking his grandchildren on salt-water fishing trips to the Salisbury Reservation.   He also loved to garden, you could always find him out in the backyard tending to his plants.

Joseph was the beloved husband of the late Theresa A. (Kirraine) Ruszkowski.  He was the loving father of Joseph M. Ruszkowski & his companion Gail Caouette of North Reading and Lorraine Custeau & her husband Michael of Methuen. Joseph was the cherished “Papa” of Michael, Matthew and Andrew Custeau and recently became great-Papa of Rylee.  He was the son of late Benjamin and Genevieve (Grabowski) Ruszkowski, dear brother of Walter Ruszkowski of Rowley, Janice Fahey of Billerica and Marion Alves of Warren, NH.  Joseph is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

At the request of Joseph’s family, all services will be held privately.

Memorial donations in Joseph’s name can be made to All Care VNA & Hospice Development Office, 210 Market St., Lynn, MA 01901.

Joseph proudly served in the U.S. Navy.

Stephanie Ann Burns

June 29th, 2020

Stephanie Ann (DeGregorio) Burns, of Wilmington, passed suddenly on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

Stephanie was the beloved wife of Michael Burns. Born in Lynnfield, MA to parents James and Lucille (Farinola) DeGregorio. Stephanie attended Lynnfield High School and Northeastern University.

Stephanie was employed as Registered Nurse at Lahey Clinic for 45 years.  Beginning in the Allergy Department, she found her true calling working in the Dermatology Department with Dr. Samuel Moschella as the Northeast Coordinator for the National Hansen Disease program. A caring and dedicated nurse, Stephanie worked tirelessly with hundreds of Hansen Disease patients.  Stephanie’s extraordinary efforts were recognized as the recipient of both the Lahey Daisy Award and the Harvard University School of Medicine Nurse of the Year award for her outstanding patient care.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Stephanie was a talented artist and gourmet chef who enjoyed challenging herself constantly with new recipes.  She greatly enjoyed gardening and produced terrific flowers and vegetables as well as frequent neighborhood walks with her constant companions, Cuddles & Kahlua.

Without a doubt, Stephanie’s greatest joy was her family. Along with her husband Michael, with whom she would have celebrated 47 years of marriage this month, she is survived by brother James DeGregorio of Plymouth, Ma., sister in law Cassandra Martin of Ocala, Fl,  three children, Christopher and his wife Maradith of Litchfield, NH, Douglas and his wife Eileen of Wrentham, Ma., daughter Jamie Quigley and her husband Keith of Windham, NH., as well as five adoring grandchildren McNally, Bryce, Maclyn, Zack and Cameron, who love their “Nono”.

Holidays with her family were so special to Stephanie; the Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween which was no doubt her favorite.  If you trick or treated in Hathaway Acres, you no doubt enjoyed a cup of Hot Chocolate served by the Hathaway Road Witch.

Stephanie was blessed to have touched so many lives and so many people who were touched by this remarkable woman.

A Wake of Remembrance will be held on Tuesday, July 7th from 3:00 to 7:00 at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Avenue, (Rte. 62) Wilmington, MA. All guests attending the wake are asked to wear masks in the funeral home.

Memorial contributions in memory of Stephanie Burns may be sent to Hansen’s Disease Program Fund at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, c/o Philanthropy, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, MA 01805.  You may also donate online at support.laheyhealth.org/LHMCgive by entering Hansen’s Disease Program Fund under “Gift Designation”.

Carol A. DeFeo

June 27th, 2020

Carol A. DeFeo, age 77, of Wilmington, formerly of East Boston, passed away peacefully on June 25, 2020.

Carol was born in Boston, MA on April 11, 1943; she was raised and educated in East Boston and was the cherished daughter of the late Gaetano and Sara (Keough) DeFeo. Carol was the devoted mother of James P. DeFeo of Wilmington, loving “Nana” of Joslyn, Jaelyn, James René and Jonathan DeFeo, loving “Nana Carol” of Gabby and Michael. Dear sister of James DeFeo and his wife Gail of Plymouth and Elaine Weir and her husband Les of Haverhill. Carol is also survived by her cousins, nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, Wednesday, July 1st from 10:00-11:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlsex Ave., Wilmington at 12:00 noon. Burial will take place in Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. All guests attending will be required to wear a mask while in the Funeral Home and in Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Carol’s memory may be made to Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 538, Wilmington, MA 01887.

Millard S. Brown

June 26th, 2020

Millard S. Brown, age 94, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on June 23, 2020.

Millard was the beloved husband of the late Grace M. (Tamagna) Brown, devoted father of Susan Brown and her husband Douglas Ray of Methuen and David Brown of Wilmington. Dear son of the late Francis and Elmira (Clark) Brown, brother of the late Peter and Carey Brown. Brother-in-law of Robert Long, the late Joseph Tamagna and Carol Moran. Millard is survived by his niece Kathleen LaCivita of Peabody as well as many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Monday, June 29th at 11:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Sunday, June 28th from 3:00-6:00 p.m. All guests are required to wear a mask while in the Funeral Home.

Millard proudly served with the H Troop 7th Calvary Regiment in the United States Army during World War II.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Millard’s memory may be made to Local Heroes, P. O. Box 538, Wilmington, MA 01887.

Rose (Rudyk) Zawierucha

June 23rd, 2020

Rose (Rudyk) Zawierucha, passed away peacefully on Monday morning, June 22, 2020, at the age of 95.

Rose was born on September 24, 1924, in Kolomyja, Poland; she was the dear daughter of the late Sabby and Maria Rudyk. Rose moved to Germany for work during World War II. After the war, she chose to move to England to wait for her turn to immigrate to the United States. In 1952, she walked onto Ellis Island to become a U. S. Citizen and pursue her American Dream.

Rose lived in Massachusetts and then Delaware before returning back to Boston in 1972 where she lived for the next 46 years.

Rose was preceded in death by her husband, Henry Zawierucha and is survived by her daughter Diane Fay and son-in-law Michael Fay.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, June 25th for Visitation from 4:00-6:00 p.m. immediately followed by a Service at 6:00 p.m. Guests are required to wear masks while in the Funeral Home.

Theresa M. Surette

June 22nd, 2020

Theresa M. Surette (Pagliarulo), age 99, a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on June 18, 2020.

Theresa was born on November 27, 1920, in Boston, MA; she was the dear daughter of the late Euplio and Filomena (Staffero) Pagliarulo. Theresa was raised and educated in East Boston, MA and a graduate of East Boston High School. Theresa enjoyed being part of a large and loving Italian family and the last of her 11 siblings to pass.

On June 1, 1941, Theresa married “the love of her life and best friend” Walter Surette; the couple raised three wonderful daughters, Jean, Theresa and Nancy. They resided in Revere and Chelsea for many years before moving to Wilmington in 1958. Theresa was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother; she along with her husband Walter shared many wonderful times together with their family and friends throughout the years. Theresa and Walter had a wonderful 50th anniversary celebration before his passing in November of 1991.

Theresa was a hard worker and incredibly talented; she was a seamstress in Boston and East Boston for many years before taking a position at Diamond Crystal in Wilmington where she worked for 10 years. Theresa had an endearing personality; she was very well liked by her co-workers.

Theresa’s talents didn’t end there, she was known for the beautiful pieces that she embroidered, crocheted, quilted and the many crafts that she made. Theresa made countless gifts for her family and friends; all pieces to be treasured for generations to come.

In her later years, Theresa became very active at the Wilmington Senior Center; she took part in their many activities, fairs, trips and enjoyed spending time with her friends and socializing.

Theresa will be fondly remembered as a lovely lady; she was talented, kind and caring towards others. Theresa’s strength was incredible; she was unwavering in her optimism as a two time cancer survivor and a true example for others to strive for. Theresa will be forever missed by all who knew and loved her.

Theresa was the beloved wife of the late Walter W. Surette, devoted mother of M. Jean Cole and her late husband Richard formerly of Wilmington, Theresa A. Morin and her late husband Donald of Windham, NH, formerly of Tewksbury and Nancy M. Boutwell and her late husband Earle of Tewksbury. Loving Nana of Jean Marie Cole, Richard Cole, Robert Cole, Karen Kwiatkowski, Laurie Chadbourne, Michael Morin, Lisa Park, Michelle Johnson, Scott Boutwell and Kelly Boutwell. She is further survived by her 24 Great-Grandchildren and 8 Great-Great-Grandchildren as well as her many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Thursday, June 25th from 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Dorothy’s Church, Main St. (Rte. 38), Wilmington, MA at 12;30 p.m. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA. All guests attending Visiting Hours and Mass are required to wear a mask.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Theresa’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701.

Please visit our website to leave a condolence message for the family at www.nicholsfuneralhome.com.

Jeannette R. McEnroe

June 22nd, 2020

Jeannette R. McEnroe (Meleschuk), age 77, of Lawrence, formerly of Wilmington and Florida, passed away unexpectedly on June 10, 2020.

Jeannette was born in Woburn, MA on February 6, 1943; she was raised and educated in Wilmington, MA and was a graduate of Wilmington High School with the Class of 1961. Jeannette was the oldest of seven siblings; at home she was referred to as “the General” or “the second Mother” because she was very organized, dependable and got things done around the house and for her younger siblings.

Jeannette married Joseph McEnroe; the couple lived in Wilmington for several years before moving to Andover and then onto New Hampshire where they raised their children. Family was very important to Jeannette; she loved her family unconditionally and would do anything for them. Jeannette loved to cook and bake; she was famous for her American Chop Suey and her Apple pie, everything she made was from scratch and she welcomed all to her dinner table. Jeannette adored being a “Gram”, “Great-Gram” and “Gaga”, she had a unique bond with each of her grandchildren and she would always do something to make them each feel special in their relationship with her.

Jeannette had an incredible work ethic and she was not afraid to try any job; for many years she worked as an International Trader for the Treasure Masters Company, she also owned and operated a restaurant “The Shanty” in Derry, New Hampshire for several years and she put her excellent writing skills into her “Dear Abby” column for the local newspaper; she could always be counted on for great advice.

Following retirement, Jeannette and her husband relocated to Florida for several years to get out of the harsh New England weather. The couple had many wonderful times in Florida and made many good friends while they were there. A few years ago as her health was starting to fail, Jeannette, moved back to Massachusetts to be closer to her family.

Jeannette will be fondly remembered for her kindness and caring ways towards others; she was the “silent caregiver” who had a keen instinct when someone needed her help. Jeannette was right there to lend a hand, an ear, a kind gesture or a good meal to anyone and everyone. Jeannette’s had a strong presence about her as she entered a room; she made everyone around her feel safe and loved. Jeannette was a wonderful daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to many; she had a heart of gold and will forever be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Jeannette was the beloved wife of the late Joseph McEnroe, devoted mother of Susan Tyler of Virginia, Lynda Steinbrecher of Jacksonville, FL, Julie Martinez of Londonderry, NH and Ted McEnroe & his wife Rachel Happe of Andover. Loving “Gram” of Faithe & her wife Jenn, Ainslie & her husband Pete, James & his wife Lauren, Tom, C.J. & his fiance Cassidy, Paige, Kate and great-grandchildren Bella, Lilli, Andrew, Sadie, Cora and Maren. Cherished daughter of the late Edward and Irene (Baker) Meleschuk and Bob Baker, dear sister of Edward Meleschuk & his wife Desiree of Charlotte, NC, Robert Baker, Jr. & his wife Cathy and Alice Volpe & her husband Bob all of Wilmington, Dorothy Clark of California, Liz Alexander & her husband Dave of Methuen and Jerry Baker of Londonderry, NH. Jeannette is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Family and friends are invited to Calling Hours on Saturday, July 18th from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA, followed by a Service at 2:00 p.m. All guests attending the visitation and services are required to wear masks.

In lieu of flowers donations in Jeannette’s memory may be made to the Epilepsy Foundation, 8301 Professional Place W #230, Landover, MD 20785. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Bertha M. Sanchez

June 20th, 2020

Bertha Marie Sanchez (Dungca), age 70, of Wilmington, formerly of Guam, passed away peacefully at home on June 16, 2020.

Bertha was the beloved wife of the late Eddie Sanchez, devoted mother of John Salas, Jr. and his wife Patricia of Colorado, Peter Salas and his wife Sharon of Washington, Franklin Salas and his wife Cassandra of Texas, Shirley Salas of Wilmington, Ricky Sanchez and his wife Sirena of Guam and JohnMark Sanchez and his wife Marquesa o Florida. Loving “Grandma” of Jonathan Salas, Tricia Salas, Aisha Salas, Adam Palanca, Keri Palanca, Paulina Sanchez, Elijah Sanchez, Natasha Igros, Richard Sanchez, Ashley Igros, Edward DeLucia, Amanda DeLucia, Michael DeLucia, Christopher DeLucia, KeKoa Narcis, Juszerene Nuguid, Shireen Nuguid, Sierra Nuguid, Justin Nuguid, Jason Nuguid, Shawn Nuguid, Silas Nuguid, Summer Nuguid, and her great-grandchildren Aison, Aric and Christopher DeLucia, Leinani Rodriguez, Allysandra Carmelo. Dear daughter of the late Francisco and Soledad (Dungca) DelaCruz, sister of Tilang and Antonio Leonardo of California, the late Elsie Toquero, Jose & Sue Dungca of Kansas, Alfredo Dungca of Washington, Daniel Dungca and Linda Main of Kansas, Victor and Rosalie Dungca of Guam, the late Eddie and Fely Duncga of Oklahoma, Erlinda Nauta of California, Walter and Eileen Dungca of Texas, Marylyn and Joe Villagran of California and the late Johnny Dungca and his late wife Betty. Bertha is also survived by many nieces and nephews and their families.

Family and friends will gather for Visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, June 26th from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. followed by a Funeral Service and interment in the Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington at 1:00 p.m. All guests are required to wear masks inside the Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bertha’s memory may be made to the Wilmington Firefighters Union Local 1370 and mail to the Wilmington Fire Department, 1 Adelaide St., Wilmington, MA 01887.

Please visit our website to leave a condolence message at www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Dr. Jana Hudcova, MD

June 15th, 2020

Dr. Jana Hudcova, MD, age 63, of Wilmington, passed away on June 13, 2020 after a long courageous battle with cancer.

Jana was born on January 28, 1957 in Zilina, Slovakia to Jozef Zahorsky and Vlasta (Kvasnickova) Zahorska. She also became Jozef (Miso) Zahorsky’s baby sister.

At a young age she realized she wanted to help others and moved to Brno, Czech Republic to attend medical school. In Brno, she became an Anesthesiologist, married, and had a daughter, Dominika Hudcova.

She moved to Doha, Qatar in 1993 for a short-term job opportunity at Hamad Medical Center. This opportunity turned into a permanent position and so her daughter and her mother came to live with her there. She practiced anesthesia there for many years when a fellow doctor and a dear friend suggested that she is still very young and that she should strive for more.

She decided that the United States could give her and her daughter the best possible future, so she applied to almost every major hospital in the United States. Tufts Medical Center in Boston replied that they would love to have her, so she and her family left the Middle East and moved to Boston MA in 1999.

She completed her anesthesia residency at Tufts Medical Center and became a staff physician there briefly. Then, she completed her critical care fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. In 2008, she joined Lahey Hospital in the Surgical Critical Care division and remained as an attending physician there for the past twelve years.

Jana will always be remembered for being one of the kindest, most caring, most patient-centered doctors out there. She was exceptionally bright and knowledgeable and loved to share her knowledge with others. She trained many new residents over the last few years who have or will become great doctors as well. She devoted her whole life to helping others. She loved her daughter, loved to travel, loved to laugh, and loved to dress.

Jana will be missed by her beloved daughter Dominika, her whole family and friends back home in Slovakia and Czech Republic as much as her dear coworkers here and anyone with whom she ever crossed paths with. May her radiant smile be always remembered.

Family and friends will gather for visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA on Thursday, June 18th from 6:00 -8:00 p.m. All guests attending the services are asked to wear masks.