Obituaries

Francis J. “Frank” Dunn

May 23rd, 2015

Francis J. Dunn, fondly known as Frank to his family and friends, a long-time resident of Wilmington died peacefully on May 23, 2015, at the E.N. Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford. He was 83 years old.

Frank was born on September 24, 1931 in Boston, MA; he was raised and cherished by Stanley and Mary Doherty in Malden and was a graduate of Malden High School.

Following graduation, Frank enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on December 22, 1950, proudly serving the country during the Korean War. After four years of dedicated service, Frank was honorably discharged on December 6, 1954, and returned home to Malden.

Soon after his return from the service, Frank went to work for the Boston Gas company as a salesman. Frank had a great personality and a kind way with people which made him quite a success in his field. Throughout the years the company made some changes and did away with the sales department but they kept Frank as a valued employee and he finally retired after more than 40 years with the company. Following his retirement from the Gas Company, Frank took a position as a bus driver for children with special needs in the town of Wilmington. Frank really loved his job, he not only made great relationships with these kids but they became life-long friends and visited him long after they graduated.

Frank met the love of his life and his future bride Patricia MacDonald and the couple married in 1966; sharing nearly 49 years of marriage. Frank and Pat lived in Malden for several years before moving to Wilmington more than 41 years ago. Frank loved raising his family in the country, they were always his number one priority. Frank spent countless hours coaching his sons as well as the neighborhood kids in Wilmington Little League and Wilmington Youth Hockey; anything for the kids.

Frank and his family enjoyed many trips to Hampton Beach where they made wonderful memories and a great time was had by all.

In his spare time, Frank could be found working out in the yard and tending to his gardens or watching any type of sporting event with his family and friends.

Frank will be remembered for his big personality, a wonderful sense of humor, and a great smile; everyone loved to be around Frank and he will truly be missed by his family and friends.

Frank was the beloved husband of Patricia M. (MacDonald) Dunn, devoted father of Denise Rae & her husband Peter of Rowley, Frank Dunn & his wife Julie of North Reading, Linda Johnson of Montague, Christina Brightman of Methuen, and Michael Dunn & his wife Aida of Dighton. Loving “Papa” of Peter, Kelly, Frankie, Cameron, Patricia, the late Noel, Tara, Ashley, Mark, Tyler, Mariah, Cameron, Jake, Avery, and great-grandchildren Connor and Bridget. Son of the late Mary Dunn and brother of the late Bud, Jack, Bill, and Connie. Frank is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, May 28th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Anthony’s Church, 851 Main St., Woburn at 10:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 27th from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Memorial donations in Frank’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472.

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Phyllis J. (Woodman) Tonks

May 22nd, 2015

Phyllis J. (Woodman) Tonks, age 78, of Wilmington, died peacefully on May 21, 2015, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington. Phyllis was the beloved wife of Ralph T. Tonks, devoted mother of Brenda O’Donoghue & her fiancé Jim Crowley of Woburn, Paul Tonks & his wife Donna of Ayer, and Diana Fraser & her husband Glen of Wilmington. Loving “Grammy” of Ken and Tim O’Donoghue, Christine Gaudet, Robyn Tonks, Tyler, Evelyn, and Katie Tonks, Tyler and Melanie Fraser, and great-grandchildren Aidan and Kiera O’Donoghue, Jake and Piper Gaudet. Cherished daughter of the late Harold and May (Hoag) Woodman, dear sister of James Woodman of California and the late Betty Chubbuck. Phyllis 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, on Sunday, May 24th from 2:00-6:00 p.m. immediately followed by a Service at 6:00 p.m.

Denise E. LaVine

May 18th, 2015

Denise E. LaVine, “Denny”, age 62, of Haverhill, formerly of Wilmington, passed away suddenly on May 17, 2015, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington. Denny was a graduate of Wilmington High School and was employed at Alpha Industries, Zenica Resins, and Walmart until a back injury forced an early retirement.

Denny will always be remembered for her unyielding care and love for her family and for all the moments she shared with her nieces and nephews that she loved so much. She will be deeply missed.

Denise was the cherished daughter of Madeline (Valente) LaVine of Wilmington and the late Richard LaVine, she was the dear sister of Patricia Langston & her husband Malcolm of Haverhill, Richard LaVine & his wife Janet of Tewksbury, Stephen LaVine of Lowell, Mark LaVine & his wife Holly of Nashua, NH, and Todd LaVine & his wife Camille of Reading. Denny was also the loving aunt of several nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, May 21st at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 20th from 4:00-8:00 p.m.

John Richard Thebeau, Jr.

May 14th, 2015

John Richard Thebeau, Jr., age 62, a life-long resident of Wilmington, a loving husband, son, brother, father, uncle, and a true friend to all he touched, died tragically and unexpectedly on May 13, 2015.

John was born in Woburn, MA on October 12, 1952; he was the cherished son of Eileen D. (Hitchcock) Thebeau and the late J. Richard Thebeau, Sr., of Wilmington. John was raised and educated in Wilmington and was a graduate of Wilmington High School Class of 1971.

John was known to have a “lot of rhythm” and a great ear for music; he was a talented musician since his teenage years and he especially liked to play the drums. John turned his talents into a career until an injury to his hand forced him to retire from playing. John continued to enjoy all kinds of music and he always shared his passion for music with his family and friends.

At the time of his death, John was employed as a truck driver for D & R Trucking Company in Wakefield. John was known to be an excellent driver, very cautious and considerate of others on the road. His pleasant disposition and friendly nature made him a favorite employee at the company.

John will be remembered as a “gentle giant;” a big teddy bear with an even bigger heart. His unconditional love and devotion for his family and friends was evident in everything he did. John loved to have people to his home; he had a knack for entertaining and enjoyed having everyone to his back yard better known as “Thebeau’s Tavern”. John also loved to go boating and being at the ocean; everyone always had a great time with John and he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

John was the beloved husband of Dolores “Dee” Penney, cherished son of Eileen (Hitchcock) Thebeau and the late J. Richard Thebeau, Sr. of Wilmington, devoted father Joseph Parsons of Chester, NH and Paige Thebeau of Wilmington, MA. Dear brother of Linda Thebeau and her partner Diana Musto of Mashpee, MA and Lisa McHale and her husband Brian of Punta Gorda, FL, uncle of Jillian and Edward Bennett of Florida. John is also survived many cousins near and far, his beloved pooches Lenny, Louie, and Lola, as well as many dear friends.

Family and friends gathered for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Sunday, May 17th from 2:00-5:00 p.m. Memorial donations in John’s name may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, donors@stjude.org . www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Anna M. Visconti

May 10th, 2015

Anna M. Visconti, age 85, of Wilmington, died peacefully on May 10, 2015, at the Aberjona Nursing Center in Winchester, following a period of declining health.

Anna was born on October 28, 1929, in Boston, MA; she was the cherished daughter of the late Anthony and Anna (Lazzaro) Visconti. Anna was raised in East Boston and was a graduate of East Boston High School.

Following high school, Anna went to work for the Sears Roebuck Company in Boston in the transportation department where she tracked packages but through years of dedication to her job and her strong work ethic, Anna earned several promotions. Anna was quite an asset to the company; she had a head for business and great customer service skills and earned her position as head of catalogue sales. Anna retired following more than 45 years of unwavering service to the company.

Anna moved with her family to Wilmington more than 60 years ago and became very involved in the community. Anna loved her family dearly; she was a wonderful daughter, sister, cousin, and a loving aunt to her many nieces and nephews. Anna looked forward to the countless family holidays, weddings, summer barbeques, or special celebrations throughout the years; after all she was from a large and loving Italian family where everyone was included and great time was had by all.

Anna was a charter member of the Sons of Italy Roncali Lodge in Wilmington and was very instrumental in promoting new members.

Everyone who knew Anna would know that she was a true Democrat; she didn’t mind sharing her political views and was always up for a good debate. Anna was very active in the Democratic Committee in Wilmington and was heavily involved in many Democratic campaigns throughout the years for the Kennedy Family and our own former State Representative Fred F. Cain.

In her later years, Anna loved to go to the Wilmington Senior Center where she made many friends and enjoyed going on various trips to Foxwoods or out to dinner and a show. Anna always had a great time when she traveled with the Wilmington Rec. Department, she loved to see new places and meet new people. One of Anna’s more memorable trips was traveling through the Panama Canal; she was in awe and talked about it for years.

Anna will be fondly remembered for her kindness and generosity towards others; she was always willing to help wherever and whenever needed. Anna loved her family and friends unconditionally and received their love in return; she will be truly missed.

Anna was the cherished daughter of the late Anthony and Anna (Lazzaro) Visconti, dear sister of Annette Shelley & her husband Bob of Wilmington, Anthony Visconti of Connecticut, the late Joseph Visconti & his wife Joan, Andrew Visconti, and Mary Lou Ricci. Sister-in-law of Jennie Visconti and Louis Ricci both of Reading. Anna is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, and dear friends.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Wednesday, May 13th from 9:30-11:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 12:00 noon. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. In lieu of flowers donations in Anna’s memory may be made to Local Heroes, P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887.

Boston Police Officer Joseph M. Zanoli

May 8th, 2015

Boston Police Officer Joseph M. Zanoli, age 46, of Wilmington and Boston, formerly of Billerica, died unexpectedly at home on May 7, 2015.

Joe was born in Lowell, MA on December 13, 1968; he was the cherished son of the late Thomas and Audrey (Howie) Zanoli. Joe was raised in Billerica and was a graduate of Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford, MA.

Joe was appointed to the Laconia, New Hampshire Police Department in 1993 before transferring to the Lowell Massachusetts Police Department where he was appointed in 1994. While working with the Lowell Police Department, Joe was involved with the Dive Team, C-Pac, and the detective division until 2007 when he took a position with the Boston Police Department. Joe was assigned to the Dorchester area of Boston but worked all over the city. Joe had many dear friends and colleagues in both Police Departments who will miss him dearly.

Family was always first and foremost to Joe; he was a wonderful companion, son, brother, uncle, but most of all he was an amazing dad to Luke and Gavin. Joe cherished every moment he spent with his sons, he enjoyed going to their school and sporting events; he was always their biggest fan.

In his spare time Joe enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and taking in a good game of golf.

Joe will be fondly remembered as a quiet guy, gentle, loving, and caring; he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Joe was the beloved partner of Melissa Mullen of Wilmington, devoted father of Luke T. Zanoli of Bourne and Gavin B. Zanoli of Wilmington. Cherished son of the late Thomas and Audrey (Howie) Zanoli, dear brother of Louis Zanoli of Minnesota, William Zanoli and Elizabeth Forgione & her husband Stephen all of Derry, NH, Thomas Zanoli of Billerica, and Michael Zanoli of Lowell. Loving uncle of many nieces and nephews. Joe was also very special to Kristin Zanoli LeClair of Bourne, Fran and Janet Mullen, Brian and Jen Maguire all of Wilmington, and Brian and Dawn Mullen of Methuen. Joe is further survived by many dear friends and fellow Police Officers in Boston and Lowell.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours on Monday, May 11th from 3-8 p.m. in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held in St. Thomas of Villanova Church on Tuesday, May 12th at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. In lieu of flowers donations in Joe’s memory may be made to the Joseph Zanoli Memorial Fund, c/o Janet Mullen, 22 High St., Wilmington, MA 01887.

Randall S. “Randy” Drake

May 6th, 2015

Randall S. “Randy” Drake, age 59, of Tewksbury, MA, died peacefully on April 28, 2015, at the Winchester Hospital, with his loving wife at his side.

Randy was born on November 26, 1955 in Olympia, Washington. He was the cherished son of Helen (Popove) Drake and the late Donald Drake of Lacey, WA. Randy was raised and educated in Lacey, WA and was a graduate of North Thurston High School. Randy then went on to pursue his education at the American University of Paris where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in European Cultural Studies.

While at the University, Randy met the love of his life and his best friend of more than 36 years Rebecca “Becke” Slaby. They were truly “College Sweethearts” while in Paris. Randy and Becke travelled all over Europe and the Middle East, where they made many life-long friends. Randy and Becke returned to Boston in 1980 and married in 1983.

While in Boston, Randy worked for many years in International Educational Publishing sales. His endearing personality and work ethic made him quite a success in his field. Following his retirement from Publishing, Randy went to work as a Middle School and High School teacher, first in Tewksbury and later in Wilmington, MA.

Randy never forgot his roots in Washington. He loved his family dearly and was very close to his parents, siblings, and most of all his nieces and nephews; Randy just loved being the “Uncle”.
Randy truly lived quite a life. He was a world traveler, but his all-time favorite place to visit was mid-coast Maine. He was a great cook and a fabulous baker who always shared his delicious creations. Randy was also a talented writer who composed music with his wife Becke.

Randy was an avid gardener. He shared his love of gardening by giving away hundreds of tomato plants each spring and by sharing the bounty of the garden with neighbors and friends. He was passionate about food security for all.

Randy will be fondly remembered for his sense of humor, his kind heart, and for his strong Christian faith. Randy was a true romantic and a devoted husband who would make his wife feel special and loved. Randy will be truly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and loving him.

Randy was the beloved husband of Rebecca M. (Slaby) “Becke” Drake, cherished son of Helen and the late Donald Drake of Lacey, WA, dear brother of Bob Drake & his wife Theal of Olympia, WA, Dan Drake & his wife Pat of Puyallup, WA, and Sylvia Hanson & her husband John of Bellevue, WA; Loving Uncle of Courtney & Mike Addy and their children Emma and Jack, Lindsey Slaby, Lynsey & Rob Rydberg, Kevin Drake, Marcia Drake and her son Joey Marsh, David Drake, Loren & Amy Hanson, Mark & Yumi Hanson. Randy is also survived by many dear cousins and friends all over the world.

A Celebration of Randy’s Life will be held on May 15, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Woburn, 3 Winn Street, Woburn, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations in Randy’s memory may be made to Seeds of Solidarity, 125 Chestnut Hill Road, Orange, MA 01364 or online at seedsofsolidarity.org or to The First Baptist Church in Woburn, 3 Winn Street, Woburn, MA 01801. Arrangements are under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington, MA.

Sven J. Wiberg

May 4th, 2015

Sven J. Wiberg, age 85, of Wilmington, died peacefully on May 2, 2015, at Winchester Hospital.

Sven was born on May 20, 1929 in Plaistow, NH. He was the cherished son of the late Hugo and Mary (Loeffler) Wiberg, both Salvation Army Officers who served throughout New England. Married to Jean Wiberg since 1953 and a resident of Wilmington since 1960, he was part of a large and loving family.

Sven loved music and was a talented multi-instrumentalist. He started playing the cornet from an early age. Over the years, in bands including the U.S. Air Force Band, Salvation Army Band, and New England Brass Band he played the cornet, trumpet, and baritone horn, but the B? contrabass tuba was his favorite. Sven and his brothers formed a brass ensemble and for years played carols on Christmas Eve in many Wilmington neighborhoods. He and Jean were supporters of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and enjoyed many of their concerts. Sven was especially proud to have performed with the New England Brass Band on the stage at Symphony Hall.

Sven enjoyed reading and gardening. After moving to Wilmington, he was an avid gardener who, along with his brother Hugo, grew giant pumpkins and numerous delicious regular-sized vegetables.

Sven always wanted to fly. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after high school during the Korean War. Prevented from flying due to colorblindness, Sven fulfilled his dream of flying by hang gliding in his sixties.

For over thirty years, Sven worked for the Shipley Company in Newton, MA as a Bench Chemist and Technical Sales Representative. While at Shipley, he earned a patent in electro-less plating on plastics.

Sven will be fondly remembered as a devoted family man and a true friend to many. He was always kind, courteous, and willing to help others.

Sven was the beloved husband of Jean (Andrews) Wiberg, devoted father of Linnea Garcia & her husband Raul of Wellesley, MA, Sven D. Wiberg & his wife Patricia of North Hampton, NH, Leslie A. Wiberg of Newmarket, NH, and Karen Wiberg of Wilmington, MA. Loving “Grampa” of Andrew, Elizabeth, Sven Michael, Michaela, Liam, and Grace. Cherished son of the late Hugo and Mary (Loeffler) Wiberg, dear brother of Mary Long of Washington, Margaret “Peg” Reid of Connecticut, Peter Wiberg of Maine, the late John, Hugo, Richard, and David Wiberg. Sven is also survived by several brothers and sisters in law, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours on Friday, May 8th from 4-8 p.m. in the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington. A Celebration of Sven’s life will be held on Saturday, May 9th at 10:00 a.m. in the Union Congregational Church, 148 Haverhill St., North Reading, MA. In lieu of flowers donations in Sven’s memory may be made to Local Heroes, P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887 or to the Salvation Army New York Staff Band, 440 West Nyack Road, West Nyack, NY 10994.

Mary “Marie” Fleming

May 4th, 2015

Mary Fleming, fondly known as Marie to her family and friends passed away on Sunday, May 3, 2015, after a long period of declining health at the Lowell General Hospital. She was 91 years of age.

Marie was born in Lexington, MA, on February 10, 1924; she was the cherished daughter of the late William J. and Mary (Mahoney) Fleming. Marie was the only daughter and the youngest of a family of eight siblings.
Marie lived 85 years of her life in North Wilmington and she attended Wilmington Public Schools.

Prior to retiring in 1992, Marie worked as a Nurses’ Attendant at the Tewksbury Hospital for more than 25 years.

Marie was predeceased by her seven brothers William, John, Christopher, Richard, Joseph, Robert, and Thomas Fleming. She was the last surviving member of the Fleming Family in her generation.

She is survived by her loving nieces and nephews; Charles Fleming of Wilmington, JoAnn Bushong and Elizabeth Milner both of New Hampshire, Maureen Chorlton of Pennsylvania, John Fleming of Delaware, Joseph Fleming of North Carolina, Paul Fleming of Alabama, Christeen Cantrell of Texas, Christopher Fleming and Richard Fleming both of Arizona, Pat Brewer and William Fleming both of California. Marie was predeceased by her nephew James Fleming; twin of Joseph Fleming. Marie leaves behind her sister-in-law Claire Troy of Wilmington as well as her cousins Mary Starr of Wakefield, Betty Doran of Winchester and Sister Marie Mahoney of Holyoke.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, May 8th for Visiting Hours from 9:00-11:00 a.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m. Interment will take place in Westview Cemetery, Lexington.

The Fleming family would like to thank the Lowell General Hospital Staff for their superb care while Marie was a patient of theirs, the Town and Country Nursing Home in Lowell for their excellent care over the last year, and for the Home Instead Health Care Agency in Chelmsford for nearly 5 years of home care that abled Marie to live in her house which she had resided in for over 85 years.

Rita C. Elmstrom

May 3rd, 2015

Rita C. Elmstrom (Giordano), age 75, of Wilmington, died unexpectedly on May 2, 2015, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

Rita was born on December 23, 1939 in Boston, MA; she was the cherished daughter of the late Carmen T. and Catherine R. (Donahue) Giordano. Rita grew up in Charlestown and graduated from Charlestown High School and although she moved to Wilmington in 1965 she never forgot her roots as a “townie”.

Rita was a devoted mother who spent her time making a warm and loving home for her children. Rita spent many years attending school functions, sporting events, or any other activities that her children were involved in. Rita cherished her role as “Grammie” to her grandchildren who brought her so much joy.

For many years Rita worked as a receptionist for the Nortel Company; she always had a pleasant and friendly disposition.

In her spare time, Rita worked in her garden growing various vegetables that she shared with her family and friends, she was an avid reader, and looked forward to a good game of Scrabble or cribbage. Rita also enjoyed knitting and crocheting, and she shared her talents by teaching classes at the Wilmington Senior Center; as well as donating her handmade blankets to Project Linus. Rita also took pride in making bracelets to benefit the Veterans and their families. She also spent time teaching adults to read.

Rita was a woman of great faith; she was a regular at the 7:30 a.m. Sunday Mass at St. Dorothy’s Church in Wilmington and an active member of the Parish as well.

Rita had an outgoing and friendly personality; she was always willing to lend a hand where ever it was needed. Rita loved her family unconditionally; she was a good neighbor and a true friend to many. She will be greatly missed.

Rita was the devoted mother of Laurie A. Nelson & her husband Chris of Millbury, and Lisa J. Feusner & her husband Tim of Springtown, PA. Loving “Grammie” to Grace and Tessa Feusner; cherished daughter of the late Carmen T. and Catherine R. (Donahue) Giordano; dear sister of Joseph Giordano & his wife Joanna of Wilmington, Daniel Giordano & his wife Marilyn of Billerica, the late Rosemarie Andrea, Carmen, Steven, and Peter Giordano. Sister-in-law of Linda Giordano of Malden, Kathleen Giordano of Charlestown, and the late Carol Giordano. Rita is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, May 7th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Dorothy’s Church, Main Street (Rte. 38), Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 6th from 4-8 p.m. Memorial donations in Rita’s name may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to the ALS Association Mass Chapter, 320 Norwood Park South, #2, Norwood, MA 02062.