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.


36 Entries in Guest Book for “Sheldon F. Maga, Jr.”

  1. Mary Leach says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I know he was well loved.

  2. Corrine Corso says:

    Joan, Sheldon and Family:

    Shelly was such a generous, kind and gentle soul – so sorry for your loss.

  3. Lisa Morris says:

    Shelly was the miracle man. He brought more joy laughter and love to my family than anyone could ask for. I love you handsome man. I’ll meet you at the moon

  4. Lisa Pisano says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. May all the wonderful memories help you all in the days to come.

  5. Nisreen Saad says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, condolences to the family. May his soul Rest in Eternal Peace.

  6. Frank West says:

    To the extended Maga Family-
    Karen and I are saddened at the loss of Shelly amd offer our deepest condolences. May God bless the entire Maga family now and always.
    Karen and Frank West

  7. Reeny Higgins McKenney says:

    To The Maga Family, We are so sorry to hear of Shelly’s passing. We keep you all in our thoughts & prayers. Reeny(Higgins) & Roland McKenney & Family

  8. The Campbells says:

    To all the Maga’s, beloved lifelong friends and neighbors. Our hearts go out to all of you, this pain is so hard. Our family has such fond memories of Shelly, including that he was Santa Claus at our house one long ago Christmas. What memories we have. God bless to all, we will always remember Shelly and our prayers are with you all.

  9. Dotty campbell says:

    The Maga’s
    So sorry, thoughts and prayers are with all of you. So many memories of all of you, as my back yard neighbors. Shelly always had a smile and time to stop and say hi, he came to mother’s several times as Santa and we all got a kick out of it. He will be missed.??????

  10. Marygrace Ferrari says:

    Chris and family,
    My heart and prayers go out to all of you! May you find comfort in the memories you hold close in your heart.
    Mrs. Ferrari

  11. Mike Moore says:

    Shelly was a great high school soccer teammate and leader. He was a gentle giant with a good heart.

  12. Mia santoro says:

    To the Entire Maga family, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope the times you shared and the memories you all made live forever in your hearts.

    Lisa Morris my thoughts and prayers to you my friend may the times you loved and shared live forever in your heart..

  13. Catherine Morando Maher says:

    My deepest sympathy to Joan,Sheldon and family. Shelly was one of the most thoughtful human being, loved by so many friends and family. All my love to the Maga family, who have been a part of my family for over 40 years!

  14. Chris DiCecca says:

    He was a great guy. Sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Love, the DiCecca Family

  15. Beth Ritchie Pidgeon says:

    Shelly was the best of the best….his smile was infectious, his hugs enormous! I have so many fun memories..from High School days to our recent “friends reunions”. Know that Shelly was loved by many, near and far. My thoughts and prayers to all of his family and friends.

  16. John Gerhartz says:

    Joanne and the entire Maga family, my sincere condolences on the passing of Shelly may he rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  17. Caitlyn Morris says:

    Shelly was the best step father I could have ever asked for. From day one, he treated me and loved me as one of his own children. He was a special man with the world’s most caring heart. Once you became his family, nothing could change that. He loved whole heartedly. He will be loved and missed. May he rest in peace.

  18. Fran keough says:

    To the Maga and Morris Family
    My sincere condolences to you all
    May you find comfort in happy memories that you hold close to your heart

  19. Armen Najjarian says:

    “I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to you.
    God bless you and your family.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief.
    Deepest sympathies, Armen”

  20. David Cain says:

    A great childhood friend, my Heart goes out to the entire Maga family.

  21. Greg Wood says:

    I remember what a huge motivational presence Shelly was on the bus to “away games.” I can still recall him singing his special rendition of Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion and getting the rest of us fired up.

  22. Carrol Waterman says:

    Mr. and Mrs. Maga and family, my deepest sympathies

  23. René (Ferrara) Lake-Gagliardi says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Sheldon’s passing – much too young. My heart goes out to his family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Rene’ (Ferrara)

  24. Lisa Bozzella says:

    My sympathy to John and the extended Maga family. Thinking of you, and hope that your sweet memories with Sheldon will carry you through these trying days.

  25. Mike Shay says:

    When I heard of Shelly’s passing the first thing that I thought of was the soccer bus. These days it is referred to as “hazing” but back in the day the freshmen had to stand up and sing a song on the way to an away game.
    I can’t help but think what a better time that was…

    Shelly was a Senior when I was a freshman. He helped get me a championship jacket he taught me how to play defense and he made me sing sweet emotion on the bus.
    Back then you had to earn your trophies and I just wish we could go back to that…

    Rest in peace buddy you earned it

  26. Donna Spang says:

    My thoughts and prayers to Maga family for their loss. Shelley was a fighter and always upbeat regardless of the battle he was dealing with. Many people would have folded, not Shelley. Rest in eternal peace!

  27. Linda D. says:

    Shelly was simply the best… the best Dad, the best Brother, the best
    Son… the best friend! He is at Peace… I see him riding his white Jeep, in the clouds with the Angels… keeping watch over all his loved ones…
    like he did all of his life. RIP beautiful soul.

  28. Anne DePanfilis says:

    Joanne, I am so, so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. Please know I am here for you if I can do anything. May your brother be at peace and know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless,

    Anne DePanfilis

  29. Rosemary McCormick says:

    My love goes out to you all, such a profound loss. I trust the strength of your family will sustain you all in the difficult time.

  30. Jesse leverone says:

    im so sad youre gone and am also trapped in a perpetual state of disbelief. You were like a dad to me as a kid. I always looked up to you and aspire to be even one fourth of the man you were. Its not fair but you were way to good of a person for this world and heaven came calling for their angel back. Im just glad you are no longer suffering. I hope to see you on the other side, rest in peace shelly youll always be in my heart and in my mind.

  31. Barry Aruda says:

    Shelly was a sweet guy, prayers to the family. God speed Shelly!

  32. Stephen Greco says:

    You were one of my first friends when we came to Wilmington fifty years ago…thank you for the being there through it all.
    God bless you, till we meet again, my brother.
    Rest in peace.

  33. Victoria A Rhine says:

    I met Shelly at Sweetheart Plastics 1n 1981, i had no idea he was interested in me,as i had lonf time boyfriend from high school, whos mother was our supervisor, Mary Decosta, The wonderfull match maker,i was 18,out of high school, He was shy, but told mary how he felt, 3 dates later, we married in 8/22/1982, Sheldon was my life,my everything, 4 beautiful great Boys, Sheldon3rd,chris,kyle,cory, Im a so proud of these Adult men, for Being the Great sons for Sheldon, we grew apart, and divorced in 2007, But we stayed friends, 25yrs together,threw so much, I could never, Love anyone more than Sheldon, and never Did or will,He was He was my Life, as my 4 sons..Rest in Peace, Please watch over all of Us, Love You, Till we meet again..God Bless You

  34. Joe DiJulia says:

    Sheldon was beyond kind, caring, and devoted to his sons. I was honored to even know this wonderful person. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you and all of your family.

  35. George Ferdinand says:

    I grew up in a great neighborhood and your family was a big part of it. I have fond memories of each one of you, to Mr & Mrs Maga, John, Steve, Joanne, Judy and Scott please accept my condolences. God comfort you and May Shelly Rest In Peace.

  36. Lynn Forgione says:

    I am sad to learn of Shelly’s passing. We all had so much fun as teens together. All piled in to Shelly”s car and singing as the music blared. Going to soccer games and cheering them on. I last saw him and spoke to him in Demoulas some years ago. Such a humble warm soul. May the Maga family find some peace in knowing he was loved by all who were lucky enough to meet him. RIP Shelly.

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