Charles T. Spinazola, Sr.

March 12th, 2014

Charles T. Spinazola, Sr., age 77, of Wilmington, formerly of Woburn, January 19, 2014.  Charles was the dearly beloved husband of Susan Phipps Spinazola of Wilmington, cherished son of the late Clarence “Clem” Spinazola and the late Mary (McGovern) Spinazola, devoted father of Charles “Chuck” Spinazola, Michael Spinazola and his wife Susan all of Woburn, Christopher Hartford of Riverside, AZ and the late Cheryl Hartford Nickerson previously of Wilmington and Malden.  Loving Grandfather of Janet Spinazola of Woburn and Amy & Michael Nickerson of Malden.  Great Grandfather of Jaiden Spinazola of Woburn.  Faithful brother of John Spinazola and his wife Pam of Wilmington, Mary Packard and her husband Richard of Woburn.  Also survived by many cousins, nieces, and nephews.  Deeply missed by many lifelong friends.

After a brief illness with cancer, Charlie “Butch” passed away unexpectedly and peacefully at Brigham & Women’s Hospital under the expert and compassionate care of the Dana Farber treatment team.  During his last conscious hours, he contacted many of his dearest loved ones and friends to share final words of affection and bid a fond farewell until they “meet again on the other side.”  His widow and immediate family were gathered together at his bedside to share in his final hours.  He and his family deeply appreciated a prayer service to comfort him and ease his passage into the afterlife offered by a dear family friend, Gilly.

In November of 1936, Charles “Butch” was born in Brooklyn, NY, where his parents wed.  Shortly afterwards, his parents returned to their hometown neighborhood and took up residence next to the Spinazola family home in Woburn.  The ethnic melting pot of his childhood surroundings bore panoply of memories he loved to regale to whoever would listen.  Here he was also lovingly embraced by numerous maternal/paternal relatives and was endowed with the nickname “Angel.”  Rather than to choose between either his Irish or Italian roots, early on, he dubbed himself “an American.” As a youth, he had a passion for football and hanging with friends at the “old Y,” “JuJu’s” the cinema, and driving around Horn Pond.  Surprising for many, he also aspired to become a priest which ultimately gave way to his love for the pleasures of life.

During his early work life, he reveled in farmhand camaraderie planting, harvesting, making cider, and bringing goods to Haymarket.  At the age of 18, after cleaning grease from his hands, his shirt sleeve caught fire.  When he put his hands between his groin to put out the fire, his pants caught on fire culminating in severe burns. He spent the following year in a specially made hammock at Choate Hospital after which, he was shocked to realize he no longer knew how to walk. After his recovery, he joined the family business, Midland, Inc. which afforded him a lifelong occupation surrounded by the things he loved most his father, his sons, nature and operating heavy equipment. During the winter, many days would be spent on Rte. 128 plowing and removing snow for days after a storm.  During the Blizzard of ‘78, he worked for three days straight helping to clear cars off the road.  At the “pit” he prided himself on becoming an expert in the creation of fine quality loam earning him the well-deserved title of “Loam King” by his peers.  His widow often teased him that he self-employment left him uncensored like child who never left the sandbox.  With his dear friend, the late George Morse, who had a passion for horses, he founded Midland Farm Stables, which operated for many years in a vacated barn on the family business property.  Sadly, life as he knew it came to a screeching halt when the barn and multiple landscape enterprises business on the property were demolished under the pressure to found the Maple Meadow Landfill due to DEP regulations. His loam business gave way in the midst of all these change and his spending time with his father during his final days of life.  Subsequently, he found himself devastated not only by his father’s death but, forced retirement.

Aside from family, work was his life’s passion.  After his father’s death, he found it impossible to step foot either on the ground he’d worked, tended and loved so much or in the garage where he’d spent hours since childhood with his dad and family friends maintaining equipment and fantasizing living out his retirement as a welder.  He longed for the casual companionship he’d shared sitting under a his favorite tree listening to the babbling brook, feeding the ducks and chatting with friends, horse lovers and landscapers on hiatus waiting for their truck beds to be filled with buckets of loam (i.e. dirt).  Sadly, in his last days, this lovable, altruistic and generous man found himself broken hearted struggling with anxiety, depression and health issues (COPD/CHF) making it difficult to enjoy the fruits of his yet, ever so grateful for the enduring love and relationship of his life companion it became imperative to him after a 38 year courtship that they marry and she take his last name. On January 10, 2014 just nine days before his death he was elated to state his vows in a private ceremony at their home declaring this the “happiest day of my life.”  Even in his final days his caring, compassion and love for others never waned.  He was always ready to lend an ear and to help someone in need. Friends remember him most for his love of life, loyalty, dependability, gift of gab, humor and playful pranks. He will be deeply missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.

Family and friends will gather for a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Anthony’s Church, 351 Main Street (Rte. 38), Woburn, on Saturday, March 15th at 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the MSPCA Nevins Farm Animal Care and Adoption Center, 400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844 .


2 Entries in Guest Book for “Charles T. Spinazola, Sr.”

  1. Madonna Toto says:

    Dear Spinazola Family,
    I would like to send my sincere condolences on the loss of your loved one.
    My grandmother was Mary (Spinazola) George and the sister of Charlie who had many children. I can remember as a young girl all the stories about Wobun and how my grandmother use to visit her brother and come home with a bag of vegetables. My mother was Jean and her sister was Florence and they lived in Somerville. I know Raymond was one of the many children and that was my mothers first cousin. The family was beautiful. May he RIP

  2. Mary Muir says:

    Susan – may God be with you and may Charlie watch over you and support you as you go through this loss.

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