John J. Elia

January 13th, 2015

John J. Elia, a life-long resident of Wilmington, passed away on January 12, 2015. A Boston University graduate, he served with the U.S. Navy with the rank of Lieutenant during the Korean War. He has been a local businessman for the past fifty years. He leaves his wife Marguerite (Ryan) Elia, daughters; Michele Elia Bunker and her husband Bruce Bunker, Tara Elia Gardner and her husband Joshua Gardner and the late Meredith Elia Lee. Loving grandfather of six grandsons; Peter, Andrew, Christian, Maxwell, William and Bennett. Son of the late John C. and Olga Elia, brother of Michael Elia and Helen Pilla, Brother-in-law of Ralph & Joanne Ryan. John is further survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rt. 62) Wilmington, on Friday, January 16th from 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Wilmington Memorial Library, 175 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA 01887.


22 Entries in Guest Book for “John J. Elia”

  1. Brian and Susan Wheeler says:

    a most cherished friend , you will be terribly missed

  2. Kathy Timmons (whitney) says:

    Sincere condolences to the entire Elia Family

  3. Liane Harvey says:

    Another Wilmington legend gone but not forgotten. Great memories of the Ski Haus and John outfitting our family. The entire Harvey family would like to wish our sincere condolences.

  4. The Mullarky Family says:

    Marge, Tara, Michelle, so very sorry to hear about this. Our sincere condolences.

  5. Anne Flaherty Urtiaga says:

    John will be remembered for his Generosity to so many families….especially from the Original Elia’s store in the 50’s and 60’s. I remember him with Thankfulness. Condolences to his family.

  6. Mark & Lisa Esposito says:

    Dear Elia Family, We are so sorry to hear of John’s passing. His visits to our store to chat and reminisce about all sorts of shared memories will be missed. May he rest in peace.

  7. Robin L Anderson (Downs) says:

    My thoughts and prayers to the Family.

  8. Bea (Weatherbee)& Vern Ranndell says:

    To Marge and family, sorry to hear of John’s passing, shared many
    memories from our many years in North Wilmington.

  9. Laura & Chris Thomae says:

    To Pete, Andrew and Christian and family,
    I am sorry to hear. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Love you!

  10. The Matarese family says:

    To Mrs. Elia & family,
    I remember John, not only for his generosity, but for taking a chance and hiring me at the Ski Haus after a very serious ski accident, he gave me my wings back and I’m so grateful for his compassion. If it wasn’t for John I wouldn’t be where I am today. My family wishes him Godspeed!

  11. Frank West says:

    To the Elia family – Karen and I are saddened by your loss. I can remember as a kid riding in John’s dune buggy with John and my father back in the mid-seventies. He did a great deal to promote local businesses in North Wilmington and hired many area kids. For that Wilmington should be grateful. We will keep the Elia family in our prayers at this dificult time.

  12. Sheldon Maga says:

    The Maga Family says:

    Marge and family,our sincere condolences for your loss.Many years ago
    John helped me start my business in North Wilmington for which I am
    very grateful for.Your family shall be in our prayers.

  13. Paul Seyffert says:

    My deepest condolences to Marguerite, Michele, Tara and all the Elia family. I’ll fondly remember my conversations with John over the past 20 years, both personally and professionally–he was always quick to challenge you on something if he had a different opinion, and often he was right. John was never short on words when meeting friends or strangers–he’ll be missed.

  14. Theodore R. Wicks & family says:

    Our condolences to the entire family. My thoughts go back many years with John as we grew up together meeting for the first time at the old Maple Meadow grammar school, hanging out together all through high school, the years delivering the Sunday papers from the store in North Wilmington, getting ski rentals & buying clothes & equipment from the original Ski Haus in Wilmington. Our thoughts & prayers are with you, John, many warm memories.

  15. John E. Murphy, Jr. says:

    Our sincere condolences to all of the Elia family. We moved away 46 years ago and only came back to Wilmington from time to time, but I have never forgotton Mr. Elia’s friendly way. I remember him always letting us use the phone in the back room of the store and letting me tag along on the ski days he had with my father. As I grew a bit older and obtained my business education, I was further impressed by Mr. Elia’s business savvy and entreprenuial successes. He was the first person to show me how a spreadsheet program worked on his TRS 80 back around 1980. He was always a step ahead of the pack and willing to take a risk on a new idea. Above all, Mr. Elia was one of my dad’s dearest friends and was a frequent reminiscence topic for our family. With sympathy, John and Sharyn Murphy, Winter Garden, Florida

  16. Jeff and Karen (Wolley) Palmer says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  17. Howard (Sonny) & Rosemary Murray says:

    Our condolences to the Elia family. Nobody will
    ever fill Johns shoes or have the eye to
    look at you and know right away which skis and boots
    where the best for you.

  18. The Osterhaven Family says:

    To Marguerite, Michele, Tara and the rest of the Elia family,

    We are deeply saddened by your loss. Everyone who knew John as a friend, neighbor, business associate, or customer, will never forget his generosity, quick wit, laser focus and energy. He always took a special interest in new business ideas and technology. John would seem equally at home discussing real estate & the stock market, driving a dune buggy or even operating a backhoe. Any skier who grew up in Wilmington in the 70’s & 80’s had John fit them with their first pair of skis. He’ll be greatly missed.

  19. Janice Shaw Dobbins says:

    My condolences to the Elia family.
    I was one of those kids that was fitted for my first pair skis and boots by Mr. Elia. I remember him as a very generous and caring man. I’ve been away from Wilmington for over 20 years now. But I always considered John Elia as a staple in the community.
    May you rest in peace.
    Port St Lucie, FL

  20. Matt Donnelly says:

    Dear Marguerite, Michele, Meredith (forever in our hearts) Tara, Helen, Mike and the extended Elia-Ryan families:
    I would like to extend my sincere condolences, best wishes and know that you are in my prayers at this difficult time.
    John was a BLAST to work with/for and I learned a lot about business, life and most importantly…how to ski while in his employ.
    I was talking with a dining room manager, in his 60s, at the Mt Washington Hotel this past week and he remembered buying gear from Ski Haus in the 70s and how he felt that he received good treatment from John. Know that John is remembered with affection by a great many people.
    All my best
    Matt Donnelly

  21. Steve and Krysta O'Neill says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Elia family, we were honored to be Johns neighbors for years.

  22. mike geissler kandm cleaners says:

    John was a great person. I will miss him stopping by telling me stories I will miss him.
    Mike from KandM

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