Joseph C. Filipowicz

August 27th, 2014

Joseph C. Filipowicz, age 91, a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on August 26, 2014, at the Winchester Hospital following a brief illness.

Joseph was born in Lynn, MA, on March 4, 1923; he was the beloved son of the late Joseph and Adela (Pacewicz) Filipowicz. Joe was raised and educated in Lynn. He was inducted into the United States Navy during World War II.

Joseph married “his sweetheart” Ruth I. Dickson in 1948; the couple lived in Chelsea for several years before building their own home in Wilmington in 1955. Family was very important to Joe; he was a devoted and loving husband to his wife Ruth for more than 65 years and a wonderful father to his daughter Catherine.

Joseph was known to be a very hard worker and an extremely talented craftsman in wood; he was a proud member of the Carpenters Union. At first, he worked for a small builder, then for many years for Volpe Construction as a carpenter foreman and foreman/super on jobs small and large (including hospital expansions, one of Harvard’s libraries, and a Postal Service central facility in Springfield), but his real love was interior finish work. Joe was an impeccable cabinet maker and crafted much of the furniture throughout his home. He took up wood-turning to make wooden bowls, plates, and vases, and even a wooden chalice for a man who was about to be ordained as a priest.

Joseph not only built furniture but he also spent many years teaching night classes on how to build furniture, always sharing his knowledge and having patience with others.

Joseph was involved in many building projects throughout the town of Wilmington and people sought out his expertise. Joe was a talented foreman so when the town needed help remodeling the old Buzzell School into the Senior Center, he was right there with his tools and ideas. Joe also helped to organize the High School kids as they built the gazebo that is located on the town common and he was instrumental in renovating the Villanova Hall basement for a youth center.

Joseph was known to be knowledgeable about old construction and was very involved in the first public open house after the town acquired Harnden Tavern; he also donated some of the tools that are on display.

Joseph’s involvement with the community didn’t stop there. He was a member of the Wilmington Elderly Affairs Commission for years, taking his turn as Chairman, and he thoroughly enjoyed belonging to the Wilmington Senior Center. He loved to read and was one of the Wilmington Memorial Library’s most steady patrons. He was also a wonderful cook, and was renowned for the soups, preserves, and pickles that he made and gave freely to friends, associates, and those who helped the family.

Joseph will be fondly remembered as a quiet guy who was always doing something for someone. He was gentle, kind, and caring. Joseph was truly loved by his family and friends and will be greatly missed by all.

Joseph was the beloved husband of 65 years to Ruth I. (Dickson) Filipowicz of Wilmington, the loving father of Catherine Steinhoff and her husband Nicholas of La Mirada, CA, cherished son of the late Joseph and Adela (Pacewicz) Filipowicz, dear brother of the late Victor Phillips and Charles Filipowicz. Joseph is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, September 3rd at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Tuesday, September 2nd from 2:00-4:00 p.m.

The family will hold an Open House to honor Joseph after the burial; it will be held at the Filipowicz home, 23 Oakridge Circle, Wilmington. Everyone who knew Joe is invited to drop in between 1:00 and 2:00 PM to see the house that he and Ruth built and the beautiful furniture, plates, toys, and other things that he made over the years. A light luncheon will be served.

Memorial donations in Joseph’s name may be made to the Wilmington Senior Center, 15 School Street, Wilmington, MA 01887.


5 Entries in Guest Book for “Joseph C. Filipowicz”

  1. Larz (Fred) Neilson says:

    I knew and respected Joe, a skilled craftsman. When the Class of 1977 was building the gazebo on the Common, they brough in Joe to design & cut the roof strucure. A very down-to-earth guy, but brilliant at his work.

  2. Ann Barrar says:

    I am deeply saddened by our loss. Joe has been my neighbor for over 20 years. He helped build our screen porch. While on a ladder trying to nail in a rafter he asked my husband “are you finished moving your end”. His knowledge of woodworking was only surpassed by his pickled beets.

  3. Gail (Gustafson) Steele says:

    What a wonderful story of his life. My sympathies to the family, from a former Oakridge Circle neighbor.

  4. Lynne Barrasso says:

    I met Joe and his wife Ruth about 11years ago when I got a dog and I would be walking her in the neighborhood, and Joe would ride by and say “good morning, good afternoon etc” and to break the ice and try to be funny, he would make many comments about my hair…”why would you go and do that”?” I liked your hair the other way”?? so began our curbside friendship and we would talk little tidbits about the weather, a good book, a good recipe, the garden, the senior center and his time spent in Vermont with Ruth and with his most serious face crack a joke…I’m going to miss these little chit chats I would have weekly with them. Joe and Ruth showed us all how we they enjoyed life through old age and sickness, nothing kept them down, they just kept going and going. I will miss you Joe, God Bless!!you did leave a mark in this world..

  5. Lin Harris says:

    Joe will be greatly missed by the staff at the Wilmington Library! I first met Joe while helping him request one of his favorite authors (Clive Cussler) and we discovered that we enjoyed similar authors. I took on the job of keeping Joe in “good reads” and always looked forward to discussing his opinions on the newest books. Several years ago I was quite ill and Joe regularly supplied me with his tasty soups, jams, etc. — I will never forget his kindness and caring. He will always be remembered fondly. My deepest sympathy to Ruth, Cathy and family.

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