Marsha E. (Harkins) Balestrieri

August 27th, 2013

Marsha E. (Harkins) Balestrieri, age 52, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on August 27, 2013, following a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Marsha was born on October 6, 1960, at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia, she was the cherished daughter of John J. and Sylvia S. (Rosen) Harkins.  Following her dad’s discharge from the Navy, Marsha moved with her family to Cambridge and Somerville as a youngster before settling in Wilmington, where she was raised and educated.

Marsha continued her education at North Shore Community College and earned her degree as a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant (COTA).  She worked as a COTA at the On Broadway Nursing Center in Chelsea where her dedication and compassion for her patients was unwavering.  Marsha’s kindness and caring ways made her a great success in her field.

Always a “go-getter”, Marsha loved to be active and fit so she turned her athletic ability into a second profession and opened and operated her own aerobics center.  Marsha was talented as an instructor she was often sought out by private corporations.

Marsha’s love for children also led to another career as a certificated daycare provider

Marsha married her love, Gary Balestrieri on May 26, 1979 celebrating more than 34 years together. It was a love story, a fairly tale marriage. Marsha and Gary soon had two great kids Tamie and Gregory, she loved being a mother, always there to support her children, watch them grow, and was very proud of the adults they had become.  When Marsha became a “mother-in-law” to Jessica and David, she treated them as her own and they loved her dearly.  Marsha cherished her role as a “Mimi”. Whenever Alessandra and Tyler were around, she gathered the strength and courage to get down on the ground and play, especially dress up. They brought so much joy to her life.  Marsha was anxiously awaiting the birth of her grandson Cole Joseph, to give love and hugs to another grandchild.

In her spare time, Marsha loved to read, especially celebrity magazines. She would frequent craft fairs and shows dragging anyone along who would be willing to go.  For everyone who knew Marsha, let’s not forget about the daily trip or trips to Dunkin Donuts for her hot tea in the winter and her coffee coolata’s in the summer, it was all about the cup.

Marsha will be fondly remembered for her dedication to her family and friends, her love of children, and love of animals, especially her sheltie dogs.  She was kind, caring, and a pillar of strength, Marsha fought a long, hard battle with cancer beating the odds and making the most of her life.  Marsha showed so much courage, never giving up, and leaving a wonderful legacy, her family who will miss her forever.

Marsha was the beloved wife of Gary E. Balestrieri, devoted mother of Tamie Harris & her husband David of Tewksbury and Gregory Balestrieri & his wife Jessica of North Andover, loving “Mimi” of Alessandra and Tyler Harris and was looking forward to the birth of her grandson Cole Joseph Balestrieri, cherished daughter of John J. and Sylvia S. (Rosen) Harkins of Maine, dear sister of Debra Harkins & her husband William Balint of Newton, sister-in-law of Joseph and Dorothy Balestrieri, aunt of Joseph Melville, Glen Balestrieri and Wendi Balkan.  Marsha is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rt. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, August 30th at 10:30 a.m.  Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery.  Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, August 29th, 2013 from 4 -7 p.m.   Memorial donations in Marsha’s name can be made to the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation, P.O. Box 442, Needham, MA 02494.


15 Entries in Guest Book for “Marsha E. (Harkins) Balestrieri”

  1. Jackie Alpers says:

    God Bless you Marsha, I will always remember you as that beautiful Lady you were, and your beauty carries on in your daughter Tamie. Rest in peace, you are an angel xoxox

  2. Sarah Biggins says:

    My dear cousin – may you rest in peace in Heaven. I will never forget the happy memories of the precious times spent with you. Always a smile which would light up a room, beautiful on both the inside and the outside. x

  3. Murray and Beth Johnson says:

    Love and Prayers to you all…. Marsha, we will remember your love, smile and kindness … We will love you forever xo

  4. Wendi and Micharl Balkan says:

    We love you all! She was a magnificent woman who we truly adored!

  5. Mary,Ryan, and Stuart Pynn says:

    To our sweet beautiful niece
    Marsha, your courage and strength will be carried on — you are our angel and we were blessed to have you as a niece, love and peace oooo xxxx

  6. Howard and Donna Britt says:

    Today heaven recieved a true and courageous angel named Marsha. May you rest in peace.
    Our Prayes and thoughts are with your family at this very sad time.

  7. Noreen and Ken says:

    To our wonderful niece.
    Marsha you are a source of strength and courage for all. May you rest in peace, we love you.

  8. Sandy Roy says:

    You will be missed. I am blessed to have known such a wonderful person. May you rest in heaven free from pain. We all love you. God bless your family in this sad time.

  9. Maureen Waterman says:

    you will greatly be missed. rest in peace in heaven with my mother. all good people die young. all my throughts and prayers are with your family. Love Moe

  10. Lisa & Eric says:

    Marsha is the reason I believe there really are angels on earth. I will always keep you close, my gentle, loving cousin.

  11. Donna Tyner says:

    Marsha was an inspiration to us all and an amazing women that I was lucky enough to know. I am so sorry for your families loss and pain and wish there was something I could say. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. Janice Dimmock says:

    Marsha was the most incredible person I have ever met. Words can not even begin to show how awesome she was. She was loving, caring, compassionate and so much more. She will be missed so very much. My heart goes out to you Gary and family. She is now resting peacefully, no longer in pain. Someday we will all meet with her again in heaven. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. Susan Pellerin says:

    My Dear Sweet Marsha-
    A lot of my fondest childhood memories belong to you. God has truly blessed me with the great frienships he has given me through out the years and you my dear are at the top of the list. It’s ironic but not surprising that when your family could not get in touch with me, you did. In your heart of hearts you knew that if I did not get to see you for one last time at least in this life time, it would of hurt me terribly. You are a beautiful person and you raised two beautiful children with the help of Gary lol….which I had the pleasure of meeting last night. It was also so wonderful to see your Mom, Dad and sister Debbie although bitter sweet.
    May you always shine down over us from heaven our angel!
    I love you ox

  14. patricia varney says:

    To Gary and Family, I am truly sorry to hear about the passing of Marsha. She was a very nice person, I always enjoyed seeing her at all the family get togethers. God Bless you All, May she rest in peace! ?

  15. Terry Martin says:

    RIP Marsha though I haven’t seen you since 9th grade you will be missed

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