Dr. Ernest M. Wallent, age 80, a long-time resident and family Dentist in Wilmington, died peacefully on August 3, 2015, at the E. N. Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, cared for by the exceptionally compassionate staff of the GRECC (Alzheimer’s Care Unit).
Ernie was born on April 24, 1935 in Brockton, MA; he was the cherished son of the late Mathias and Rose J. (Moncevicz) Wallent. Ernie grew up in the Lithuanian “village” section of Brockton and was a graduate of Brockton High School. Following high school, Ernie went on to further his education at Tufts College and earned an early acceptance at Tufts Dental School where he completed his Doctorate in Dentistry.
Ernie met the “love of his life” a beautiful nurse named Louise McDevitt when he crashed her apartment party on Harrison Ave. in Boston. Ernie and Louise soon became inseparable and the couple married in September of 1956; settling in her home town of Wilmington and sharing many great times throughout the years.
In July of 1959, Ernie was commissioned as a Lieutenant with the United States Navy during the Vietnam War era. He was stationed at the Boston Naval Shipyard in Charlestown where he performed his dentistry on many sailors.
Following his release from active duty, Ernie opened his own Dental Office in North Wilmington in 1961. Ernie started his business from scratch but with his great work ethic, charming personality, and most of all his brilliant dental skills it didn’t take long for his business to become a success. “Doc” was more than a dentist to many clients; he truly cared about people, and treated everyone more like “family”. Ernie was Wilmington’s “home town dentist” for 40 years before he retired following a brilliant career.
Family was everything to Ernie; he was a devoted husband for over 50 years, a wonderful father, son, brother, uncle, and a “Grampy” who adored his grandsons, Cam and Jake. Ernie loved to spend time with his family whether it was boating and fishing on Cape Cod, spending countless vacation days at their summer home in East Dennis, skiing in New Hampshire, traveling with family and friends to Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean Islands, Dude Ranches out west, or just sharing many special moments at their home in Wilmington; any reason to spend time together was always most important to Ernie.
Ernie also loved being involved in his community; he was an active member of the Wilmington Senior Center where he enjoyed participating in their many activities. He loved supporting the campaigns of his favorite local politicians. As a teenager, Ernie’s social group was The Knights of Lithuania, a source of his passion of polka dance parties. He was renowned for dancing from start to finish at every polka dance. In recent years, he especially loved going to the Polish Clubs in Lowell or the “German Club” in Pawtucket, RI where the polka crowds were lively and his dance partners plenty. Ernie was also a communicant at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, a member of the Fr. Croke Council Knights of Columbus, and let’s not forget the countless Memorial Day Parades that he proudly marched so sharply dressed in his Naval uniform and taking part in the many Veterans dedications throughout the years.
In his spare time, Ernie, enjoyed duck hunting, pitching horse shoes, feeding the birds, mowing his field and yard on Middlesex Ave. on his “ride on mower”, and tending to the beautiful gardens throughout his yard where is favorite cat, “Blackie” loved to follow him around.
After he retired Ernie spent many years working for several funeral homes as an attendant; his kindness and compassion was always evident and he was a wonderful addition to every staff.
As Ernie’s health declined and his Alzheimer’s disease progressed he never gave in; with the help of his family and friends he lived life to the fullest even in the toughest of times. Ernie loved to make people laugh right up until his passing. He will be fondly remembered for his kindness towards others, his great sense of humor, and his dazzling smile. Ernie will be truly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Ernie was the beloved husband of the late Louise (McDevitt) Wallent, devoted father of Dr. Cathleen E. Wallent of North Andover, Rose M. Wallent of Wilmington, and the late Ernest M. “Matt” Wallent, Jr., loving “Grampy” of Cameron and Jake Manning of North Andover. Cherished son of the late Mathias and Rose J. (Moncevicz) Wallent, dear brother of Marilyn Janunas of Marlborough, special uncle of Cristina Janunas of Marlborough, Marilyn Gentilotti of Wayland, Sheryl Whitney of Billerica, Elizabeth Sheldon of Smyrna Mills, ME, Edward J. McDevitt III of Kingston, NH, Louise Hartnett of New Market, NH, and Christopher McDevitt of Houlton, ME. Ernie is also survived by many dear friends.
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, August 7th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Thursday, August 6th from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Memorial donations in Ernie’s name may be made to the Wilmington Senior Center, 15 School St., Wilmington, MA 01887 or to Bedford VA Research Corp. (BRCI), c/o GRECC, 200 Springs Road, Bedford, MA 01730.