Obituaries

Gertrude A. (Fennell) Bassett

April 11th, 2013

Gertrude A. (Fennell) Bassett, age 82, of Burlington, formerly of Somerville, passed away peacefully at the Kaplan Hospice House on April 9, 2013, surrounded by her loving family. Born in Cambridge on July 17, 1930, Gertrude was the beloved daughter of the late William and Rose (Lambert) Fennell.  She was raised in Cambridge and graduated from the Rindge and Latin High School.

Gertrude was married to the love of her life, Frederick Bassett, upon his discharge from the service in 1947.  The couple settled in Somerville and raised their two daughters there.  She always considered Somerville home even though she and Frederick moved to Burlington in 1980.  If she was not with her family, Gertrude could be found shopping at Macy’s. She was a devoted wife to Frederick until his passing in 2004.  Family was the most important thing to Gertrude.  She loved being around her four grandchildren, Eric, Keith, Dawn and Kimberley, they were her everything.  Then along came five great grandchildren, Hailey, Max, Jamie, Emma Rose and Kylie, Gertrude could not be happier.

Gertrude was the beloved wife of the late Frederick J. Bassett.  She was the loving mother of Ellen M. Pearlstein and her husband Harvey and Carol A. Redmond and her husband Kenneth, all of Wilmington.  Gertrude was the cherished “Nanny” of Eric Pearlstein and his wife Christine, Keith Pearlstein, Dawn Kourafalos and her husband Peter, and Kimberley Devlin and her husband Shawn.  She was the “GG” of Hailey, Max, Jamie, Emma Rose and Kylie.  Gertrude was the dear sister of Dorothy Lukasiuk of Florida, William Fennell of Salem, NH, and the late Edith McLaughlin and Marie Kuechler.  She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rt. 62), Wilmington, for a funeral on Monday, April 15, at 9:00 a.m., followed by a funeral mass at St. Thomas Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, at 10:00 a.m.  Interment to follow in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington.  Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, April 14, from 3-7 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Gertrude’s name can be made to the V.A. Medical Hospital, c/o Voluntary Service, 200 Springs Road, Bedford, MA  01730.

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Doris G. Peterson

April 4th, 2013

Doris G. Peterson, age 92, of Wilmington, formerly a long-time resident of Reading, died peacefully on April 4, 2013, following a brief illness.

Doris was born in Boston, MA, on June 30, 1920, she was the cherished daughter of the late Evart and Persis (Ainsley) Peterson.  Doris was raised in New Hampshire before moving with her family to Reading, MA and she was a graduate of Reading High School.  Doris, together with her sisters moved to Wilmington in 1996 to be closer to other family members.

Doris was fiercely independent; as a young child she was diagnosed with polio which impaired her ability to walk and get around, but that didn’t stop Doris; her fiery personality and strong will kept her going as the “matriarch” of her family following the passing of her mother.

In her spare time, Doris enjoyed collecting dolls and raising Persian cats with her sisters and she was a member of the Boston Cat Club.

Doris was also very talented, she knitted and crocheted beautiful sweaters, hats, and blankets that she shared with her family and friends.

Doris was part of a large and loving family, she loved spending time with her mother, her siblings, and her countless nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews and they will miss her dearly.

Doris was the dear sister of Constance Chepulis of North Reading, Charles Peterson and his wife Shirley of Wilmington, the late Ruth Kenson, Edith Peterson, Laverne Peterson, Louise Peterson, June Nickerson, Phyllis Peterson, Raymond Henderson, and Spencer Henderson.  Doris was the loving aunt of many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Tuesday, April 9th from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 12:30 p.m.  Interment to follow in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody.  Memorial donations in Doris’ name may be made to the Old South United Methodist Church, 6 Salem Street, Reading, MA 01867.

Beatrice A. (Goggin) Halas

April 4th, 2013

Beatrice A. (Goggin) Halas, fondly known as “Bea” to her family and friends, died peacefully on April 3, 2013, in Alexandria, VA, at the age of 87.

Bea was born on June 11, 1925, in Chelsea, MA, she was the cherished daughter of the late William and Annie T. (Sheehy) Goggin.  Bea’s parents immigrated here from Ireland and she was always so proud of her Irish Heritage.  Bea was raised and educated in Chelsea; she attended St. Rose Catholic School for 12 years, graduating in 1942.

Prior to retiring, Bea was a long time employee of the AT & T Company where she worked in Administration.  Bea was a dedicated, hard working employee, and she made many friends with her co-workers throughout the years.

Bea married her “sweetheart” Henry F. “Hank” Halas on October 19.1946, sharing more than 59 years together before his passing in November of 2005.  Bea and Hank resided in Chelsea for many years, where they raised two wonderful children, before moving to Wilmington in 1981.  Beatrice was the devoted mother of Barbara Riley and her husband William of Lorton, VA and James Halas and his wife Kathy of Wilmington.  Cherished grandmother of Dr. Kevin Riley of Los Angeles, CA, Brian Riley and his wife Miho of Culver City, CA, Michael Halas of Boston and Katie Halas and her fiancé Michael Jordon of Wilmington, and loving great-grandmother of Keon and Senan Riley.

Beatrice was the sister of Mary Horgan of Groveland, Eileen Kanarkiewicz of Burlington, and the late James Goggin, William Goggin and Nancy (Goggin) Kelley.

Bea was a woman of great faith, she attended Catholic School, she had a great respect for the nuns, she was an active communicant at St. Rose Parish in Chelsea and when she moved to Wilmington she became very active at St. Dorothy’s Parish for many years.  She was also an active member of Wilmington Senior Center for many years.

Family was first and foremost to Bea, as a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother her devotion and love was unconditional.  Bea loved spending time with her family, celebrating holidays and sharing all of their special events; Bea was very proud of each and every one of them and their accomplishments.  Following the death of her dear Hank, Bea moved to Virginia to be closer to her daughter.

Bea will be remembered as friendly, kind, and caring, she was a great neighbor and a dear friend to many.  She was always there to lend a hand on countless occasions and she will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rt. 62), Wilmington, on Monday, April 8th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Dorothy’s Church, Main St. (Rt. 38), Wilmington  at 10:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.  Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Sunday, April 7th from 2-6 p.m.   Memorial donations in Beatrice’s name may be made to the Sisters of Providence c/o Office of Congregational Advancement, 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876 or St. Dorothy’s Church, 11 Harnden St., Wilmington, MA  01887.

Paul G. Godzyk

March 30th, 2013

Paul G. Godzyk, age 94, a life-long resident of Wilmington, died March 29, 2013, after a lengthy period of declining health.  Paul was the beloved husband of the late Ruth M. (Evans) Godzyk, with whom he shared 54 years of marriage prior to her death in 2005.   Paul was the dear son of the late Harry and Julia (Klebasz) Godzyk of Wilmington.

Paul was born on February 22, 1919, in the family home in which he still resided; he was educated in Wilmington and a graduate of Wilmington High School.

In 1942, Paul enlisted in the U. S. Navy and served in the Pacific Theater on a LC 1 (L) – 465 as a machinist in the engine room.  He was very involved in the attack on Guam and received several bronze stars for his service.  In 1944 he was transferred to the USS LST-220 until his honorable discharge in November of 1945.  Paul received many commendations for his service and he returned home to Wilmington.

Paul was a hard worker, he owned and operated Godzyk Trucking in Wilmington until his retirement.

Paul was the father of Paul Godzyk II, Pamela Lecesse, and Elizabeth Godzyk all of Wilmington, Paula Moisan and her husband Paul of Lowell, and the late Arthur Godzyk of Wilmington.  Grandfather of Casey and Nicholas Godzyk, Derek Moisan and his wife Becky, Jennifer Fredette and her husband Dan, Matthew Moisan, Cheryl and Jessica Lecesse, and great-grandfather of Emma, Jack, and Jayden.  Paul was predeceased by his two sisters Amelia Booth and Anna Clinton.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Wednesday, April 3rd from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 1:00 p.m.  Interment with Military Honors will follow at Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.  In lieu of flowers donations in Paul’s memory may be made to the Wilmington Senior Center, 15 School St., Wilmington, MA 01887.

Robert L. Stratton

March 26th, 2013

Robert L. Stratton, age 87, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully at home on March 26, 2013. Bob was born on August 6, 1925 in Detroit, Michigan. He served in the United States Marine Corps during WWII, and never stopped thinking of himself as a Marine.  In the years after the war he worked as a manufacturer’s representative for various companies in Illinois, Missouri, New York, and Massachusetts. His retirement career was a merchandiser in food chains.

A loyal Detroit Tigers fan, he eventually switched his allegiance to the Boston Red Sox after he and his family moved to Massachusetts in 1971. Bob had a great sense of humor, and enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, working in his yard, and spending time with his family. He loved dogs, Frank Sinatra, and watching old westerns. During their 58 years of marriage, he and his wife Barbara traveled throughout New England, and made trips to California, Las Vegas, Florida, North Carolina, and Great Britain.

Bob leaves behind his loving, close family: wife Barbara, son James Stratton and his wife Roberta of Chelmsford and their son Robert, son Richard Stratton and his wife Cynthia of Hudson, NH and their children Christopher and Courtney, and daughter Robin Stratton of Newton.  Visiting hours will be on Thursday, March 28th from 5-7 p.m. at Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rt.62), Wilmington.  Funeral services will be held privately.

Raymond C. Cole, Jr.

March 25th, 2013

Raymond C. Cole, Jr., age 71, of Athens, Georgia, formerly of Wilmington, MA and Norwalk, CT, died peacefully on March 13, 2013.

Ray was born in Lowell, MA, on September 29, 1941, he was the dear son of the late Raymond Sr. and Dorothy (Surette) Cole.  Ray was raised and educated in Wilmington until the 11th grade when he moved to Delaware with his family; Ray graduated from Dover High School.  Ray then returned to Massachusetts where he got a Bachelor of Science degree from Lowell Tech now known as University of Mass Lowell Campus and furthered his education earning a Master’s Degree from University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.

Ray promptly went to work as an electrical engineer for Norden Systems, a division of United Technologies in Norwalk, CT, which later became part of Northrop Grumman.  Ray was very instrumental in designing and building Radar Systems for the Department of Defense and was known as a very intelligent and dedicated employee.

In his spare time, Ray enjoyed summering at the family lake house in Meredith, New Hampshire, bird watching, trying his hand at golf.  He also followed New England sports teams especially the Patriots and the Red Sox, he was known as an avid fan.

Ray, was known for having a keen intelligence; he was a whiz on the computer, loved crossword puzzles, he loved to read maps, and had an avid knowledge of planes, cars, and coins.

Ray’s pride and joy was his family, he thoroughly enjoyed planning family holidays, celebrations, and get togethers.  Ray loved being a husband, father, and especially a “Grampy”; his devotion and love for his family was unconditional and they will truly miss him.

Raymond is survived by his wife Ann Cole of Athens, GA, his daughters Tracy Siles and her husband Rich of Weymouth, MA, Jaime Richardson and her husband Norm of Greenfield, NH, Marcie Bailey and her husband Craig of Hudson, NH, and their mother Deborah Sibley of Londonderry, NH.  Ray was the step-father of Brian Clark of Atlanta, GA, and Tim Clark and his wife Rebecca of Roswell, GA, he was the loving “Grampy” of Dylan, Abigail, and Matthew Stiles, Kaitlyn and Liam Richardson, Olivia Bailey, Noah and Ellie Clark, son of the late Raymond Sr. and Dorothy (Surette) Cole, brother of Virginia Cole and Richard Cole both of Hillsdale, NJ, and Robert Cole and his wife Mickey of River Vale, NJ.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours on Thursday, April 4th from 6-8 p.m. in the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington.  In lieu of flowers donations in Raymond’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472.

Mariano P. DeGrazia

March 22nd, 2013

Mariano P. DeGrazia, age 93, of Saugus, formerly of Lynn, died peacefully on March 21, 2013.  Mariano was the beloved husband of the late Rosina D. (Rossetti) DeGrazia, devoted father of Donald M. DeGrazia and his late wife Sandy of Chelmsford, loving grandfather of Jill May of Bryan, TX, Jack DeGrazia of Tewksbury, Arian DeGrazia of Burlington, and great-grandchildren Alycia and Brianna May.
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, March 27th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington.  Interment to follow in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody.  Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, March 26th from 4-8 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Mariano’s memory may be made to a Charity of your choice.

Ralph H. Burpee

March 20th, 2013

Ralph H. Burpee, age 73, of Wilmington, died unexpectedly on March 19, 2013, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

Ralph was born on February 3, 1940, in Boston, MA., he was the cherished only son of the late Ralph H. And Madeleine R. (Whitney) Burpee.  Ralph was raised in Arlington and was a graduate of Arlington High School.  Ralph continued his education at Northeastern University earning his degree.

Ralph was known as a hard worker and a dedicated employee.  Prior to retiring, Ralph was employed as a scientist for the Polaroid Corporation in Waltham for more than 30 years.

Ralph married his “sweetheart” Arlene M. Gaumond in 1963, sharing nearly 50 years of marriage.  The couple moved to Wilmington in 1965, where they raised their wonderful family of four and Ralph thoroughly enjoyed being “Grampy” of six.

Ralph loved his family and the time he spent with them; whether it was traveling, visits to England, fishing at Big Lake in Maine, camping, or just sitting in the yard having long talks.

Ralph liked puttering around his home in Wilmington, doing his woodworking projects, and he enjoyed being out with his bird feeders.

Ralph will be fondly remembered for his love of all animals but especially his dogs, he enjoyed listening to music, studying history, and he had a passion for fast cars and motorcycles.

Ralph had a great sense of humor, he was personable and friendly.  Ralph was always there for his family and friends who will miss him dearly.

Ralph was the beloved husband of Arlene M. (Gaumond) Burpee, devoted father of Ralph E. Burpee of Dededo, Guam, Douglas M. Burpee of Reading, MA, Derek W. Burpee and his wife Hyon Su of Fayetteville, NC, and Cassandre McKinley of Hopkinton, MA, loving Grandfather of Derek, John, Joseph, Nicholas, Dylan, and grand-daughter Alexandre, dear brother of Diane Anderson of Wilmington, the late Barbara Berton and Joan Macone.  Ralph is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Sunday, March 24th for Visitation from 2-5 p.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Home Service at 5:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers donations in Ralph’s memory may be made to Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887 or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P. O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS  66675.  www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Richard D. “Dick” Keller

March 19th, 2013

Richard D. Keller, fondly known as “Dick”,  age 84,  of South Dennis, MA, formerly a long-time resident of Wilmington, MA, died peacefully at home on March 19, 2013.

Dick was born in Boston, MA, on June 5, 1928, he was the dear son of the late George and Caroline (Boutenhouse) Keller.  Dick was raised in Mattapan and was a graduate of Hyde Park High School.

Following his graduation from High School, Dick enlisted in the U. S. Navy on June 18, 1945, during WWII and was stationed in New Jersey; upon his completion of active duty he was honorably discharged to the Naval Reserves.

When Dick returned home from the Navy he went right to work as a pressman for the Boston Globe.  Dick’s work ethic and his personality made him a favorite amongst his co-workers and in turn he made many life-long friends.  Dick retired in 1990 after 46 years of dedicated service to the Boston Globe.

Dick married the “love of his life” Shirley Gordon on April 1, 1950,  the couple moved to Wilmington in 1951, where they raised their three sons.  Dick and Shirley spent many great years together before her passing in September of 2008, they loved spending time with their family and friends traveling all over the United States, Spain, Israel, Egypt, and Canada.  Dick was a very devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who enjoyed music, singing, and playing the keyboard or piano for his grandchildren.  Dick was also a huge NASCAR fan, following Jimmy Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and more recently Danica Patrick over the years; he thoroughly enjoyed watching countless races with his family and friends.

Dick was very proud of his family and all of their accomplishments; he treasured family holidays, celebrations, and the time spent with each and every family member.  Dick and Shirley made many memories to share with generations to come.

Dick was very active in the community of Wilmington, always giving of himself and his time for others.  Dick was a member of the Friendship Lodge of Masons in Wilmington for 62 years, the Shriner’s Aleppo Temple in Wilmington where he was part of the Oriental Band and marched in countless parades bringing much joy to children, and was a very active member of the Wilmington United Methodist Church for many years.

Dick spent many summers with his family at their Cape House in South Dennis which he and Shirley built in 1985 before retiring to the Cape1991.  Dick belonged to the Masons Mount Horeb Lodge in Dennis as well as the North Side United Methodist Church where he served on the Executive Board.

Dick will be remembered as kind, caring, and most of all giving, he was always there to lend a hand, or an ear for anyone in need.  Dick was a wonderful family man and a true friend who will be greatly missed.
Dick was the beloved husband of the late Shirley (Gordon) Keller, devoted father of Douglas Keller and his wife Carol of Lowell, Richard Keller and his wife Maureen of Andover, and Kirk Keller and his wife Donna of Methuen, loving grandfather of Kim Keller of Manchester, NH, Michael Keller and his wife Carrie of Pelham, NH, Kristi Morris and her husband Jack of Andover, Meghan Keller and Courtney Keller both of Methuen, Kate Keller of Lowell, and six great-grandchildren, dear son of the late George and Caroline (Boutenhouse) Keller, brother of Dorothy Gaffney of Weymouth.  Dick is also survived by a dear friend and caregiver Robin Aselton of South Dennis MA, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, March 21st from 4-8 p.m.  Funeral Services will be held in the Chapel at the West Parish Cemetery, 129 Reservation Road, Andover, MA on Saturday, March 23rd at 10:00 a.m.  Memorial donations in Richard’s name may be made to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02114.

Edward A. Downs

March 15th, 2013

Edward A. Downs, age 72, of Wilmington, died peacefully on March 14, 2013, following a lengthy illness.

Ed was born in Wakefield on August 10, 1940, son of the late Glenn and Phoebe (Carpenter) Downs.  Ed moved to Wilmington at a young age when his family bought the “Pettingill Farm” located at Perry’s Corner in South Wilmington. Ed was part of a large family and they all worked the farm.

Ed married Joan M. Eisenhaur in 1966, the couple settled in Wilmington and together raised three wonderful children.  Ed was very devoted to his family and he especially loved being “Grampy” to Angela, Blake, and Leah.  Ed enjoyed their many family holidays, celebrations, and just getting together.

Prior to retiring, Ed worked for the Town of Wilmington for over 30 years; in the parks and grounds department.  Ed had a strong work ethic and a wonderful personality, these traits did not go unnoticed when he was recognized for all of his efforts by being named “Grounds Keeper of the Year.”

Ed will be fondly remembered as a quiet, kind, caring, and friendly man who loved the outdoors. He enjoyed working in his yard, gardening and tinkering in the shed.

Edward was the beloved husband of 46 years to Joan M. (Eisenhaur) Downs, devoted father of Edward A. Downs, Jr. and his wife Sharon of Nashua, NH, Shelly L. Cunha and her late husband Joseph of Tewksbury, and Chad A. Downs and his wife Michelle of Chelmsford, loving grandfather to Angela Cunha, Blake and Leah Downs, brother of Francis Downs and Forrest Downs both of Wilmington, Clifton Downs of Mansfield, Stella Flynn of Reading, the late Geneva Morrison, Charlotte Godett, Pauline Russo, Clayton, Clesson, Harvey, and James Downs.  Ed is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington for a Funeral Service on Wednesday, March 20th at 11:30 a.m.  Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.  Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, March 19th from 4-8 p.m.  In lieu of flowers donations in Edward’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472.