Obituaries

Boston Police Officer Joseph M. Zanoli

May 8th, 2015

Boston Police Officer Joseph M. Zanoli, age 46, of Wilmington and Boston, formerly of Billerica, died unexpectedly at home on May 7, 2015.

Joe was born in Lowell, MA on December 13, 1968; he was the cherished son of the late Thomas and Audrey (Howie) Zanoli. Joe was raised in Billerica and was a graduate of Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford, MA.

Joe was appointed to the Laconia, New Hampshire Police Department in 1993 before transferring to the Lowell Massachusetts Police Department where he was appointed in 1994. While working with the Lowell Police Department, Joe was involved with the Dive Team, C-Pac, and the detective division until 2007 when he took a position with the Boston Police Department. Joe was assigned to the Dorchester area of Boston but worked all over the city. Joe had many dear friends and colleagues in both Police Departments who will miss him dearly.

Family was always first and foremost to Joe; he was a wonderful companion, son, brother, uncle, but most of all he was an amazing dad to Luke and Gavin. Joe cherished every moment he spent with his sons, he enjoyed going to their school and sporting events; he was always their biggest fan.

In his spare time Joe enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and taking in a good game of golf.

Joe will be fondly remembered as a quiet guy, gentle, loving, and caring; he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Joe was the beloved partner of Melissa Mullen of Wilmington, devoted father of Luke T. Zanoli of Bourne and Gavin B. Zanoli of Wilmington. Cherished son of the late Thomas and Audrey (Howie) Zanoli, dear brother of Louis Zanoli of Minnesota, William Zanoli and Elizabeth Forgione & her husband Stephen all of Derry, NH, Thomas Zanoli of Billerica, and Michael Zanoli of Lowell. Loving uncle of many nieces and nephews. Joe was also very special to Kristin Zanoli LeClair of Bourne, Fran and Janet Mullen, Brian and Jen Maguire all of Wilmington, and Brian and Dawn Mullen of Methuen. Joe is further survived by many dear friends and fellow Police Officers in Boston and Lowell.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours on Monday, May 11th from 3-8 p.m. in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held in St. Thomas of Villanova Church on Tuesday, May 12th at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. In lieu of flowers donations in Joe’s memory may be made to the Joseph Zanoli Memorial Fund, c/o Janet Mullen, 22 High St., Wilmington, MA 01887.

Share/Save

Randall S. “Randy” Drake

May 6th, 2015

Randall S. “Randy” Drake, age 59, of Tewksbury, MA, died peacefully on April 28, 2015, at the Winchester Hospital, with his loving wife at his side.

Randy was born on November 26, 1955 in Olympia, Washington. He was the cherished son of Helen (Popove) Drake and the late Donald Drake of Lacey, WA. Randy was raised and educated in Lacey, WA and was a graduate of North Thurston High School. Randy then went on to pursue his education at the American University of Paris where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in European Cultural Studies.

While at the University, Randy met the love of his life and his best friend of more than 36 years Rebecca “Becke” Slaby. They were truly “College Sweethearts” while in Paris. Randy and Becke travelled all over Europe and the Middle East, where they made many life-long friends. Randy and Becke returned to Boston in 1980 and married in 1983.

While in Boston, Randy worked for many years in International Educational Publishing sales. His endearing personality and work ethic made him quite a success in his field. Following his retirement from Publishing, Randy went to work as a Middle School and High School teacher, first in Tewksbury and later in Wilmington, MA.

Randy never forgot his roots in Washington. He loved his family dearly and was very close to his parents, siblings, and most of all his nieces and nephews; Randy just loved being the “Uncle”.
Randy truly lived quite a life. He was a world traveler, but his all-time favorite place to visit was mid-coast Maine. He was a great cook and a fabulous baker who always shared his delicious creations. Randy was also a talented writer who composed music with his wife Becke.

Randy was an avid gardener. He shared his love of gardening by giving away hundreds of tomato plants each spring and by sharing the bounty of the garden with neighbors and friends. He was passionate about food security for all.

Randy will be fondly remembered for his sense of humor, his kind heart, and for his strong Christian faith. Randy was a true romantic and a devoted husband who would make his wife feel special and loved. Randy will be truly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and loving him.

Randy was the beloved husband of Rebecca M. (Slaby) “Becke” Drake, cherished son of Helen and the late Donald Drake of Lacey, WA, dear brother of Bob Drake & his wife Theal of Olympia, WA, Dan Drake & his wife Pat of Puyallup, WA, and Sylvia Hanson & her husband John of Bellevue, WA; Loving Uncle of Courtney & Mike Addy and their children Emma and Jack, Lindsey Slaby, Lynsey & Rob Rydberg, Kevin Drake, Marcia Drake and her son Joey Marsh, David Drake, Loren & Amy Hanson, Mark & Yumi Hanson. Randy is also survived by many dear cousins and friends all over the world.

A Celebration of Randy’s Life will be held on May 15, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Woburn, 3 Winn Street, Woburn, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations in Randy’s memory may be made to Seeds of Solidarity, 125 Chestnut Hill Road, Orange, MA 01364 or online at seedsofsolidarity.org or to The First Baptist Church in Woburn, 3 Winn Street, Woburn, MA 01801. Arrangements are under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington, MA.

Sven J. Wiberg

May 4th, 2015

Sven J. Wiberg, age 85, of Wilmington, died peacefully on May 2, 2015, at Winchester Hospital.

Sven was born on May 20, 1929 in Plaistow, NH. He was the cherished son of the late Hugo and Mary (Loeffler) Wiberg, both Salvation Army Officers who served throughout New England. Married to Jean Wiberg since 1953 and a resident of Wilmington since 1960, he was part of a large and loving family.

Sven loved music and was a talented multi-instrumentalist. He started playing the cornet from an early age. Over the years, in bands including the U.S. Air Force Band, Salvation Army Band, and New England Brass Band he played the cornet, trumpet, and baritone horn, but the B? contrabass tuba was his favorite. Sven and his brothers formed a brass ensemble and for years played carols on Christmas Eve in many Wilmington neighborhoods. He and Jean were supporters of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and enjoyed many of their concerts. Sven was especially proud to have performed with the New England Brass Band on the stage at Symphony Hall.

Sven enjoyed reading and gardening. After moving to Wilmington, he was an avid gardener who, along with his brother Hugo, grew giant pumpkins and numerous delicious regular-sized vegetables.

Sven always wanted to fly. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after high school during the Korean War. Prevented from flying due to colorblindness, Sven fulfilled his dream of flying by hang gliding in his sixties.

For over thirty years, Sven worked for the Shipley Company in Newton, MA as a Bench Chemist and Technical Sales Representative. While at Shipley, he earned a patent in electro-less plating on plastics.

Sven will be fondly remembered as a devoted family man and a true friend to many. He was always kind, courteous, and willing to help others.

Sven was the beloved husband of Jean (Andrews) Wiberg, devoted father of Linnea Garcia & her husband Raul of Wellesley, MA, Sven D. Wiberg & his wife Patricia of North Hampton, NH, Leslie A. Wiberg of Newmarket, NH, and Karen Wiberg of Wilmington, MA. Loving “Grampa” of Andrew, Elizabeth, Sven Michael, Michaela, Liam, and Grace. Cherished son of the late Hugo and Mary (Loeffler) Wiberg, dear brother of Mary Long of Washington, Margaret “Peg” Reid of Connecticut, Peter Wiberg of Maine, the late John, Hugo, Richard, and David Wiberg. Sven is also survived by several brothers and sisters in law, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours on Friday, May 8th from 4-8 p.m. in the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington. A Celebration of Sven’s life will be held on Saturday, May 9th at 10:00 a.m. in the Union Congregational Church, 148 Haverhill St., North Reading, MA. In lieu of flowers donations in Sven’s memory may be made to Local Heroes, P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887 or to the Salvation Army New York Staff Band, 440 West Nyack Road, West Nyack, NY 10994.

Mary “Marie” Fleming

May 4th, 2015

Mary Fleming, fondly known as Marie to her family and friends passed away on Sunday, May 3, 2015, after a long period of declining health at the Lowell General Hospital. She was 91 years of age.

Marie was born in Lexington, MA, on February 10, 1924; she was the cherished daughter of the late William J. and Mary (Mahoney) Fleming. Marie was the only daughter and the youngest of a family of eight siblings.
Marie lived 85 years of her life in North Wilmington and she attended Wilmington Public Schools.

Prior to retiring in 1992, Marie worked as a Nurses’ Attendant at the Tewksbury Hospital for more than 25 years.

Marie was predeceased by her seven brothers William, John, Christopher, Richard, Joseph, Robert, and Thomas Fleming. She was the last surviving member of the Fleming Family in her generation.

She is survived by her loving nieces and nephews; Charles Fleming of Wilmington, JoAnn Bushong and Elizabeth Milner both of New Hampshire, Maureen Chorlton of Pennsylvania, John Fleming of Delaware, Joseph Fleming of North Carolina, Paul Fleming of Alabama, Christeen Cantrell of Texas, Christopher Fleming and Richard Fleming both of Arizona, Pat Brewer and William Fleming both of California. Marie was predeceased by her nephew James Fleming; twin of Joseph Fleming. Marie leaves behind her sister-in-law Claire Troy of Wilmington as well as her cousins Mary Starr of Wakefield, Betty Doran of Winchester and Sister Marie Mahoney of Holyoke.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, May 8th for Visiting Hours from 9:00-11:00 a.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m. Interment will take place in Westview Cemetery, Lexington.

The Fleming family would like to thank the Lowell General Hospital Staff for their superb care while Marie was a patient of theirs, the Town and Country Nursing Home in Lowell for their excellent care over the last year, and for the Home Instead Health Care Agency in Chelmsford for nearly 5 years of home care that abled Marie to live in her house which she had resided in for over 85 years.

Rita C. Elmstrom

May 3rd, 2015

Rita C. Elmstrom (Giordano), age 75, of Wilmington, died unexpectedly on May 2, 2015, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

Rita was born on December 23, 1939 in Boston, MA; she was the cherished daughter of the late Carmen T. and Catherine R. (Donahue) Giordano. Rita grew up in Charlestown and graduated from Charlestown High School and although she moved to Wilmington in 1965 she never forgot her roots as a “townie”.

Rita was a devoted mother who spent her time making a warm and loving home for her children. Rita spent many years attending school functions, sporting events, or any other activities that her children were involved in. Rita cherished her role as “Grammie” to her grandchildren who brought her so much joy.

For many years Rita worked as a receptionist for the Nortel Company; she always had a pleasant and friendly disposition.

In her spare time, Rita worked in her garden growing various vegetables that she shared with her family and friends, she was an avid reader, and looked forward to a good game of Scrabble or cribbage. Rita also enjoyed knitting and crocheting, and she shared her talents by teaching classes at the Wilmington Senior Center; as well as donating her handmade blankets to Project Linus. Rita also took pride in making bracelets to benefit the Veterans and their families. She also spent time teaching adults to read.

Rita was a woman of great faith; she was a regular at the 7:30 a.m. Sunday Mass at St. Dorothy’s Church in Wilmington and an active member of the Parish as well.

Rita had an outgoing and friendly personality; she was always willing to lend a hand where ever it was needed. Rita loved her family unconditionally; she was a good neighbor and a true friend to many. She will be greatly missed.

Rita was the devoted mother of Laurie A. Nelson & her husband Chris of Millbury, and Lisa J. Feusner & her husband Tim of Springtown, PA. Loving “Grammie” to Grace and Tessa Feusner; cherished daughter of the late Carmen T. and Catherine R. (Donahue) Giordano; dear sister of Joseph Giordano & his wife Joanna of Wilmington, Daniel Giordano & his wife Marilyn of Billerica, the late Rosemarie Andrea, Carmen, Steven, and Peter Giordano. Sister-in-law of Linda Giordano of Malden, Kathleen Giordano of Charlestown, and the late Carol Giordano. Rita is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, May 7th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Dorothy’s Church, Main Street (Rte. 38), Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 6th from 4-8 p.m. Memorial donations in Rita’s name may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to the ALS Association Mass Chapter, 320 Norwood Park South, #2, Norwood, MA 02062.

Bette J. Smith

April 22nd, 2015

Bette J. (Craib) Smith, affectionately known as “Nan” to her family and friends died peacefully on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at the Kaplan Family Hospice House following a brief and courageous battle with cancer at the age of 82.

Bette was born on Christmas Eve in 1932 in Boston, MA; she was the cherished daughter of the late John and Thelma (Doncaster) Craib. Bette was raised and educated in Somerville, MA and a graduate of Somerville High School with the Class of 1950. Following graduation, Bette enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. on May 17, 1951. While proudly serving the country during the Korean War, Bette met and fell in love with a fellow Marine, Arthur R. Smith, Jr. and the couple were married four months later. Bette was honorably discharged in Quantico, Virginia, on July 2, 1952; earning her rank as Sergeant.

Bette and Arthur lived in Virginia and then moved to Tewksbury briefly before settling in Wilmington in 1960, where they raised their six children. Family was everything to Bette, she was a wonderful wife and mother; she showered her family with unconditional love and devotion. Bette’s world became more enriched when her grandchildren started to arrive and she became the best “Nan” they could ask for. Bette just couldn’t get enough of her grandchildren and she looked forward to taking care of them whenever she could.

Bette wouldn’t miss an opportunity to be with her family and she always beamed with pride as she spoke of each and every one of them.

Bette spent many years as a book keeper for the family business and in her spare time she enjoyed going to Wilmington Public Library and taking her weekly trips to the 99 Restaurant with her family and friends.

Bette will be fondly remembered as being quite a lady; sweet and kind, helpful and loving. She was truly one of a kind and will be greatly missed by all.

Bette was the beloved wife of 49 years to the late Arthur R. Smith, Jr., devoted mother of Mark A. Smith and his wife Patricia of Andover, MA, Lisa J. Smith of Portland, ME, Lynne S. (Guzinski) Johnston and her husband Wilston of Wilmington, MA, Leane B. Schofield of Wilmington, MA, Lauren J. Smith of Wilmington, MA, and Gregg A. Smith and his wife Kimberly of La Jolla, CA. Loving “Nan” of Jason and Dean Smith of Andover, MA, Ian and Eric Worden of Portland, ME, Joel Guzinski and his wife Maddie of Norwood, MA, Jillian Guzinski of Norfolk, MA, Patrick and Brittany Schofield of Wilmington, MA, Jack Smith of La Jolla, CA, and her great-grandson, Lucas Rosen of Wilmington, MA. Bette is also survived by her sister Thelma Baker of Bristol, NH, and her brother Robert Craib and his wife Helen of Seabrook, NH. Bette is pre-deceased by her parents John and Thelma Craib of Somerville, MA, and her late son-in-law, Thomas Guzinski of Wilmington. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to calling hours on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Nichols Funeral Home at 187 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA. A funeral home service will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at 9:30 am followed internment with military honors at Wildwood Cemetery in Wilmington. Memorial donations may be made in Bette’s name to LUNGevity Foundation, 228 South Wabash Ave., Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60604 or at www.lungevity.org.

John S. Tsicouleas

April 18th, 2015

John S. Tsicouleas, age 92, a long-time resident of Wilmington, died peacefully on April 18, 2015, at the Woodbriar Health Center in Wilmington.

John was born on October 1, 1922 in Boston, MA; he was the dear son of the late Stephen and Fotini (Iligeorgia) Tsicouleas. John was raised in Cambridge and Brighton and attended school in Boston, MA.

John loved all kinds of music and dancing; in his early years he was a ballroom dance teacher and could perform every dance from the fast paced jitterbug to the elegant ballroom dances; he was just very light on his feet. While teaching, John met a beautiful student named Elpis Primpas and he was smitten. John married “his sweetheart” Elpis “Ellie” Primpas in 1961 and the couple moved to Wilmington where they raised their only child Stephen. Family was very important to John; he was a devoted husband and father; he loved his daughter-in-law Susan and cherished his only grandchild Nicole.

John was a hard worker; for many years he worked as a Machinist while attending night school to earn is degree as an Insurance Actuary. In the mid 1960’s John went to work for the State of Massachusetts as an Insurance Examiner and retired in 1987.

Throughout the years John and Ellie enjoyed traveling with their family and friends. John loved to explore new places, meet new people, and most of all sample all kinds of food. One of John’s favorite places to visit was New Orleans where he could listen to jazz, dance in the streets, and eat his favorite Cajun dishes; everyone always had a good time when they traveled with John.

John will be remembered as a wonderful guy who was so proud of his family and of his heritage. John was a great family man, a good neighbor, and a true friend to many. John lived a great life and will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

John was the beloved husband of 50 years to the late Elpis “Ellie” (Primpas) Tsicouleas, devoted father of Stephen Tsicouleas and his wife Susan of Standish, ME, loving “Papu” of Nicole Tsicouleas, cherished son of the late Stephen and Fotini Tsicouleas, dear brother of the late Ernest, Margaret, Kay, and Georgia. John is also survived by many special nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service in the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, 70 Montvale Ave., Woburn, on Wednesday, April 22nd at 1:30 p.m. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Methuen. Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, April 21st from 4-7 p.m. in the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington. Memorial donations in John’s name may be made to the Hydrocephalus Association, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 905, Bethesda, MD 20814

Mary Jane Fama

April 17th, 2015

Mary Jane Fama (Goodwin), age 72, of Wilmington, died peacefully on April 16, 2015, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

Born in Winchester, MA, on April 19, 1942, Mary Jane was the beloved daughter of the late Ralph C. Jr. and Barbara E. (Downey) Goodwin. Mary Jane was raised in Reading, MA and was a graduate of Reading High School.

Following her marriage to Paul J. Fama the couple moved to Wilmington where they raised their three sons Scott, Jeffrey, and Dana. Mary Jane was a devoted wife and mother; she will be fondly remembered for her unconditional love and devotion to her family and friends.

In the mid 1970’s, Mary Jane, was part of the Police Women’s division of the Wilmington Police Department and for many years she worked at Lucci’s Supermarket in Wilmington.

Mary Jane is survived by her husband Paul J. Fama, she was the devoted mother of Jeffrey Fama of Methuen, Dana Fama of Wilmington, and the late Scott Fama. She was the sister of Nancy Jablonski of Hudson, NH, John Goodwin of Wilmington, Mike Goodwin of Methuen, and Ralph “Skip” Goodwin III of Andover. Mary Jane is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

At the family’s request services and interment were private. In lieu of flowers donations in Mary Jane’s memory may be made to the E.N. Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, 200 springs Road, Bedford, MA 01730.

Roberta L. Strong

April 15th, 2015

Roberta L. Strong, (Giles), fondly known as “Bobbie” to her family and friends, died peacefully at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers following a courageous battle with cancer.

Bobbie was the beloved wife of 53 years to Stephen W. Strong, devoted mother of Bryan Strong, Candice Strong, Peter Strong, Stephen Strong, Jr., and Stacey Strong; loving grandmother of Amanda Webber and Sabrina Strong. Cherished daughter of the late Lawrence and Jeannette (Hogan) Giles; dear sister of Susan Giles, Richard Giles, Michael Giles, Doreen Balestrieri, David Giles, and the late Lawrence Giles.

At Bobbie’s request her funeral services will be private. Memorial donations in Bobbie’s name may be made to the Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty St., Danvers, MA 01923 or to the Winchestser Hospital Foundation, Center for Cancer Care, 611 Main St., Winchester, MA 01890. Arrangements are under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington.

Steven M. Collins, Sr.

April 15th, 2015

Steven M. Collins, Sr., age 66, of East Boston, died peacefully on April 13, 2015. Steven is survived by his children Steven M. Collins, Jr. of Chelmsford, Lisa Marie Ostlund and her husband Dan of Nashua, NH, and Michael P. Bowen of Revere; his companion of many years Candy Bowen of Revere, he was the son of the late Davis B. and Elizabeth M. (Dundon) Collins, brother of Elizabeth Maher of Quincy, Barbara McKinnon of Iowa, Virginia Fyler of East Boston, Davis Collins of South Carolina, Dorothy Collins of Manchester, NH, Walter Collins of Tewksbury, Richard Collins of Everett, Judith Monteiro and Susan Frongillo both of Wilmington. Steven is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Monday, April 20th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service in the Tewksbury United Methodist Church, 2335 Main St. (Rte. 38), Tewksbury, on Tuesday, April 21st at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers donations in Steven’s memory may be made to Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, c/o Development Office, 100 Cambridge St., Suite 1310, Boston, MA 02114.