Obituaries

Francis E. Downs, Sr.

September 20th, 2013

Francis E. Downs, Sr., age 90, of Wilmington, passed away at home on September 19, 2013.  Born on April 9, 1923, in Warren, VT, Francis was the oldest of twelve children to Glenn and Phoebe (Carpenter) Downs.  Shortly after Francis was born, the family moved to Wakefield where Francis spent most of his childhood.  At the age of 17, the family relocated to Wilmington, the town that Francis would make his home. 

Francis married the love of his life, Elizabeth “Betty” Akins, in 1948.  Together, they raised five children.  He loved to take the family on trips to Kennebunk, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, as well as enjoying picnics and taking rides to the beach on Sundays.  Francis loved gardening, picking blueberries and strawberries, as well as playing cribbage, collecting wind-chimes and taking in Football games.  Francis loved his family and took great care of them.  He would always be willing to lend a hand to whomever needed one; all they had to do was ask.  In their later years, Francis and Betty enjoyed the company of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  They were so important to them and they were extremely proud of all of them.          

Francis was a hard worker.  He worked many jobs during his life to provide for his family.  In 1944, Francis took a job with the Town of Wilmington, at the age of 21, and spent thirty six years there working as a foreman and the superintendent for the cemetery department before his retirement in 1980.  Francis also worked for Coombs Furniture for over 30 years doing furniture deliveries.  Francis also spent many years as the “right-hand man” of Bud Lyford, former owner of the Nichols Funeral Home, whatever Bud needed, Francis was always there with a helping hand.  After retirement, since he never finished high school, Francis secretly went back to school and received his GED on August 31, 1992, at the age of 69.

Francis was the beloved husband of Elizabeth V. (Akins) Downs. He was the devoted father of Wilfred F. “Bill” Downs & his wife Beverly of Lowell, Glenna Feeley & her husband John of Alton, NH, Francis E. “Frank” Downs, Jr. & his wife Pamela of Wilmington, Andrew “Mack” Downs & his wife Danielle of Pelham, NH, and the late Phyllis Hagan & her husband Joseph “Butch” of Delaware. Frances was the loving grandfather of Tina Allen, Wilfred F. II, Michael, Patrick, Courtney, and Timothy Downs, Joseph Barnes & his wife Earlene, Andrea Barnes, Dereck and Stephen Downs, Ben, Travis, Jarred and Jason Hagan and Jacob and Christine Downs, great-grandfather of John, Dillon, Angelina, Jaylyn, Natasha, Devin, Matthew Lylah, Kynley, Hannah and Cailyn.  Francis was the dear brother of Forrest Downs of Wilmington, Clifton Downs of Mansfield, Stella Flynn of Reading and the late Clayton, Clesson, Harvey, Edward and James Downs, Geneva Morrison, Charlotte Godett and Pauline Russo.  Francis is also survived by many nieces, nephews and friends.

Family and friends gathered for a Funeral Service on Tuesday, September 24th at 11:00 a.m. at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62), Wilmington.  Interment followed in Wildwood Cemetery.  Visiting hours were held Monday, September 23rd from 4 to 8 p.m.  Memorial donations in Francis’ name may be made to the Care Alternatives Hospice, 100 Locke Drive, Marlborough, MA 01752 or the Jimmy Fund, c/o Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168.

Share/Save

James R. Busby

September 19th, 2013

James R. Busby, age 88, of Wilmington, MA passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on September 18, 2013 at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington. 

James was born in Cambridge on January 20, 1925, the cherished son of the late George and Elizabeth (Doherty) Busby. James was raised in Somerville and was part of a large and loving family. While attending Somerville High School, he was drafted and enlisted in the United States Navy on March 29, 1943, during WWII. He proudly served aboard the USS Hall (DD-583) traveling throughout Europe and Asia. He received several commendations for his service to the country and was honorably discharged on January 28, 1946.   

After leaving the service, James married the love of his life, Norma T. Belliveau, on October 11, 1952 and they spent nearly 61 years together before her passing on August 9th of this year. James and Norma were always together. They were soul mates who truly loved each other. As a young couple, they moved from the city to Tewksbury where they lived for several years before settling in Wilmington for fifty years where they raised two wonderful children, Karen and Jim. James loved his family and always put them first. Working hard to provide for his family, James proudly spent many years as a truck driver for Consolidated Freightways and was a member of Teamsters Local #25 in Charlestown. He was very proud of his safe driving record and he received many awards for his driving skills.

 James enjoyed traveling and outings with family and friends. Whether it was a cruise, a trip to Foxwoods, a Red Sox game, or an outing for ice cream, he was always up for a good time. Family cookouts, celebrations, parties, and holidays were very special times for James.  He was known to be a prankster and a “big kid” at heart. He had a great sense of humor and many humorous memories were made whenever he got together with friends and the families of his brothers and sisters, the “Busby Clan.”  Many stories are still shared about their adventures and good natured fun.

James’s devotion to his wife was unwavering. He adored his children and their spouses, and when he became Grandpa/Papa he showered his grandchildren with unconditional love and support. James lit up whenever he was with them and cherished every moment they were together. He never missed a chance to spend time with his grandchildren, of whom he was so very proud.

James and Norma loved to go dancing. Whether it was ballroom dancing or square dancing, they always had a great time. James was also a lifetime member of the VFW in Medford and the Wilmington Senior Center where he enjoyed participating in their many activities, especially aerobics. In his spare time, James enjoyed gardening and grew beautiful flower gardens around his yard. He was an avid Red Sox fan and hardly ever missed a game no matter what was going on. James was very generous when it came to his time as he was always willing to lend a hand to someone in need. James had a warm heart and always rooted for the underdog, even if he didn’t know that person. He will be remembered as a very joyful, loving, and compassionate man.

It goes without saying that James was deeply loved and “one of a kind” to his family and friends. He will forever be missed by all who loved him.

James was the beloved husband of the late Norma T. (Belliveau) Busby, devoted father of Karen Diorio and her husband Jerry of Auburn, NH and James R. Busby Jr. and his wife Susan of Wilmington, loving grandfather of Kristen and Jason Diorio, Jamie, Katie, and Sarah Busby. He was the cherished son of the late George and Elizabeth (Doherty) Busby, dear brother of Elizabeth “Betty” Ober of Woburn, William “Billy” Busby of Nashua, NH, George Busby of Melrose, Robert “Bobby” Busby of Quincy, and the late Christine Viccario of Somerville, and Catherine “Kay”Hayden of Woburn. James is further survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc. 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Monday, September 23rd 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 at the Funeral Home on Sunday, September 22nd from 4-8 p.m.

Barbara L. (Meikle) Stratton

September 18th, 2013

Barbara L. (Meikle) Stratton, age 86, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully at home on September 18, 2013. Barbara was born on December 16, 1926 in Hamden, CT. She attended the University of Connecticut before moving to Chicago, IL where she worked as a buyer for Plax Corporation.

She met her husband Robert in 1953 and they were engaged by the end of the year and married in June of 1954 in Connecticut.  They were married for 58 years.

In 1963 they moved to Michigan, where Barbara was a Market Researcher, and she remained in that occupation following their move to Wilmington, MA in 1971. She later became a representative for Creative Memories and gave workshops and classes on photo album design. Barbara also started and ran several creative endeavors, including production of artistic hand-painted bells and hand-knitted scarves. Following her retirement, Barbara authored a collection of poetry titled “A Taste of Honey”, and served as an editor for Big Table Publishing Company and Boston Literary Magazine.

Barbara was known for her sense of humor and her love of dogs. She enjoyed spending time with her family, sitting by the pool in the hot sun drinking coffee, and doing jigsaw puzzles on line.

Her husband Robert passed away in March of 2013. Barbara leaves behind her loving close family: son James Stratton and his wife Roberta of Chelmsford and their son Robert, son Richard Stratton and his wife Cindi of Hudson, NH and their children Christopher and Courtney, and daughter Robin Stratton of Newton.

Visiting hours will be Friday, September 20th  from 5 – 7 pm at Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave (Route 62) Wilmington. Funeral services will be held privately.

Edith C. (Mondi) Miller

September 18th, 2013

Edith C. (Mondi) Miller, age 83, of Londonderry, NH, formerly of Ft. Myers Beach, FL and Wilmington, MA, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Tuesday, September 17, 2013. 

Edith was born in Boston, MA, on January 3, 1930, she was the dear daughter of the late Antonio and Josephine (Previte) Mondi.  

Edith was the beloved wife of Thomas Miller for over 54 years before his passing in 2011.  Edith and Tom raised a wonderful family and made countless memories to share for generations to come.   Family was first and foremost to Edith, she was a talented seamstress, an excellent cook, and baker; there was always room at Edith’s table, she welcomed everyone.  Edith will be forever remembered for her “world famous” meatballs, brownies, and pecan tarts. 

Edith enjoyed every minute spent with her family and friends; she loved to host family celebrations and always made holidays special.  Edith also had a competitive side, she was always up for a good game of scrabble and was affectionately known as the “scrabble queen”.   Edith’s unconditional love for her family and friends was always evident, she was always willing to give a hand or lend an ear whenever she could, Edith was quite a “lady” and will be greatly missed by all.  

Edith was the beloved wife of 54 years to the late Thomas F. Miller, devoted mother of Thomas A. Miller and his wife Medora of Wilmington, Toni-Ann Butler and her husband James of Londonderry, NH and Gary A. Miller and his wife Maryanne of, Rochester, MN, loving “Gigi” of Paige, Bo, Tom, Jake, Matthew, Caroline and Kirsten and great grandchildren Summer and Sawyer.  Edith was the cherished daughter of the late Antonio and Josephine (Previte) Mondi, dear sister of Nino Mondi and his wife Ellen of Henderson, NV, Robert Mondi and his wife Kathy of Mico, FL, Maye Carr of Hemet, CA, the late Dominic Mondi, Russell “Sonny” Mondi, and Josephine Crivello.  Edith is survived by her sister-in-law Ingrid Mondi as well as many nieces and nephews.  

 A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, September 21st at 12:00 noon in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA.  She will be laid to rest with her husband on Monday, September 23rd at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, NH. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Amedisys Hospice of Londonderry, 1E Commons Drive, Unit 33, Londonderry, NH  03053.  Arrangements under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington.

Helen L. (Cutter) Dacey

September 15th, 2013

 Helen Louise (Cutter) Dacey, age 94, a life-long resident of Wilmington, died peacefully on September 14, 2013, at Woodbriar of Wilmington.   

 Helen was born at home in Wilmington on May 9, 1919, to Henry Huse Cutter, Sr. and Letitia Mae (Purington) Cutter.   Helen led a full life, which included her job as a Registered Nurse in California, at the Winchester Hospital, private practice, and finally at the Tewksbury State Hospital before retiring.  

Helen was a long time member of the Wilmington United Methodist Church.  Helen was a very active member of the “Widows Group” and one of her church’s prayer circles.  

After retiring, Helen took up golf and square dancing but she eventually gave them up when her health declined.   In later years she enjoyed slow dancing, exercising with the Wilmington seniors, and she volunteered at A.I.M.   Helen will be fondly remembered for her warm personality and always a smile, she will be missed by all.

Helen was the beloved wife of the late Frederick Francis Dacey, Jr., devoted mother of Frederick F. Dacey III of Wilmington, cherished daughter of the late Henry Huse Cutter and Letitia Mae (Purington) Cutter, dear sister of Charlotte Purington Gillchrest of Marietta, SC, the Late Harry Joshua Cutter, Herbert Warren Cutter, Mildred Alice Darling, Arthur Eugene Cutter, Edith Letitia Scott, Dorothy Irene Gillespie, and Henry Huse Cutter, Jr.

  Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service on Saturday, September 21st, at 10:00 a.m. in the Wilmington United Methodist Church, 87 Church St., Wilmington.  Interment to follow in the family lot at Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.    Visiting hours will be held at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, September 20th from 2:00–4:00 & 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Memorial donations in Helens name may be made to the Oncology Department, C/O Winchester Hospital Foundation, 611 Main St., Winchester, MA  01890. 

Frederick R. Perry

September 14th, 2013

Frederick R. Perry, age 81, of Wilmington, died peacefully following a brief illness on September 14, 2013, at the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.

Fred was born in Boston, MA, on January 30,1932, he was the cherished son of the late Frederick and Florence (Baldwin) Perry. Fred was raised in Medford, MA and was a graduate of Medford High School.

Fred married his “sweetheart” Margaret “Peggy” Wise in 1955 and the couple moved to Wilmington in 1960, where they raised their four children. Fred had his own plastering business with his knowledge and hard work ethic, Fred soon had a growing business. Fred was a perfectionist when it came to plastering, he always did an excellent job and had many clients that counted on him throughout the years. While Fred worked hard during the day, he also attended Northeastern University in Boston at night to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and took classes at Boston Architectural School.

When Fred finished his degree he took a position at Bond Brothers Construction Company in Everett as a structural engineer. Fred was a dedicated and well liked employee and was very proud of his many projects throughout New England.

Fred was known to be an avid skier and he also loved sailing. Fred was on the ocean or  the lakes with his family and friends whenever he could find the time. Fred was very proud of the “home” he built in New Hampshire and spent countless weekends enjoying Lake Winnipesaukee over the years.

Fred had many talents, he could fix just about anything and was always willing to give someone a hand. Fred had a “green thumb” when it came to gardening , always experimenting with vegetables, flowers and seeds; throughout his yard.

Fred will be fondly remembered as hardworking, helpful, caring, and most of all for his devotion to his family and friends. He had a gift for telling stories and enjoyed expressing himself with his many personal proverbs. He was larger than life in size and spirit and he will be dearly missed by all those who knew and loved him.

Fred was the beloved husband of Margaret “Peggy” (Wise) Perry, devoted father of Frederick Perry& his companion Linda Hamilton of Bridgton, ME, Linda Perry-Garnett of Anchorage, AK, Cindy Perry and her husband Larry Peck of Bend, OR, and Dr. John Perry of North Yarmouth, ME, father-in-law of Maureen Perry of North Yarmouth, ME, loving “Grampy” of Marc Garnett, Elizabeth, Matthew, Christopher, and Nicole Perry, and Victoria Peck, cherished son of the late Frederick and Florence (Baldwin) Perry, dear brother of the late Catherine Skiffington. Fred is also survived by several brothers and sisters-in-law as well as many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Wednesday, September 18th at 10:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Tuesday, September 17th from 4-8 p.m. Memorial donations in Frederick’s name may be made to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02114.

Leo J. McVicker

September 12th, 2013

Leo J. McVicker, of Juno, Florida, formerly of Wilmington, MA, died August 12, 2013 at the Waterford Health Center in Juno Beach, Florida after a long illness.  He was 84 years old.

Born in Malden, MA on March 17, 1929 was a long time resident of Wilmington, MA, where he was a successful insurance agent and active member of Rotary International and St. Dorothy’s Church.

Mr. McVicker is predeceased by his mother, Marie, his brother Robert and his daughter Marie Jeanne. He is survived by his wife Ernestine “Bidou” McVicker, his son, Robert L. McVicker, Roberts wife, Kathleen, of Amesbury, his daughter Katherine McVicker Hoffmann of Reading son-in-law Gregory M. Mundie of North Palm Beach, FL, husband of Marie Jeanne, grandchildren are Zachary William McVicker, Marisa Ruth McVicker, Rachel Marie Hoffmann, Julia Christina Hoffmann, Colin Gregory Mundie, and Evan Andrew Mundie.

Family and friends will gather for a Graveside Service on Saturday, September 21st at 11:00 a.m. in the Wildwood Cemetery, Wildwood Street, Wilmington.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, should be sent to St. Paul of the Cross OR, Hospice of Palm Beach County, 5300 East Ave., West Palm Beach, FL 33407.

Arrangements under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., Wilmington. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Donna J. (Avey) Gosnell

September 11th, 2013

Donna J. (Avey) Gosnell, age 64, of Wilmington, died unexpectedly on September 10, 2013, at the Winchester Hospital.

Donna was born in Somerville, MA, on October 30, 1948, she was the cherished daughter of the late Bernard and Arline (Murray) Avey.  She was raised and educated in Somerville and a graduate of Somerville High School.

Donna married the “love of her life” Thomas D. Gosnell in 1968, following his return from active duty in the Navy.  The couple lived in Somerville for several years before moving to Wilmington in 1973, where they raised their wonderful children.  Donna loved her family unconditionally; she was a devoted wife for more than 40 years and an “awesome mother”.  Donna enjoyed family holidays, celebrations, and just “hanging out” at home.  When Donna became a “Nana” she cherished that role, she treasured the time spent with her grandchildren, and was anxiously awaiting the birth of her new granddaughter due this December.

Donna was a hard worker, she spent many years as the Assistant Manager for the Lowell Five Bank and more recently she was employed at Lahey Clinic.  Donna’s pleasant and friendly personality always made her customers feel welcomed.

In her spare time, Donna loved to read, go to bingo and Foxwoods, go shopping, and she enjoyed dinner out with family and friends.  Donna was well known for her “sweet tooth”, always sharing her treats.

Donna will be fondly remembered for her devotion to her family and friends, she was sweet, caring, loving, and will be greatly missed by all.

Donna was the beloved wife of the late Thomas D. Gosnell, Sr., devoted mother of Thomas D. Gosnell, Jr. and his wife Betty of Columbus, NC, Laura J. Holmes and her husband Robert E. III, of Wilmington, and David M. Gosnell of North Reading.  Loving “Nana” of Samantha, Angela, and Thomas D. Gosnell III, Kendra Scott, and Kassandra Walsh, “Great Nana” of Dylan Gosnell, dear sister of Bernard Avey, Jr. and his wife Janice of Burlington, Donna is also survived survived by many nieces, nephews, dear friends and neighbors.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, September 13th for Visitation from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.  Immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 2:00 p.m.  Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.  Memorial donations in Donna’s name may be made to the Joslin Diabetes Center, Attn:  Development Office, 1 Joslin Place, Boston, MA  02215.

William Kennedy

September 9th, 2013

William Frederick Kennedy, 70, of East Palatka FL and Billerica, MA, formerly of Wilmington, MA, passed away September 8, 2013 peacefully at his home overlooking the St. John river. Bill graduated from Wilmington High School and apprenticed at Boston Naval Shipyard as a refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic.  He studied at Wentworth Institute of Design and Northeastern. Bill was employed by the Polaroid Corporation for thirty years and proudly worked his way up to Principal Engineer. He was a technical specialist for all Polaroid sites and taught the HVAC Technical Specialist Program and later the apprentices at the Naval Shipyard. He also taught at Wentworth Institute.He received awards for innovative design and Best Manufacturing Practices for refrigeration. Bill retired in 1999. An avid mechanic, his hobbies included fishing, motorcycles, cars, tinkering, sailing and boating. Bill was generous and always willing to lend a hand. He spent time helping friends repair cars and all things mechanical and was known to stop and help individuals with car or boat trouble. Bill had a sharp wit, strong opinions and enjoyed debating politics – he was always right. He was supported by and supported many as a friend of Bill W. Bill is survived by loving companion, Barbara Avery of East Palatka, FL and daughters Amy L. Kennedy of Sudbury, MA and Jennifer A. Kennedy of Napa, CA. He leaves his son-in-law David Sette-Ducati, and grandsons Owen William Sette-Ducati and Jack Dominic Sette-Ducati of Sudbury, MA and Jennifer’s longtime companion Carlos Barreda of Napa, CA. He leaves a sister Judith West of Colee Cove, FL and several nieces and a nephew. He is preceded in death by sister Rhonda Jacobs; mother Lillian Dorothea Kelly and father Ronald Kennedy. He is also survived by his sweet dog, Onyx. Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc.,187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Saturday, September 14th for Visitation from 10-11 a.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Home for Little Wanderers, Development Department, 271 Huntington Ave., 2nd Floor Boston, MA 02115 or the ASPCA Gift Processing Center, PO Box 96929, Washington, DC  20077-7127. www.nicholsfunerlhome.com

John “Jack” Martyn

September 9th, 2013

John A. (Jack) Martyn, September 8, 2013, of Wilmington, MA, formerly of Galway, Ireland. Cherished husband of Mary (Mannion) Martyn. Beloved father of Douglas and his wife Elisa of North Andover, Rory and his wife Christine of North Andover, Rosemarie Turner and her husband Stephen of Wayland, and Jill and her husband Dean Foulis of Cambridge. Treasured grandfather of Katrina and Deirdre Martyn, Rory Sean and Keely Martyn, Bryce and Margot Turner. Brother of Christopher,Terence, and the late Patrick, Brian, James, Joan, and Myra, all of Galway. Loved by numerous friends and family members in Germany, England, Ireland, Canada, and the Boston area. Jack was a family man, a dear friend to many, an avid reader, and a history buff. He loved to travel and had recently returned from a trip to his hometown of Galway with all his family. Jack was proprietor of M & M Continental Auto Service in Brookline.
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Friday, September 13th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, at 10:00 a.m. Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Thursday, September 12th from 4-8 p.m. Memorial donations may be made in Jack’s memory to Wounded Warrior Project: www.woundedwarriorproject.org,P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.