Obituaries

Gertrude F. Donovan

September 13th, 2012

Gertrude Frances Donovan, 87, of Wilmington, MA, died Wednesday, September 12, 2012, at the Carroll Hospice Dove House in Westminster, MD.  Born August 1, 1925 in Wilmington, MA she was the daughter of the late Susan Fogwill Donovan and Joseph Irving Donovan, Sr.

She graduated from Wilmington High School in 1944.  Before retiring she worked at Employers Fire Insurance Co. which became Commercial Union Insurance Co. now known as Beacon One in Boston for over 40 years.  She was a member of the Congregational Church of Wilmington, Iris Society, volunteer at A.I.M., avid painter, gardener, and enjoyed birds, cats, and dogs.

She was predeceased by her brothers Joseph I. Donovan, Jr. and Martin Donovan.  She is survived by her nephews Joseph I.. Donovan III and his wife Linda of Boonsboro, Steve Donovan and his wife Debbie of Rexford, NY, Mark Donovan, niece Elaine Conover and her husband George of Westminster, MD, also survived by great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, with Rev. Russell Kent officiating.

Friends may call at the funeral home on Sunday from 2:00 p.m. until time of service.
A graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 17th in Wildwood Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to A.I.M., c/o Frank Sferrazza, 31 Fairmeadow Road, Wilmington, MA 01887.  www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

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G. Ruth (Mollison) Pine

September 4th, 2012

G. Ruth (Mollison) Pine, age 87, a resident of Wilmington for over 60 years, died on Sunday, September 3, 2012, at the Winchester Hospital with her family at her side.

Ruth was born on April 6, 1925, in Chatham Head, New Brunswick, Canada, she was the cherished only child of Percy and Janet (McAndrew) Mollison.  Ruth moved to the United States at the age of 5 and settled with her family in Somerville, MA.  Ruth was a graduate of Somerville High School with the Class of 1943; she continued her education at Chandler Business School in Boston where she studied secretarial courses and also took courses at Boston University.  Ruth was always willing to learn new things and her thirst for reading and learning lasted throughout her lifetime.

Ruth volunteered at the Regional Health Center in Wilmington before she took a position doing administrative work for the hospital.  She retired following many years of dedicated service to the Health Center and the patients.

Ruth married the “love of her life” Harry B. Pine in 1948, celebrating over 61 years of marriage before his passing in September of 2009.  Ruth and Harry built their own home in Wilmington; they started the project in 1947 and completed it shortly after their wedding and moved right in.
Ruth and Harry loved living in Wilmington and took great pride in their home and their family.   Ruth loved flowers and was an avid gardener, her hard work and beautiful gardens were all over their yard.

Ruth cherished being a mother and a grandmother, she was proud of her family and all of their accomplishments.  Ruth enjoyed family celebrations and holidays; Christmas was her favorite.
Ruth’s other talents included cooking, baking, and making her famous Faberge egg shell ornaments; Ruth took great care to make each ornament different and special and she gave them away to all of her family and friends.

Ruth will be remembered for her kindness and giving ways, she unselfishly took care of her mom for many years and made her life easier in her later years.  Ruth was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, good neighbor and a true friend and could be counted on whenever someone need her.  She was a wonderful lady and will be truly missed.

Ruth was the beloved wife of the late Harry B. Pine, devoted mother of Linda J. Brunelle and her husband James, and Barton H. Pine and his long time companion Sharen Petersen, loving “Nana” of Jennifer, Ashley, Aubrey, Ethan, and Abigail, dear niece of Helen Titley of Lachute, Quebec, Canada, and is further survived by several cousins and many friends.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Saturday, September 8th for Visitation from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 10:30 a.m.  Interment will follow in the family lot at Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

Mary E. (Flaherty) Lipski

September 4th, 2012

Mary E. (Flaherty) Lipski, age 87, of Wilmington, died peacefully on September 1, 2012, at the Kaplan Hospice House in Danvers.

Mary was born and raised in South Boston, MA, she was the beloved daughter of Michael and Catherine (Sullivan) Flaherty who immigrated from Ireland in the early 1920’s and Mary was always proud of her Irish Heritage.

Mary married her sweetheart Victor Lipski at the Gate of Heavens Church in South Boston in 1951 and soon after the couple moved to Wilmington.

Mary became very active in St. Thomas of Villanova Church in Wilmington where she taught CCD for many years.  Mary also started working at the Wilmington Senior Center in 1988 and stayed active there for over 21 years before her declining health forced her to retire.  Mary was always very pleasant and friendly, greeting everyone who came through the doors of the Senior Center.

In her spare time, Mary enjoyed reading, going to the beach, and visiting yard sales with her friends, they were always sure to have a good time no matter what they were doing.

Mary loved being a wife and a mother, she was very devoted to her family and when her granddaughters were born, Mary was elated; they were a bright light in her life and she loved them dearly.  Mary will be remembered as a very kind, caring, and gentle women who will be truly missed.

Mary was the beloved wife of the late W. Victor Lipski, devoted mother of Matt Lipski and his wife Bridget of Wilmington and the late Richard Lipski, loving “Nana” of Madelyn and Paige Lipski, dear daughter of the late Michael and Catherine (Sullivan) Flaherty, sister of the late Michael Flaherty and Catherine Goreczny, sister-in-law of Elmer Goreczny of South Boston.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Friday, September 7th at 10:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 11:30 a.m.  Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.  Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, September 6th from 4-8 p.m.  Memorial donations in Mary’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 311 Arsenal St., Watertown, MA 02472.

Joan F. (Brown) Swisher

September 2nd, 2012

Joan F. (Brown) Swisher, age 85, of Merrimack, NH, formerly a long-time resident of Wilmington, died peacefully surrounded by her family on September 1, 2012.

Joan was born on December 28, 1926, in Medford, MA.  She was the daughter of the late John and Rose (Lavery) Brown.  She was raised and educated in Medford and a graduate of Medford High School with the class of 1944.

Joan met the love of her life Kenneth Swisher; following a brief courtship the couple married on September 4, 1950, celebrating nearly 62 years of marriage.  Joan and Ken had a wonderful life together, raising a beautiful family while creating many happy memories for their family to share for generations to come.

Following their marriage, Joan and Ken moved to his homestate of Michigan for a brief period before Joan became “homesick” and the couple returned to her New England roots to be closer to family.  Joan and Ken moved to Wilmington in 1955 and resided there until 1993.  While in Wilmington, Joan was an active member of St. Thomas of Villanova Church, she was part of the Ladies Sodality, and a member of the Catholic Daughter’s.

In their later years, Joan was a “snow bird” spending the winter months in Florida with her husband Ken.  The couple finally retired to Florida but returned back to New England again in 2005 to be closer to their children and their grandchildren, settling in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

She loved to travel and enjoyed countless vacations and cruises with her family and friends.  Joan and Ken traveled all over the United States and visited Hawaii and Alaska several times.  Always being up for an adventure, she and Ken visited Sturgis, South Dakota on one of their many trips not realizing it was “Biker Week”. The couple mingled with the bikers and even had to “camp out” in their car with the group because there was not a hotel room available for 150 miles. They made the best of it and had a great time.   Joan loved people and could make friends wherever she went.

In her spare time, she loved to do ceramics and she was a great baker; whoopie pies were her specialty.  She was very adept at  “word search” and “crossword puzzles”, completing thousands over the years.

Holidays were a special time for her, especially Christmas, when she would display her incredible snow man collection and make everything special for her family.

Joan was a wonderful woman and very devoted to her family and friends; she was always there for anyone in need, to lend a hand or an ear.  She was talented, friendly, fun, and most of all loving.  She was quite a lady and will be truly missed by many.

Joan was the beloved wife of nearly 62 years to Kenneth W. Swisher, devoted mother of Jane T. Cannizaro and her husband Richard of Wilmington, Timothy M. Swisher and his wife Janet of Merrimack, NH, Robert M. Swisher and his wife Patricia of Newbury, MA, Stephen M. Swisher and Paula Crete of Derry, NH, Louise J. DePiano and her husband John of Burlington, and the late James J. Swisher, loving “Grammy”of Brian Cannizaro, Marc Cannizaro and his wife Kate, Dawn Monteiro and her husband Alex, Michael Swisher and his wife Ruth, Elizabeth Derderian and her husband Mike, David Swisher, Nathan Swisher and his wife Amy, Ryan Swisher, the late Lauren Swisher, Brandon Swisher and his wife Greta, Anne Swisher, Stephanie Beaulieu and her husband Eric, Mary Jane McGregor and her husband Kevin, Kenneth Swisher, Amy Swisher and her fiancé Mike Atkins, Daniel DePiano, Nicole DePiano, and Janelle DePiano, and “Great-Grammy” of Kristen, Kelly, Ashlee, A.J., Everett, Lincoln, Silas, Emmaline, Katherine, Julianna, Edison, Greta and Maryjane.  Sister of Elizabeth Rizzo of Weymouth, Patricia Valentine of Peabody, and the late Eleanor Rizzo of Braintree.  Joan is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, September 5th for Visiting Hours from 4-8 p.m. Immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 8:00 p.m.  Interment will be held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers donations in Joan’s memory may be made to the Community Hospice House, 210 Naticook Road, Merrimack, NH 03054 or to Rosie’s Place, 889 Harrison Avenue  Boston, MA 02118.

Patricia M. (Wall) Hennigar

August 28th, 2012

Patricia M. (Wall) Hennigar, age 53, of Yarmouthport, formerly of Dover and Burlington, died unexpectedly August 24, 2012.  Paddy was born in Natick, on January 26, 1959, she was the dear daughter of Anne (Sullivan) Kelleher of So. Yarmouth and the late Edward Wall.
Paddy is survived by her daughters Lindsay A. Palmer & her husband James of Florida and Shannon J. Hennigar of Reading, her grandchildren Jacob & Andrew, and her former husband Andrew Hennigar of Reading, she was the sister of Joanne Clancy and her husband Jack of Dover, Karen Wall of Georgia, Ted Wall of Virginia, Michael Wall and his wife Laurie of Brewster, and Billy Wall and his wife Brenda of Berkeley.  Aunt of Patrick, Sarah, Gregory, Joe, Aileen, Mallory, Riley, Brianna, Julia, Michelle, Sharon, Tracey, Shane, and Jenna, daughter-in-law of  Jill and the late Dana Hennigar of Reading, sister-in-law of Lisa Kelly and her husband Michael of Burlington, Billy Hennigar of Reading, and Sandra Dalton and her husband Danny of Newbury.
A Memorial Mas for Paddy will be celebrated on Saturday, September 8th at 11:00 a.m. in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn Street, Burlington, MA.  In lieu of flowers donations in Paddy’s name may be made to the MSPCA, 350 South Huntington Ave., Boston, MA  02130.

Patricia M. (Rooney) Hill

August 26th, 2012

Patricia M. (Rooney) Hill, age 73, of Wilmington, formerly of Tewksbury, died peacefully at home surrounded by her family on August 26, 2012.

Pat was born on January 21, 1939, in Lowell, MA.  She was the daughter of the late Patrick and Annie (Patterson) Rooney and the youngest of seven siblings.  Pat was raised and educated in Wilmington and was a graduate of Wilmington High School with the class of 1956.

Pat married Edward C. Hill in 1957 and the couple moved to Tewksbury where they lived for nearly 30 years and raised their children. Pat loved being a mother, she was very involved in her children’s lives from school and sporting events to extra-curricular activities Pat was always there to lend support.  She was very proud of her family.

“Family” was something that was not taken lightly where Pat was concerned.  She loved her family and extended family unconditionally. Pat was so excited when she became a “Nana.”  When she talked of her grandchildren you could see the smile all over her face.  They were a bright light in her life, and she cherished every moment she spent with them.

Family holidays and vacations were always an adventure, and Pat believed “the more the merrier.” Pat loved to decorate the house inside and out for every holiday.  Halloween was her favorite, and most of the time she was the one to dress up and have fun with the kids. Pat’s family has many fond memories of summers on Plum Island at the family cottage, Hampton Beach, and the many cruises that were taken with family and friends.

Pat had an incredible work ethic and was very organized.  She and her husband founded Hill Real Estate in Tewksbury at which they worked for many years. Pat was always helpful and friendly, and she had a good rapport with the clients. Pat also enjoyed being involved in building houses, doing the landscape, and sub-contracting.  She was surely a multi-tasker in every way.

Pat was a giver, and if you needed help Pat could always be counted on to lend a hand.  She had endless energy, and she was willing to share whatever she had. Pat was extremely friendly, and no one was a stranger for long.  She made many friends over the years wherever she went.  Pat will be fondly remembered for her kindness, her caring ways, and her unwavering devotion to her family and friends. She will be greatly missed.

Patricia was the wife of Edward C. Hill, devoted mother of Eddie Hill, Jr. of Newburyport, Patty Cushing and her husband Larry of Wilmington, Tommy Hill of Rockport, Ann Arsenault of Colorado, Mary Sullivan and her husband Marty of Arizona, Elaine Raposa and her husband Greg, and Susan Aja all of Newburyport, and the late Joseph Leahy Hill. Loving “Nana” of Christie, Eddie, Courtney, Joseph and Caitlin Hill, Patrick, Lauren, Peter, and Thomas Cushing, Karoline and Stephanie Hill, Katie Arsenault, Kelly, Kyle, Kevin, Keith, Kimberly, Kathryn, Kristen, Kameron, and Kara Sullivan, Joshua, Tyler, and Zachery Raposa, Max and Wes Aja, and great-grandchildren Reese Beauparlant, Jayme Hill, and Sophia Del Plato, daughter of the late Patrick and Annie (Patterson) Rooney, sister of Mary Pilcher of Tewksbury, Alice Sullivan of Wilmington, Margaret Hansen of Whittier, CA, Daniel Rooney of New Hampshire, Gerald Rooney of Acushnet, and the late Martha Gray, Patricia is also survived by many brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.

Family & friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, August 30th at 10:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Dorothy’s Church, Main St., Wilmington at 11:00 a.m. Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, August 29th from 4-8 p.m.

Eunice (Brown) McGriff

August 21st, 2012

Mrs. Eunice (Brown) McGriff, of Wilmington, MA, formerly a long-time resident of Washington, PA, died peacefully on August 19, 2012, at the Wilmington Healthcare Center, she was 99 years of age.

Eunice was born on October 31, 1912, in Stanton, Virginia, she was the dear daughter of the late William and Fannie (Rhodes) Brown.  Her given name was Maryla Eunice Magdaline Brown. After spending the majority of her life in Washington Pennsylvania She relocated to Wilmington four years ago to be closer to her son and his family.

While in Pennsylvania, Eunice worked as a Nurse’s Aide in the Nursery at Washington Hospital.  Eunice loved children, she was very kind, compassionate, and soothing to the new babies, as well as their parents.

Eunice was a woman of great faith, she was very involved in her Pennsylvania church, enjoyed the gospel music and Eunice not only prayed for herself, but she sent out countless prayers for those she loved as evident by her “well worn” bible . She also enjoyed playing the organ, and doing crossword puzzles.

Family was very important to Eunice and she enjoyed the time they spent together.  She is survived by her only son Robert Brown and his wife Joyce of Wilmington, her grandchildren Peter Brown, Aaron Brown and his wife Carole, Barbette Brown, and Amy Whalen and her husband John, her great-grandchildren Aaron, Joseph, Tabitha, Alelia, and Alexa, her great-great-grandchildren Gianna, Angelo, Joey, Sophia, Dominick, Jacolby, Jordon, and soon to be great-great-granddaughter Savannah Sky.  Eunice was the sister of the late Lorenzo, William, James, and Lucy Brown, and aunt of Gloria Thomas, Thelma Russell, and their families in Pennsylvania.

Family and friends will gather for a Graveside Service on Wednesday, August 22nd at 12:00 noon in the Wildwood Cemetery, Wildwood Street, Wilmington.  Memorial donations in Eunice’s name may be made to the Wilmington Healthcare Center, Resident Council Fund, 750 Woburn St., Wilmington, MA 01887.  Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., Wilmington.

Diane J. Sawyer

August 21st, 2012

Diane J. (Rossi) Sawyer, age 69, of Wilmington, died unexpectedly on August 18, 2012.
Diane was born on August 21, 1942; the dear daughter of the late Arthur and Eleanor Rossi.  Diane was raised and educated in Cambridge and was a graduate of Cambridge High School.  Diane continued her education through an internship at Children’s Hospital in Boston and earned her Nursing Degree.

Diane worked as a nurse at Children’s Hospital where she was extremely dedicated and kind to her patients and a faithful employee for many years.  Prior to retiring, Diane worked as a private care nurse at Carleton-Willard Village in Bedford for eight years.

Diane married Victor Sawyer on December 16, 1962, they celebrated nearly 50 years of marriage raised a beautiful family, and created wonderful memories to last for years to come.
Family was very important to Diane, they did everything together; she especially enjoyed family vacations, trips to Rockport and the ocean, fishing, camping, spending time with her furgrandchild Calvin and going “out to dinner”, that was her favorite.

Diane was also a woman of great faith and strength, she was a devoted member of the Grace Community in her earlier years, the Wilmington Baptist Church, and most recently the Martin’s Pond Union Baptist Church.  Diane was very religious and was a strong member of her Bible Class every Wednesday night with her friends at the Abundant Life Christian Church.  It was with this great faith that she was able to continue living and giving of herself when she endured life’s adversities.

Diane will be fondly remembered as a kind, caring, generous, and let’s not forget feisty.  She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and a true friend to many.  She will be greatly missed.

Diane was the beloved wife of Victor G. Sawyer, devoted mother of Jimmy Sawyer and his wife Sarah of Wilmington, the late Linda, Lisa, and Laurie Sawyer, loving “Nana” of Ryan Webster Sawyer, dear daughter of the late Arthur and Eleanor Rossi, sister of the late Elaine Hamilton.

Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service on Friday, August 24th at 11:00 a.m. in the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington.  Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.  Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, August 23rd from 5-9 p.m.  Memorial donations in Diane’s name may be made to the Children’s Hospital, c/o Children’s Hospital Trust, 1 Autumn St. #731, Boston, MA 02215-5301.

Minnie (Butt) Kirby

August 19th, 2012

Minnie Butt Kirby, 97, died peacefully Friday, Aug. 17 in DeSoto, Kan., with her family by her side. Beloved by all who knew her for her cheerful disposition, she enjoyed nothing more than spending time with her friends and family and serving them a nice cup of tea and a homemade bun.

She was born in Flat Rock, Newfoundland, on Aug. 5, 1915 to William James Butt and Evelyn Moores Butt. In 1939, she married E. Cecil Kirby, and in 1948, after losing one child, they moved with their infant son to Massachusetts. After her husband died in 1970, she continued to live in the home he built in Wilmington, working at Avco for several years and serving as an active member of the Wilmington United Methodist Church. She lived there independently until 2002, when she moved to Kansas to be near her son.

She was preceded in death by her husband, E. Cecil Kirby, her son Donald Edward Kirby, and her siblings, George Edward Butt, Cicely Butt Wareham, Ethel May Butt Legrow, Winifred Butt Taylor, her twin sister, Druscilla Butt Day, Louise Butt, Florence Butt, and eight half-siblings.

She is survived by her son William Bruce Kirby and daughter-in-law, Judith Kirby, of Kansas City, Mo.; granddaughter Nicole Kirby of Kansas City, Mo.; granddaughter Adrienne Kirby Egger and her husband, Alex Egger, and two sons, Lukas and Alexander Maier, of Salzburg, Austria; granddaughter Lauren Kirby of Hyderabad, India; sister-in-law Marjorie Kelloway Kirby of Carbonear, Newfoundland; brother-in-law Don Kirby and his wife, Minnie Kirby, of Wilmington, Mass.; and nieces and nephews in the US and Canada.

Those from this area include nephew Paul Butt and his wife; great niece Karen Butt; great niece Kristen Butt May and her husband and children; great nephew John Butt and his wife and children; niece Joan Tuxbury; great niece Carolyn Tuxbury Pensavelli and her husband and children; great nephew Scott Tuxbury and his wife and children; niece Donna Kirby Milley; great nephews Ross, Brad and Kevin Milley; nephew Wayne Kirby and his wife; and great nieces Cassandra and Julianne Kirby.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, August 22nd for Visitation from 9-10 a.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 10:00 a.m.  Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

Elliott B. Blaisdell

August 16th, 2012

Elliott B. Blaisdell, age 101, of North Chelmsford, formerly of Wilmington and Tewksbury, died peacefully on August 15, 2012.  Elliott was the beloved father of Roy Blaisdell of Nashua, NH and Laurel Blaisdell-Greeley of Lithica, MD formerly of Tewksbury, dear son of the late Charles and Arabell (Clossen) Blaisdell and the last of seven siblings.
Family and friends will gather for a Graveside Service on Monday, August 20th at 1:00 p.m. in Wildwood Cemetery, Wildwood St., Wilmington.  In lieu of flowers donations in Elliott’s name may be made to the American Heart Association, 20 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701.  Elliott was a U. S. Navy Veteran during WWII and the former owner of Blaisdell Transportation and Blaisdell Oil Companies.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington, MA.