Obituaries

Eastman, Merle

September 5th, 2010

Merle C. Eastman, Jr., age 73, of Wilmington, died unexpectedly, September 5, 2010, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

Born on May 24, 1937 in Cambridge, MA, Merle was the cherished son of the late Merle C., Sr. and Almina (Silva) Eastman. Merle grew up in Arlington, MA and was a graduate of Arlington High School.

Merle married Marlene Russo on June 8, 1958, together they celebrated 53 wonderful years and raised three great children. Merle and Marlene moved to Wilmington in the early 1960’s and Merle became a call fireman for the Wilmington Fire Department, serving his community for many years.

Prior to retiring, Merle was a machinist and master craftsman for GTE Sylvania Company and owned his own burner service company called Eastman’s Oil Burner Service for over 10 years.

Merle also enjoyed teaching at the Peterson School in Woburn, where he was instrumental in molding young repairmen, by showing them a good work ethic, how to treat customers, and how to properly repair oil burners.

Merle was also an active Mason, belonging to the Good Samaritan Masonic Lodge in Reading, where he continued to give back to his community and do for others.

Merle will be fondly remembered as a “Jack of all trades”, tinkering with carpentry, plumbing, electrical, or any other job, there wasn’t anything that Merle wouldn’t try.

In his spare time, Merle enjoyed boating, traveling with family and friends to Aruba and especially to Naples, Maine, his and Marlene’s favorite spot for over 53 years.

Merle’s greatest joy was his family, he was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather, they were the center of his universe, and they will miss him dearly.

Merle was the beloved husband of 53 years to Marlene (Russo) Eastman, devoted father of Audrey M. Golden and her husband Robert, Merle C. Eastman III and his wife Karen all of Attleboro, and Jeanne M. Johnson and her husband Rich of Derry, NH, loving grandfather of Keith Golden and his wife Susie, Andrew Golden, Courtney Eastman and her fiancé Nikos Anifantis, and Craig Eastman, dear brother of the late Eleanor Mirchev, special uncle of Diane Auger of Manchester, NH and Rod Mirchev of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Merle is further survived by several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visiting hours will be held at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Saturday, September 11th from 2-6 p.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 6:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations in Merle’s name may be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St., Boston, MA 02215 or the American Heart Association, 20 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701.

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Webb, Viola “Vickie”

September 5th, 2010

Viola V. “Vickie” (Yentile) Webb, a life-long resident of Wilmington died unexpectedly at her home on Sunday, September 5, 2010, at the age of 86.

Vickie was born on March 21, 1924, in Arlington, MA, she was the dear daughter of the late Rocco and Rose (D’Agostino) Yentile. Vickie’s family owned and operated a local Wilmington Landmark known as the Yentile Farm or as she referred to it as “The Farm”. Vickie and her family were devoted to their family business and worked very hard to maintain their good reputation.

Vickie was educated in the Wilmington Public School System and was a graduate of Wilmington High School. Following High School she took a job at J. M. Fields Company where she worked her way up to Manager. Vickie’s responsibilities included traveling and setting up new stores all over New England. Vickie was also an Assistant Manager at Caldors Retail Store prior to her retiring and devoting more time at the family farm.

Vickie will be fondly remembered by her family and friends as a strong woman, hard worker, very generous sometimes to a fault, devoted to her family and friends, and most notably a doting grandmother. She will be greatly missed.

Vickie was the beloved wife of the late William Webb, mother of Edward Surprenant and his wife Stacy of Kensington, NH and Dennis Surprenant and his wife Fran of Wilmington, grandmother of Ian Surprenant, the late Dana Surprenant, Sheryl Elliott, Peter Cyrus, and great-grandchildren Michael, Tayla, Madison, Allie, Eddie, Jana, and Jillian, daughter of the late Rocco and Rose Marie (Agostino) Yentile, sister of Vincent Yentile and Rocco Yentile, both of Wilmington, Terry Garey of North Reading, and the late Joseph, Frank, and Samuel Yentile, Vickie was also very special to her niece Lisa Dupont and Lisa’s son the late Daniel Augusto, her dear friend Mary Dillon, Katie (Russo) Surprenant, as well as many other nieces & nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, September 8th at 9:00 followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Thomas Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, September 7th from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Memorial donation’s in Vickie’s name may be made to the American Heart Association, 20 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701.

Stone, Ursula

September 3rd, 2010

Ursula G. (Griesemer) Stone, age 73, of Connecticut & Wilmington, formerly a longtime resident of Somerville, passed away peacefully Friday, September 3, 2010, surrounded by her family at Sawtelle Family Hospice House.

This devoted mother and grandmother leaves behind daughter Mary and her husband Salvatore Santangelo of Connecticut, sons Richard and his wife Toni Stone of Wilmington, Ricky and his wife Anne Stone of Tewksbury, and Patrick Stone and partner Doug Webster of Pepperell, grandchildren Stephen Santangelo, Kim Johansen, Amanda Stone, Kathryn Stone, Ricky Stone, Dylan Stone, Michela Stone, and Brianna Santangelo. She was the cherished daughter of the late Richard and Louise (Schlerth) Griesemer, beloved sister of Manfred Griesemer and his wife Charlene of Maine and Geisla Wiszynski and her husband Eugene of South Carolina.

Family and friends will gather for a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, on Thursday, September 9th at 10:00 a.m.

Memorial donations in Ursula’s name may be made to the Sawtelle Family Hospice House, Community Relations Dept., VNA of Middlesex-East & Visiting Nurse Hospice, 607 North Ave., STE 17, Wakefield, MA 01880.

Coughlin, Lawrence “Vinny”

August 31st, 2010

Lawrence V. “Vinny” Coughlin, age 90, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, formerly of Wilmington, died August 31, 2010.

Husband of the late Marguerite V. (Donovan) Coughlin, father of Donna M. Sellers of Wilmington and Lawrence V. Coughlin, Jr. of Boston, grandfather of Lori Munro & her husband Scott, Alyssa Mahoney, Lawrence V. III, Hayley, Barrie, and Danielle Coughlin, and great-grandchildren Brendan, Makenna, Kyle, Evan, and Jack Munro, son of the late James J. and Kathleen L. (O’Driscoll) Coughlin, brother of K. Louise Lindsay of Beverly, and the late John Coughlin and Marion Coughlin.

Visiting hours will be held at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Thursday, September 2nd from 4-8 p.m. Funeral Home Service of Friday, September 3rd at 11:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

U. S. Navy Veteran WWII.

Vitale, Vincent

August 30th, 2010

Vincent J. Vitale, Jr., age 75, of Wilmington, formerly of Medford, died Monday, August 30, 2010, at the Winchester Hospital following a brief illness.

Vincent was the beloved husband of the late Jean L. (Vecchiarello) Vitale, father of Sandra McKenna & her late husband Jack of Medford, Susan Cummins & her husband John of Arlington, and Marc Caggiano & his wife Rose of Peabody, loving “Papa” of Kevin McKenna, Darlene McKenna, Denise McKenna, Debra Vozikis, John Cummins, Jr., Stacia Cummins, and Tiffany Caggiano, and great-grandchildren Jerry, Jack, Jacob, Zachary and Angelica, son of the late Vincent J., Sr. and Anna (Zolk) Vitale, brother of Joseph Vitale and his wife Alice, Marion Alioto and her husband Frank, Annette Delligatti and her husband Vincent all of Florida and Stephen Vitale and his wife Ann of North Carolina, brother-in-law of John Vecchiarello of Billerica, Richard Vecchiarello of New Hampshire, Leo Vecchiarello of Medford, and the late Nicholas and Eugene Vecchiarello. Vincent is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Funeral from the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, September 1st at 10:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Dorothy’s Church, Main St. (Rte. 38), Wilmington at 11:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

Memorial donations in Vincent’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 311 Arsenal St., Watertown, MA 02472.

McMahon, Viola

August 19th, 2010

Viola J. “Vi” (Biggar) McMahon, age 98 of North Andover, formerly a long-time Wilmington resident, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 19, 2010.

Viola was born on March 6, 1912, in Haverhill, MA, she was the cherished daughter of the late Paul and Hedwig (Hofmann) Biggar. Vi grew up in the Ballardvale section of Andover and was a graduate of the Punchard High School in Andover. Viola continued her education at the Burdett Secretarial School in Boston. Viola was a secretary at an insurance company in Boston for several years before she met and married Bernard P. McMahon on October 12, 1939. Viola and Barney made their home in Wilmington, where they also raised their two sons Peter and Brian. Viola and Barney enjoyed almost 60 years of marriage before his passing in January of 1999.

Viola was very active in the Wilmington Womens Club and the Friends of the Harnden Tavern in Wilmington. In her spare time she enjoyed gardening, especially tending to her beautiful rock gardens that were located around the family home on Floradale Ave.

Viola will be fondly remembered as a devoted wife and mother, she was very soft spoken, sweet, kind, and was always a lady. Viola loved her family and friends deeply and will be greatly missed by all.

Viola was the beloved wife of the late Bernard P. McMahon, devoted mother of Peter F. McMahon & his wife Marlene of North Andover and Brian H. McMahon & his wife Karen of New Jersey, loving grandmother of Christine Eaton & her husband Steven, Michael McMahon & his wife Shannon, Kathleen McMahon, Jennifer McMahon, Sean McMahon, and great-grandchildren Aiden and Soren McMahon, she was also the dear sister of the late Clara Raftery and Ralph Biggar.

Her Funeral Service will take place at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Wednesday, August 25th at 11:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours Tuesday, August 24th from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Viola’s name may be made to the Lazarus House, 229 South Union St., Lawrence, MA 01843.

Santo, Frank

August 12th, 2010

Frank F. Santo, 83, of Wilmington, passed away August 12, surrounded by his family.

Son of the late Joseph Santo. Survived by his loving wife, Grace (Dame), of Wilmington, his son Stephen Henderson and his wife Mary Ann of Norwood, his daughter Louise Henderson-Cain and her husband Edward of North Andover. Grandfather of Laurie Cain-Fichera, and Frank Cain and his wife Rebecca. Great-Grandfather of Ashley and Caitlin Fichera and Frank Cain. Also survived by two brothers, two sisters and nieces and nephews.

Funeral from the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Saturday, August 14th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours Friday, August 13th from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Memorial donations in Frank’s name may be made to Make-A-Wish Foundation, One Bullfinch Place, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02114.

U.S. Navy Veteran, WWII.

Garden, Jack

August 11th, 2010

Jack Arthur Garden, age 64, of Wilmington, died August 11, 2010, following a lengthy illness.

Jack was born on February 5, 1946, in Stoneham, MA, he was the beloved son of the late Charles S., Sr. & Thelma (Rees) Garden. In his earlier years, Jack lived with his family in Reading and moved to Wilmington in 1955. He attended Wilmington Public Schools and was a graduate of Wilmington High School Class of 1965.

Following High School Jack went into the National Guard for a few years before enlisting in the United Sates Army on March 2, 1967 and was stationed in Germany for two years, he was discharged to the Army Reserves in December of 1973. Jack received several commendations for proudly serving the country and was honorably discharged in February of 1976.

Jack was employed as a driver for Mason Dixon Trucking Company in Woburn for 15 years and then was employed at the North East Development Company in Wilmington for many years before his illness forced him to retire.

Jack was an avid sportsman following the New England Sports teams, Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox, getting to games whenever his health allowed. He also loved to play sports, he not only followed but played hockey all through his school years and into his adulthood. He also loved football and was a coach for Wilmington Pop Warner in the early 1970’s, where he really enjoyed working with the kids. Jack also loved to go skiing and boating in his spare time.

Jack will be fondly remembered as a great son, brother, uncle, friend, and a “fighter”. Many years ago Jack became ill and was a recipient of a liver transplant in 1996, he knew what the odds would be and the possibility of his body rejecting the organ, but his determination to recover led him back to living a relatively normal life for many years until he was diagnosed with renal failure about five years ago. Jack was stubborn and wasn’t ready to give up so he battled his disease with dialysis treatments a few days a week for many years. The last year was especially tough, Jack had to give up his independence and realize that his body was giving up even though his will to live was as strong as ever. Jack needed to live the last of his life “his way” and when he realized it was “time” he peacefully succumbed to his disease with the strength and dignity he had shown over the years. Jack died peacefully at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers surrounded by his family.

Jack was the dear brother of Jay A. Irwin & her husband William and Barry E. Garden all of Wilmington, the late Jane T. Condon and Charles S. Garden, Jr., loving uncle of Dawn Grego, Darcy Valido, Dean Valido, Joannah Lundville, Kate Tkach, Charles S. Garden III, Brittany Irwin, and Keith Irwin.

Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service in the Wilmington Congregational Church, 220 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, on Saturday, September 11th 11:00 am.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations in Jack’s memory may be made to the Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty St., Danvers, MA 01923 or to Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887. U. S. Army Veteran, Vietnam War.

Balestrieri, Joseph

August 10th, 2010

Joseph V. Balestrieri, age 93, a long-time Wilmington resident, died peacefully with his family at his side, on Tuesday, August 10, 2010, at the E. N. Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford.

Born on March 4, 1917, in Woburn, MA, he was the cherished son of the late Alexander and Mary (Lutrario) Balestrieri. Joe grew up in Woburn and was a graduate of Woburn High School.

Joe enlisted in the United States Army on August 21, 1940, he actively and proudly served all over Europe during World War II with Company B 171st Engineer Combat Battalion earning many commendations including the Purple Heart for his heroic service. Joe was honorably discharged as a First Sergeant on June 23, 1945.

Joe married Louise Gilson on February 22, 1947 and they moved to Wilmington in 1949 where they raised their two sons.

Joe proudly served as a Wilmington Police Officer and then town dog officer for many years before retiring in 1980. Following his retirement, Joe was a crossing guard for the Wilmington School System and was stationed by the West Intermediate School, Joe always a smile on his face and a kind word for the kids.

Joe was also the proprietor of Wilmington’s own “Joe’s Taxi Cab” Company for over 35 years and if you were a “townie” we’re sure Joe taxied you around at one time or another.

Joe was very active in his community and belonged to many organizations such as the Police Association, American Legion, Wilmington V.F.W., Disabled American Veterans, Wilmington Senior Center where he enjoyed the many activities and card games, and the Billerica Elks.

When Joe’s health permitted, and even when it didn’t, he proudly attended every Veterans Day and Memorial Day celebration in Wilmington. Joe was a PROUD AMERICAN and wanted to share that with everyone.

Joe loved his family, he cherished the many holidays, dinners, family vacations, and every occasion that they could be together. He loved his wife dearly, he was a devoted father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend.

Joe will be fondly remembered for being a great cook, he enjoyed card playing, trying to “hit” the lottery, reading the Herald not the Globe, his great smile, personality, and his love of America.

Joe will be greatly missed by many.

Joe was the beloved husband of the late Louise (Gilson) Balestrieri, devoted father of Joseph V. Balestrieri, Jr. & his wife Dotty of Billerica, Gary Balestrieri & his wife Marsha of Wilmington, loving grandfather of Glen Balestrieri, Wendi Balkan & her husband Michael, Tamie Harris & her husband David, Gregory Balestrieri & his fiancé Jessica Roy, great-grandchildren Mikayla, Olivia, & Ciara Balkan and Alessandra Harris, dear brother of Ernie & Doris Balestrieri, Albert & the late Marie Balestrieri, and Eva Flynn all of Woburn, Richard & Barbara Balestrieri of Wilmington, Eleanor & the late Howard Britt of Chelmsford, and the late Anna, Salvatore, George, and Louie Balestrieri. Joe is survived by many nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

Family & friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Friday, August 13th at 8:45 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Anthony’s Church, 351 Main St. (Rte. 38) Woburn at 10:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours Thursday, August 12th from 4-8 p.m.

Memorial donations in Joseph’s name may be made to E. N. Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Building 4 Ward D Second Floor, 200 Springs Road, Bedford, MA 01730.

Sheehan, Michael

August 9th, 2010

Michael J. Sheehan, age 57, of Wilmington, died peacefully with his family at his side on Monday, August 9, 2010, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

Michael was born on February 26, 1953 at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton, MA. He and his twin brother Patrick were premature and spent three months in the hospital before joining his family in Quincy, MA. He spent his youth in Westwood, MA. Michael was blind and suffered from Cerebral Palsy as a result of his premature birth. He was educated at Perkins School in Watertown, MA and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and a Master’s Degree from Boston University.

He was employed by the National Park Service and the City of Boston. Throughout his life he was an ardent sports fan and attended many games of the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Boston College, later following them on the radio.

Michael married Catherine Manuel on March 17, 1986, and the couple lived in Charlestown and Boston before moving to Wilmington 15 years ago.

Michael will be fondly remembered for his love of his family, swimming, books, and for being a “fighter” who never let his life’s obstacles hold him down.

Michael was the beloved husband of Catherine H. (Manuel) Sheehan, devoted father of Bryan Sheehan of Wilmington, cherished son of John “Jack” and Catherine “Kay” (Martin) Sheehan of Franklin formerly of Westwood, dear brother of Peggy Lynn & her husband Bob of Harwich, MA, Sheila Pina & her husband Ron of Dartmouth, MA, his twin Patrick Sheehan & his wife Jane of Silver Spring, MD, Daniel Sheehan & his wife Marylou of Holliston, MA, and the late Cathleen Werkowski & her husband Paul who lives in Londonderry, NH , son-in- law of Norma & Frank Powers of Wilmington, brother-in-law of Debbie & Roger Okolo, Michael & Joanne Manuel, Anne Powers, Frank, Jr. & Heather Powers, Christina & Lou Chalifour, and the late Steven Manuel, Michael is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, August 14th at 11:00 a.m. in the Wilmington United Methodist Church, 87 Church St., Wilmington. Visiting hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Friday, August 13th from 4-8 p.m.

Memorial donations in Michael’s name may be made to Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon St., Watertown, MA 02472.