Obituaries

Mary L. (MacPherson) Ferdinand

September 19th, 2012

Mary L. (MacPherson) Ferdinand, of Southgate, MI, formerly of Wilmington, West Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain, MA, died peacefully on September 18, 2012.
Mary was born in Boston, MA on May 6, 1933, she was the dear daughter of the late Hugh MacPherson and Margaret (MacKinnon-MacPherson) Holden.
Prior to retiring, Mary was a secretary for the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company for many years.
Mary was the beloved mother of George H. Ferdinand of Southgate, MI, formerly of Wilmington and his fiance Patty Budryk of Tewksbury, dear sister of  John MacPherson of Walpole, Cathy Hanley of Michigan, the late Marie Cormier and David Holden.  Mary is also survived by many nieces and nephews who she loved and cherished.
Visiting hours will be held at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Sunday, September 23rd from 5-8 p.m.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, September 24th at 10:00 a.m. in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 45 Brookside Ave., Jamaica Plain, MA.  Interment St. Joseph’s Cemetery, West Roxbury.   In lieu of flowers donations in Mary’s memory may be made to the National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd St., New York, NY 10016.

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Mee H. Der

September 19th, 2012

Mee H. (Wong) Der, age 88, of Wilmington, died peacefully on September 18, 2012.  Mee was the beloved wife of the late Paul Der, devoted mother of Laura Richards and her husband Jon of Wilmington, and loving “Poo Poo” of Isabelle Richards, dear daughter of the late Po and Kam (Nui) Wong.  Mee is also survived by many family members in China.
Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service on Tuesday, September 25th at 10:00 a.m in the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington.  Interment to follow in Forest Hills Cemetery, Jamaica Plain.  Visiting hours will be held on Monday, September 24th from 5-8 p.m.  Memorial donations in Mee’s name may be made to South Cove Manor, 120 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA 02118.

Atwood E. “Dick” Dickson

September 18th, 2012

Atwood E. “Dick” Dickson, III, age 51, of Wilmington, died peacefully on Monday, September 17, 2012 at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, surrounded by his family whom he loved more than anything.  Born on September 22, 1960 in Malden, MA, Dick was the son of Gail E. (Bridgham) Dickson and Atwood E. Dickson, Jr.

He was raised in Wilmington and attended the Wilmington Public Schools.  In 1977, at the age of 16, Dick was injured in a car accident and became a quadriplegic.  He went on to graduate from high school in 1980 and soon after, met Judy, who was the love of his life.  They were married in 1983 and throughout their years together, they traveled often to many different parts of the country, including living for a time in Honolulu, HI, Tempe, AZ, and Charlottesville, VA, before finally returning to Massachusetts in 1990 to be closer to family.  They lived in Salem for 17 years before moving back to Dick’s hometown of Wilmington in 2008.

Dick enjoyed playing chess, watching Westerns and listening to music, especially Bob Dylan who he and Judy saw in concert over a dozen times.  He had a love of knowledge and took many college and graduate classes at ASU, UVA and Harvard among other schools.  Dick was an incredible person and everyone who knew him described him as courageous and positive with and exuberance for living life to the fullest.  Dick’s greatest joy was his family, who he spent as much time with as he could.

In addition to his beloved wife of over 29 years, Judy (Mitchell) Dickson, Dick leaves his loving parents Gail E. Dickson of Wilmington and Atwood E. Dickson, Jr. of Lexington; his brothers, to whom he was very close, William R. Dickson and his wife Kelley of Dracut and Steven P. Dickson and his wife Christine of Wilmington; and his loving sister-in-law Sandra L. Rossman and her husband Todd of West Springfield.  He also leaves the “lights of his life”, his nieces and nephews, Michelle, William, Jr., Drew, Steven, Jr., Katelyn, Madison and Andrew.

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, September 20, at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rt. 62), Wilmington, from 4-8 p.m. Family and friends will gather for a funeral service for Dick will be held on Friday, September 21, at the Wilmington United Methodist Church, 87 Church St., (Rt. 62), Wilmington at 10:00 a.m.  Interment will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Dick’s name can be made to The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, 1095 NW 14th Terrace, Lois Pope LIFE Center, Miami, FL  33136 or Shriners Hospitals for Children, 516 Carew Street, Springfield, MA  01104.

William H. Gronemeyer

September 17th, 2012

William H. Gronemeyer, age 65, of Wilmington, died peacefully at Winchester Hospital on September 17, 2012. He was born in Carroll, Iowa, on February 13, 1947, to the late Lyle J. and Ruth C. (Stickrod) Gronemeyer. He grew up in Iowa and was a graduate of Odebolt-Arthur High School. He joined the Army in 1966 and reported to Ft. Devens, MA for AIT before being sent to Vietnam and then Germany. After being discharged in 1970, he returned to Massachusetts. He later earned his Engineering Degree from Lowell University (now UMASS, Lowell).

In 1972 Bill and Ruth (Birkle) were married and settled in Wilmington where they raised three sons. Later two beautiful daughters-in-law and five precious grandchildren were added to the family.

In March Bill retired as Senior Engineer from Aspen Compressors of Marlborough. He was proud to have been involved in the development of several patents involving the production of Aerogel.

Bill had hoped to pursue his many interests and complete his many projects after retirement. He enjoyed motorcycles, hang gliders, gyrocopters, radio-controlled airplanes, sheet metal work, computers and electronics, ham radio, vintage aircraft, and the state of Maine. He belonged to the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Woburn Sportsman’s Club, the Quannapowit Radio Association, and Wilmington’s Emergency Management. Most of all he enjoyed being  Gumpy  to Jeanette, Joseph, Evan and Nora. His fifth grandchild, Emily Jane, was born only hours before her grandfather passed away. He waited for her safe arrival before he could leave us.

Besides his wife Ruth, Bill leaves behind his sons and daughters-in-law; Eric and Faith, Michael, Jacob and Mary Kay, and his five grandchildren. He is also survived by his brothers Terry, Scott and Mark and his sister Sharon Rolf of Iowa. He was brother-in-law of Louise and Peter Anderson of Wilmington. Bill is also survived by many nephews, two nieces, and many friends.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Friday, September 21 at 11:00 a.m followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 12:00 noon. Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, September 20, from 5 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Woburn Senior Center, 144 School St., Woburn, MA 01801.

William F. Blowers

September 15th, 2012

William F. Blowers, age 75, of Wilmington, died unexpectedly at home on September 15, 2012.

William was born on March 24, 1937 in Boston, MA.  He was the son of the late Reginald and Anna E. (Doherty) Blowers.  William was raised and educated in East Boston. William enlisted in the Marines on April 11, 1958, during the Vietnam War.  Bill loved the Marines and serving his country.  He liked airplanes and worked as an airplane mechanic, which he was very talented at, and was also a Sharp Shooter.  Bill was honorably discharged in August of 1961 after being injured.

After William’s discharge from the Marines, he started to notice a beautiful woman on the bus he took everyday, and would sit behind her but had not spoken to her.  To his surprise, at the wedding of a friend, he saw her there as a guest, and finally that is where William and Juanita  Dee  Venuti officially met.  Bill and Dee married in 1965 in Bostons North End at St. Stephens Church. They lived in Malden for a short time and moved to Wilmington in 1976, where they raised their three children.  William and Dee were very dedicated to their family and celebrated over 35 years together until Dee’s sudden passing in January of 2001.

William was a devoted father.  He loved to spend time with his children and was involved with their activities and sports.  William was an Assistant Scout Master when his son belonged to Boys Scouts Troop 56 and he coached girls soccer when the Wilmington Youth Soccer  started to have girls and boys play on separate teams.

William was a hard and dedicated worker, and worked up to 3 jobs at a time to support his family.  He started working for the U.S. Post Office back when the mail was transported by train.  He worked on the Boston to New York Railroad and after years of dedicated service, he became a supervisor.  William retired from the Malden Post Office in 1993.

William loved to travel with family and friends, especially to the Irish Village on the Cape or to Province Town.  William and Dee enjoyed a cruise together to Bermuda celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary the summer before Dee passed.  He liked to indulge in taking trips to Foxwoods Casino or Mohegan Sun and was an avid Red Sox fan. William also enjoyed just being home, and watching T.V. with his faithful companions, his dogs, Ginger, Ivan and Milo.

William was the beloved husband of the late Juanita “Dee” (Venuti) Blowers, devoted father of Michael S. Blowers and J. Triana Blowers both of Wilmington, Kenneth C. Blowers and his wife Valerie of Reading, grandfather of Kristian, Joshua, and great-grandson Jacob, dear son of the late Reginald and Anna (Doherty) Blowers, brother of Jane Amato of Malden, John Blowers of Florida, Anna Elkins of Nashua, NH, the late Carol Rome and Robert Blowers.  Bill is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, September 20th at 11:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, at 12:00 noon.  Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.  Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, September 19th from 4-8 p.m.  Memorial donations in William’s name may be made to Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887 or to the MSPCA-Angell Headquarters, 350 South Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02130.

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

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.