Obituaries

Herman E. Zybura

March 20th, 2012
Herman E.  Zybura, fondly known as “Herm”, “Zeb”, or “Bampy” to his family and friends, age 69, of Billerica, formerly of Everett, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on March 17, 2012 following a courageous battle with cancer.
 
Herman was born in Beaverdale, Pennsylvania on December 9, 1942, he was the son of the late Stanley and Mary (Shank) Zybura. Herman was raised in Beaverdale, before moving with his Brother and Sister-in-law to Arizona. He was a graduate of Phoenix High School.
 
Following high school, Herman enlisted into the United States Navy during the Vietnam War. While stationed at the Boston Navy Yard, he met the love of his life, Kathleen M. (Burton) Zybura and following his discharge, the couple married on October 19, 1968. Herman and Kathy had a great life together, they lived in Revere for many years, then resided in Everett for more than twenty years before settling in Billerica to be close to their daughter and grandson. Herman and Kathy shared more than 45 years together, raised a beautiful daughter, enjoyed being grandparents, and shared wonderful times with their family and friends.
 
Herman was a dedicated worker. Before retiring, he worked as a systems installer for the New England Telephone Company for many years.
 
Herman took many trips with his wife, family, and their special group of friends, they traveled all over the country, some of his favorites included Las Vegas, Foxwoods, and he especially loved to go on cruises. He also loved to go fishing and was an avid bowler. Herman was currently a member of the St. Claire’s Bowling League in Braintree.
 
Herman will be fondly remembered as a dedicated family man and a wonderful friend to many. He was a hard worker, kind, and caring, a true “gentlemen” who will be greatly missed.
 
Herman was the beloved husband of Kathleen M. “Kathy” (Burton), devoted father of Sharon Kubiak and her significant other Christopher Merrill both of Billerica, loving “Bampy” of Cameron James Kubiak and Alexander Cameron Merrill, dear brother of Sara Zybura, Dolores Berkhimer, Millie Zybura, and Stephen Zybura all of Pennsylvania, the late Stanley Zybura, Jr., Andrew Zybura, Theodore Zybura, Donald Zybura, and Stella Mihalick, of Pennsylvania, brother-in-law of Eileen Zybura of Arizona, Herm is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and dear friends.
 
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington for Visiting Hours on Friday, March 23rd from 3-8 p.m. Herman’s Funeral will be held on Saturday, March 24th at 9:45 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Theresa’s Church, 466 Boston Road, Billerica at 11:00 a.m. Interment with military honors will follow at Fox Hill Cemetery, Billerica. Memorial donations in Herman’s name may be made to VNA of Middlesex East & Visiting Nurse Hospice, 607 North Ave., Suite 17, Wakefield, MA 01880 or to the Winchester Hospital Foundation, Oncology Department, 611 Main St., Winchester, MA 01890-9944.
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William H. Johnson

March 10th, 2012

William H. Johnson, age 89, of Wilmington, died peacefully on March 10, 2012, at the Winchester Hospital, following a brief illness.

William was born in Malden, MA, on August 5, 1922, he was the dear son of the late Clarence and Lillian (Wakelin) Johnson. He was raised and educated in Melrose and was a graduate of Melrose High School.

William lived in Saugus and Burlington before moving to Wilmington many years ago.

William was a Navy Veteran of World War II for four years spending two years in North Africa and he served on the USS Portsmouth Light Cruiser. William received many commendations for his service including the American Campaign, European, Middle Eastern Campaign, and the Victory decoration. He was honorably discharged on August 9, 1946. 

Following his return from the Service, William continued his education, graduating with a degree from the New England College of Art. He worked as a Graphic Illustrator at MIT Instrumentation in Cambridge, MA, Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, and RCA Aerospace Laboratory in Burlington, where he worked on the Moon Project. He retired from RCA after twenty-five years of dedicated service.

In his spare time William was an avid gardener, fisherman, and a landscape painter. He will be fondly remembered as kind, generous, and devoted to his family and friends.

William was the beloved husband of Doris (Fiske) Johnson, with whom he celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary on January 10th, he was the devoted father of Diane Bosworth of Wilmington and Alan Johnson of Townsend, loving grandfather of Craig and  his wife Kirsten Bosworth, Michelle and her husband Brian Donnelly, Derek Johnson, Bobbi Jo Johnson, Edward and his wife Kristen Johnson, Tamara and her husband Ryan Kaddy, and great grandchildren William, Gresham, Dylan, Nicholas, Briana, Autumn, Amanda, Evan, and Jordan. Dear brother of the late Evelyn Simpson and Gertrude France, brother-in-law of Norma Dube, uncle of Elizabeth Simpson, Linda Paine and her husband Steve, and Janice Clark, as well as several great nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Tuesday, March 13th from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 1:00 p.m. Interment with Military Honors to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Memorial donations in William’s name may be made to VNA of Middlesex-East & Visiting Nurse Hospice, 607 North Ave., Suite 17, Wakefield, MA 01880.

Alice M. (Dankese) Vasquez

March 10th, 2012

Alice M. (Dankese) Vasquez, age 86, of Wilmington, formerly a long-time resident of Weymouth, died peacefully on March 9, 2012, at Woodbriar of Wilmington.

Alice was born in Somerville, MA, on January 4, 1926, she was the cherished daughter of the late Joseph and Diana (Mercurio) Dankese. Alice grew up in the Fields Corner Section of Dorchester and was a graduate of Dorchester High School, Class of 1944.

Alice married her “sweetheart” Thomas Vasquez on October 9, 1949, the couple moved to Weymouth, and shared over 46 years of marriage before his passing in 1997. Alice and Tom had a wonderful life together and she dearly missed Tom these last fourteen years.

Prior to retiring, Alice worked at the First National Bank of Boston, where she was a dedicated and faithful employee.

In her spare time, Alice was very active in the Weymouth Senior Center, she loved to garden, and spend time with her family.

Alice will be remembered as a wonderful daughter, sister, and aunt, she was very helpful to her parents, very generous of her time, and very good to her family. She will be dearly missed.

Alice was the beloved wife of the late Thomas Vasquez, dear sister of Robert Dankese and his wife Loretta of Billerica, the late Mercurio, John J., Joseph P., Helen, Anna, and Mary Dankese, sister-in-law of Sheila Dankese of Weymouth, and Lee Dankese of Newton. Alice was also the loving aunt of many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Tuesday, March 13th from 9:00 – 10:45 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA 01887 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will take place in Knollwood Memorial Park, Canton, MA. Memorial donations in Alice’s name may be made to St. Thomas of Villanova Church.

Kenneth J. Miller

March 8th, 2012
Kenneth John Miller, 84, of Wilmington, MA, died peacefully Tuesday March 6, at his family home following a brief illness.
 
Ken was born in 1927 in Watertown, he was the dear son of the late Robert and Goldie (Parnell) Miller, as a child he moved to Burlington where he lived until 1968, after which he relocated to Wilmington with his wife and children.
 
Kenneth was a retired self-employed Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor.
 
A Veteran of WW II, Kenneth served with the Navy Sea Bees on Okinawa.
 
He subsequently attended Northeastern University to earn his Engineering degree. He worked for Whitten Bros. in Burlington until forming his own company. During the fifty years he was in business, he was the engineer for hundreds of projects in Wilmington and surrounding towns, notably the Winchester Medical Center, Abundant Life Christian School, Elia’s Country Store, Lucci’s, Ristuccia Memorial Arena, Allgrove Estates, Palmer Estates, Chestnut Estates, and many others.
 
In 1978 Kenneth consulted with CDM to work overseas in Egypt surveying for the construction of sanitary piping in the cities of Cairo and Alexandria. He traveled extensively during his life, visiting countries in 4 of our 7 continents.
 
A pilot since the 1960s and a flight enthusiast his entire life, he flew a Cessna 170 for many years from Tew-Mac airport in Tewksbury and Nashua airport in NH. Using his own plane, he began utilizing aerial photography as an aid to his surveying, developing film in a studio he built himself. Although his wife, a commercial pilot and flight instructor, died piloting a plane in 1973, he continued to fly recreationaly. In his seventies he flew cross country and toured Alaska, navigating the Alaskan Highway by air. In 2006, he and a passenger survived against many odds in a crash on takeoff, and in recent years traveled by automobile the east coast and into Canada.
 
He served as a member of the Wilmington Memorial Library Trustees, was a long time member of the Tewksbury Rod and Gun Club and an active member of the EAA, Experimental Aircraft Association.
 
Kenneth loved God, his family and his country. He was a kind, generous, forgiving, loving man, with a wonderful sense of humor, and will be dearly missed.
 
Ken was the beloved husband of the late Ripley (Conner) Miller, devoted father of Jeffrey K. Miller and his wife Anna Thistle of Rockbridge Baths, VA, Janice M. Ruggiero and her husband Jim and Julia E. Doten and her husband Stephen all of Wilmington, loving “Grampa” of Justin, Christopher, and James Ruggiero, Ripley and Anna Doten, and great grandchildren Trinity and Cameron. He was the dear brother of Carleton Miller and his wife Neva of Maine, William Miller and his wife Lillian of Missouri, Patricia Spencer and her late husband Buddy of Woburn, Barbara Clark and her late husband Thomas, Joyce Fay and her husband Al all of Burlington, Evelyn Hunsley and her husband Lindy of Oklahoma, the late Bob Miller and Jean Miller. Ken is also survived by 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 Monday, March 12th at 11:00 a.m. Interment will take place in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, March 11th from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ken’s memory may be made to VNA of Middlesex-East & Visiting Nurse Hospice, 607 North Ave., Suite 17, Wakefield, MA 01880.

John F. “Jack” Gerrior, Jr.

March 7th, 2012
John F. “Jack” Gerrior, Jr., age 71, of Wilmington, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on March 5, 2012, following a courageous battle with cancer.
 
Jack was born in Medford, MA on June 22, 1940, he was the dear son of the late John F., Sr. and Adelia R. (Shilonski) Gerrior.  Jack grew up in Melrose, attended school at Boston Latin and was a graduate of Melrose High School. He was an extremely bright student, talented in both singing and dancing, and went on to continue his education at Boston College, where he excelled in electronics.,
 
Jack attended the Coast Guard Academy and enlisted into the United States Coast Guard Reserve during the Vietnam War.  He served the country in the Reserves for more than 10 years.
 
Jack married his “sweetheart” Geraldine (Lucey) Gerrior on February 26, 1965.  They moved to Wilmington, raised two wonderful children, and shared 47 great years together, making lots of memories for their family to share for generations to come.
 
Jack worked hard and played hard, he was extremely talented in the electronics and microcircuit field, and was instrumental in the development of General Microcircuits in Billerica.
 
Jack was a real “homebody”and fondly known as “Mr. Fix it”.  He took a great pride in his home, kept an impeccable yard and pool where he loved to entertain family and friends at his “pool parties” and cookouts.  Holidays were very important to Jack, especially Thanksgiving. Jack had an endearing personality.  He loved to celebrate with family and friends, the more, the merrier, and everyone was made to feel welcomed. Jack also enjoyed going to dinner with his friends at Kitty’s Restaurant on most Friday nights.
 
Jack was a real “guy’s guy.” He loved his “toys,” which included a motorcycle and his boat, the “Checkmate.” He loved vacationing and driving his boat on Lake Winnepesaukee with his family and friends and had a special passion for his 1959 Corvette.
 
Jack was also an avid New England Sports Fan, he had several T. V.’s set up in the family room so that he didn’t miss a game, he was a master on the remote, and incredibly he knew exactly what was going on in each game.
 
Jack will be remembered for many things, his kindness, generosity, great sense of humor, but most of all his outstanding devotion to his family and friends who will miss him immensely. 
 
Jack was the beloved husband of Geraldine M. (Lucey) Gerrior, devoted father of John F. Gerrior III and his wife Kamryn of Danville, CA and Lisa J. Gerrior of Lexington, loving “Grandpa Jack” of Tyler, Kelsey, and Carson Gerrior, dear brother of Janice Forrest and her husband Michael of North Reading, Denis Gerrior and his wife Pamela of Billerica, and the late Paul Gerrior.  Jack is also survived by his sister-in-law Vicki Graff Gerrior of Merrimac, as well as many nieces and nephews.
 
Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Saturday, March 10th from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 12:00 noon. In lieu of flowers donations in John’s memory may be made to the VNA of Middlesex East and Visiting Nurse Hospice, 607 North Ave., Suite 17, Wakefield, MA 01880 or to the Sophia Gordon Cancer Center, Lahey Clinic, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, MA 01805.

Herbert L. Fielding

March 4th, 2012

Fielding, Herbert L., of Middleboro, a former long-time resident of Wilmington, age 86, passed away on March 2, 2012 at the University Medical Center in Tucson, AZ.  Beloved husband of Priscilla (Tillson) Lockwood-Fielding of Middleboro and Green Valley, AZ, loving father of Karen Madson and her husband Greg of Indiana and the late Stanley Fielding, survived by his wife Judy Crawford of Wilmington, cherished “Grampy” of David Fielding, Benjamin Madson and his wife Lillie, Samantha Madson and Matthew Madson, son of the late Forest and Mae (Baker) Fielding.  Herbert was predeceased by his wife Julia (Webber).  Funeral services will be held at a later date.    Memorial donations in Herb’s name can be made to Camp Forty Acres, c/o Scott McGrath, 22 Perry Ave., Wilmington, MA  01887.  Herb was a WWII Army Veteran and Bronze Star recipient. He was also a long-time employee at the Polaroid Company.

Donald G. Protopapas

February 28th, 2012
Donald G.Protopapas, age 76, of Wilmington, died unexpectedly on Monday, February 27, 2012 at the Winchester Hospital. Donald was born in Arlington, MA on May 4, 1935, he was the son of the late Simon George and Alice (Brookes) Protopapas. In his early years, Donald grew up in Arlington Heights and moved as a teenager with his family to Cape Cod where they settled in Osterville.
 
Following high school, Donald enlisted into the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1957 after several years of dedicated service. Donald married the love of his life, Gail A. Spiro in 1959. The couple lived in Wakefield for a few years before moving to Wilmington over forty-seven years ago where they raised their family.
 
Donald was an extremely bright and hard worker. He continued his education at Northeastern University in Boston and also at East Coast Aero Tech. He started his career as an airplane mechanic and with years of experience, he started his own business as a sales representative for gas ignitions and controls. After many years of a successful career, Donald retired.
 
Donald had many other talents and was a self taught “jack of all trades”, a handyman, talented woodworker and amateur photographer. He loved to bird watch, making many of the bird feeders seen around their home. Donald was an avid sports fan, he loved to play tennis, follow the Red Sox and watch the Patriots with his friends and neighbors.
 
Donald loved the ocean, enjoyed sailing, and traveling with family and friends.
 
Donald will be remembered as a loving and devoted family man. He treasured being a “Papa” to Samantha and Elizabeth, enjoying every moment spent with them. He was a proud Veteran and often volunteered at Local Heroes in Wilmington. Donald was a wonderful neighbor and a true friend who would help anyone in need. He will be greatly missed.
 
Donald was the beloved husband of Gail A. (Spiro) Protopapas, devoted father of Lee Anne Peters and her husband Michael of Park City, Montana, John D. Protopapas and his wife Deborah of Newbury and Charles A. Protopapas of Wilmington, loving “Papa” of Samantha and Elizabeth Protopapas, dear brother of the late Alice Chase, uncle of Patricia A. Johnson and her husband Eric of Marston Mills and Marilyn J. DeVito of Palmetto, FL, brother-in-law of Lois Robblee of Peabody, Robert Spiro and his wife Nancy of Falmouth, Philip Spiro and his wife Katherine of Martha’s Vineyard, James Spiro and his wife Susan of Rhode Island.
 
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington for Visiting Hours on Saturday, March 3rd from 12:00 -4:00 p.m. Immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 4:00 p.m.   The family will be receiving people at the VFW Hall, 87 Vernon St., Tewksbury on Saturday, March 3rd at 5:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Donald’s memory may be made to The MGH Fund, Mass General Hospital, P.O. Box 55242, Boston, MA 02205-8096.

Theresa D. (Isabella) Dalba

February 27th, 2012
Dalba, Theresa D. (Isabella), age 87, of Burlington, unexpectedly, February 26, 2012. Beloved wife of the late Ralph J. Dalba, devoted mother of Betty Ananian and her husband Steve of Wilmington and Paul Dalba and his wife Adele of Gainesville, FL. Loving grandmother of Beth Ananian and Annemarie Drumheller and her husband Tom, cherished daughter of the late Gennaro and Bettina (Vesella) Isabella, dear sister of Viola Costello of Tewksbury, the late Angie Mazzone, Mary DiTucci, and Rosie Farinato. Theresa is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Friday, March 2nd at 8:45 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington, at 10:00 a.m. Interment Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington. Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, March 1st from 4-8 p.m.

Margaret T. (Gillis) Riley

February 25th, 2012
Riley, Margaret T. (Gillis), age 87, a long-time resident of Wilmington, died peacefully at home on February 25, 2012. Beloved wife of the late Stanley G. Riley, devoted mother of Sheila Swanson and her husband Bob of Saratoga, CA, Stanley G. Riley, Jr. and his wife Debra of Ayer, Judy M. Grundy and her husband Robert of Lawrence, Michael P. Riley and his wife Renate of Pensacola, FL, Kathy A. Riley of Wilmington, Margaret “Peggy” O’Rourke and her husband Walter of North Reading, William D. Riley and his wife Irene of Wilmington, loving “Nana” of Shawn, Danny, Jeremy, Erin, Shannon, Kerri, Jennifer, Brian, “Great-Nana” of Jeffrey, Andrew, Ashley, Kirstyn, Courtney, Nyomi, Nicholas, Riley, and “Great-Great- Nana” of Gracie. Cherished daughter of the late Daniel and Mary (McGaffigan) Gillis, dear sister of the late Marie Leary, Daniel, George, and John Gillis. Margaret is also survived by many nieces and nephews. Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rt. 62), Wilmington, on Monday, February 27th at 1:00 p.m. Interment in Wildwood Cemetery. Visiting Hours will be held on Sunday, February 26th from 3-7 p.m. Memorial donations in Margaret’s name may be made to VNA of Middlesex-East & Visiting Nurse Hospice, 607 North Ave., Suite 17, Wakefield, MA 01880.

June L. (Peterson) Nickerson

February 25th, 2012

June L. (Peterson) Nickerson, of Wilmington, formerly of Stoneham, passed away peacefully on February 25, 2012, following a courageous battle with cancer.
 
June was born in Dover, New Hampshire on June 20, 1924, she was one of 11 siblings and the cherished daughter of the late Evart and Persis (Ainsley) Peterson. June’s family moved to Reading, Massachusetts when she was a young child. June lived in Reading for many years and was a graduate of Reading High School.
 
She married the love of her life Harold Nickerson on July 6, 1946, June and Harold lived in Melrose for a short time and then moved to Stoneham where they lived for many years and raised their children. June was the proud mother of six children, three girls and three boys, she was very active in their lives. When the children were young, June loved to cook and bake for them and their friends and was very active in Boy Scouts where she was a Den Mother for over ten years.
 
June loved to go camping as a family and to take walks. In fact, June was a fan of anything that involved being outside. June loved reading and was an avid crafter, sharing many of her creations with family and friends. June also loved being around her 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren who loving referred to her as “grammy Nick”.
 
Prior to retiring, June worked as a salesperson for Marshalls Distribution Center in Woburn for over 14 years.
 
After leaving Stoneham, June moved to Wilmington where she was resided for more than 30 years. June will be remembered for her wonderful personality, her sense of humor, and her love for her family and friends. She was truly a lady and will be greatly missed.
 
June was the beloved wife of the late Harold N. Nickerson, devoted mother of Richard Nickerson and his wife Linda of Haverhill, Sandra Brewer and her husband Paul of Zephyr Hills, FL, Karen Wooley and her late husband Richard formerly of Auburn, NH, Peter Nickerson and his wife Susan of Wesley Chapel, FL, Susan Moccia and her husband Salvatore “Skip” of Raymond, NH, Don Nickerson of Worcester, and step mother of Kenneth Nickerson and his wife Patricia of Chula Vista, CA, loving grandmother of James Nickerson, William Nickerson, Wendy Leach, Derek Brewer, Amanda Hood, Melanie Brewer, Denise Longey, Nichole Wooley, Stacy Smith, Tina Moccia, Linette LeBlanc, Melissa Gouette, Robyn Nickerson, Tyler Nickerson, and Kaitlin Shea, great-grandmother of Jim, Jr., Steven, Kevin, Sean, Nicole, Dennis, Colleen, Jackson, Katherine, Braelyn, Wyatt, Andrew, Logan, Alexis, Teagan, Allan, James, Beverly, and Dylan, great-great-grandmother of Trinity and Cailey Ann. June was the dear sister of Doris Peterson, Louise Peterson and Charles Peterson all of Wilmington, Constance Chepulis of North Reading, and the late Ruth Kenson, Laverne Peterson, Phyllis Peterson, Edith Peterson, Raymond Henderson and Spencer Henderson. June is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
 
Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rt. 62), Wilmington, on Tuesday, February 28th at 11:00 a.m. Interment in Wildwood Cemetery. Visiting Hours will be held on Monday, February 27th from 4-8 p.m. Memorial donations in June’s name may be made to the Wilmington United Methodist Church, 87 Church St., Wilmington, MA 01887 or to the Merrimack Valley Hospice, 360 Merrimack St., Lawrence, MA 01843.