Wandell, Daniel C. Sr.

December 17th, 2010

Retired Wilmington Fire Department Chief Daniel C., Wandell, Sr., of Wilmington, died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Friday, December 17, 2010, at the age of 82.

Dan was born on February 29, 1928, in East Boston, MA, he was the cherished son of the late John W. “Jack” and Charlotte M. (Clague) Wandell. Dan grew up in Winthrop, he spent many summers at Silver Lake in Wilmington, before his family moved to Wilmington permanently 1943. Dan graduated Wilmington High School Class of 1946.

Forever a proud American, Dan enlisted in the United States Navy on August 30, 1950, to serve his country during the Korean War. Dan served overseas and received several commendations for his service, he was honorably discharged on June 18, 1954.

Dan returned to his family in Wilmington and to the love of his life Catherine E. “Betty” Hennessy whom he met during the many years his family summered at Silver Lake. He and Betty married on July 18, 1954, spending 53 wonderful years of marriage and raising seven great children together before her passing in November of 2007.

Dan always had a passion for serving his community and doing for others, his career at the Wilmington Fire Department began on February 12, 1957, when he was the first Firefighter in Wilmington to be appointed by Civil Service. Dan worked hard for the town and the Fire Department, he moved up as Deputy Chief on February 23, 1971, serving in that capacity until January 31, 1980. Dan was appointed Chief on February 1, 1980, working tirelessly to fill his position and oversee the many changes that took place over the years until he retired on February 26, 1993.

Dan also served his community well outside the Fire Department he was a member of the Finance Committee, a Selectman for two terms where he served as Chairman of the Board, and a Wilmington Youth Hockey Coach, bringing his team to win a championship.

Everyone who came in contact with Dan knew he loved the town of Wilmington and the Wilmington Fire Department, but what he loved most was his family, they were the center of his world. Dan was very involved in his children’s school activities and their sporting events. He seldom missed a play or a game, always there to support and encourage his kids. He and Betty vacationed on the Cape with the children where they swam and fished along the Bass River, the family had a great time making many memories to last throughout generations to come.

As the years passed and the grandchildren came along, Dan cherished every moment with them he enjoyed babysitting, taking them to school, watching their sports, showing them how to fish, taking them to the movies, and attending the many special events in their lives. He was always encouraging them to do their best and relished in their accomplishments. He was an awesome grandfather according to them.

In his spare time, Dan enjoyed traveling with family and friends, watching the Patriots, Bruins, and of course the Red Sox with Betty. Dan followed boxing, a sport that he dabbled in as a youngster and did pretty well at.

He will be fondly remembered by his family and friends as a loving and devoted family man, a hard worker, and a true friend to many, they will miss him dearly but are comforted to know that he is reunited with his beloved Betty.

Dan was the beloved husband of the late Catherine E. “Betty” (Hennessy) Wandell, devoted father of Kim McDonough-Gawron and her husband Chris of Hollis, ME, Daniel C. Wandell, Jr. of Wilmington, Joan Wandell of Lowell, Susan Landry and her husband William of Billerica, Nancy Brothers and her husband Patrick of Tewksbury, Kathy Mireault and her husband Erik of Lowell, and Michael Wandell and his wife Bridget of Dracut, loving grandfather of Erin, Patrick, Jack, Kevin, Meaghan, Allyson, Curt, Victoria, Danielle, Danny, Keith, Brandon, Billy, Sean, Tommy, Patrick, Kiley, Megan, Mikey, Kaleigh, and great-grandchildren Devin, Cori, Cayden, Bryelle, and Colin, he was the dear brother of Josephine “Sis” Bell of South Carolina and John W. “Jack” Wandell, Jr. of Connecticut, Dan is also survived by many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, December 22nd 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 Tuesday, December 21st from 2-4 & 5-9 p.m.

Memorial donations in Daniel’s name may be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Headquarters, 3300 East Sunrise Drive, Tucson, AZ 85718.


10 Entries in Guest Book for “Wandell, Daniel C. Sr.”

  1. Bud and Kathy Brothers says:

    Nancy and Pat, so sorry for the loss of your Father. We didn’t know him personally, but have been told he was a “great” guy. Please know that we are thinking of you during this time. Buddy and Kathy Brothers

  2. Tracey says:

    Mike’s never easy ..but the beautiful thing about family is you have family. Stay strong.

  3. Pat & family says:

    Rusty and I are so sorry for your loss. I was never lucky enough to meet your grandfather, but I know how much he meant to you and remember a few funny stories that you’ve told me. Reading this tells me even more how amazing a man he was. I will be thinking of you and your family.
    Love, Amanda and Rusty

  4. Don and Maureen Ahern says:

    Our Sincere Sympathy on the passing of your Dad. He was a good friend to us and to many who knew him. He loved the Fire Dept. and he studied hard to become the Chief. We will always remember the great days with him and your Mom. They were truly a “couple”. Our thoughts are with you all.

  5. Ken & Linda Coppinger says:

    Kathy I am sorry to hear about the loss of your dad, please know that you and your family will be in our prayers. He is now with his one love again!

  6. Shannon says:

    Michael and Bridget,
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My family’s thoughts and prayers are with you both during this difficult time. No regrets, Michael your father showered both you and Bridg with love, kindness, compassion and his humor, and you both returned his unconditional love to the very end. Your love and commitment, I am certain was noticed by your father. Mike, Who you are today is a tribute to your father and mother, and the love, dedication and devotion, which they gave to their family. Megan, Mikey, and Kaleigh , your “Pa” will always be with you watching over you and acting as your guardian angel. Bridg, I know how much Dan meant to you. I am truly sorry for your loss. May you all carry wonderful memories forever in your heart. God Bless

  7. anita (rosa) gleason says:

    There are not many that remember “back in the day”, in a town of 5000, everyone knew everyone. With that thought, my thoughts and prayers to the family, and remember that the permanent Wilmington party in the sky has welcomed him home and is celebrating!!!!

  8. Steve Hennessy says:

    To the Wandell Family, My sympathy and thoughts are with You with the loss of Danny. It seems we all know way to well lately the turmoil of emotions felt during these times. We are blessed to carry with us the memories of Danny who loved, smiled at and teased us all equally. He was a happy and unique man who will be greatly missed.

  9. Kathy Weisse says:

    We are saddened to hear about the passing of your father. We’ll always remember your Dad as a warm, welcoming and friendly man. We are so sorry for your incredible loss. Please know that we are thinking of you during this very difficult time. Our prayers are with you! Peace!

  10. Bea Weatherbee Randell says:

    My condolences to the family, remember Danny and Betty well from High School, wonderful people, always had fun with them and Sis

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