Obituaries

Linda Susan Corrigan

July 22nd, 2021

On July 19, 2021, Linda Susan Corrigan passed away peacefully, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She was 73 years old. A lifelong New England native, Linda was well-loved in Wethersfield, CT, where she was born, Marlborough, CT, where she raised her family and Wilmington, MA where she spent her final days with her children and grandchildren.

It would be wrong to say that Linda lost her battle because she never stopped fighting. No matter how sick she was, she was always determined. When anyone else would have broken, Linda stayed strong, even in her last days in hospice. Through her, we know what resilience and perseverance truly look like. There was no quit in Linda. Just because she is no longer here, it doesn’t mean she lost her fight. It just means that she is now at peace.

Our mother will be remembered for her many gifts, her kindness, her smile and her love of her family. She was always there to provide love and support. There was a light, so bright, in her eyes, when she spoke of her children and grandchildren, as she would proudly boast about all of their accomplishments. We will remember her for her love of education, furthering her own education and that of her community. She was a graduate of Wethersfield High school and she received her architecture degree from Yale University at the age of 45. She was also a member of the Marlborough Board of Education.

We will remember her for her love of art. She was always drawing and painting, self-made murals decorated her own house as well as those of her grandchildren. We will remember her for her love of travel. She developed this love at an early age when she traveled around the world with the Odyssey. As an adult, whether escaping to Ireland, visiting the cheetahs in Africa or enjoying the solace of the Grey Lady of Nantucket, that love continued. We will remember her for her love of animals. She surrounded herself with her beloved Irish setters. They were her constant companions as her children grew into adulthood.

Linda is survived by her three children Krystn Elliott Forcina, of Wilmington, Robert Elliott, of Wilmington, and Brandt Elliott, of Milton, their spouses Ray Forcina, Jeanne Savoy Elliott and Sara Chamberlain Elliott, her brother Robert Corrigan of Essex CT, and her 7 grandchildren: Ryan Forcina, Ava Elliott, Corinne Forcina, Robert Elliott, Charlotte Forcina, Caroline Elliott, and Evelyn Elliott.

A private celebration of her life will be held in her memory and memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association https://www.alz.org/.

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Paul Lagacé

July 20th, 2021

Paul Lagacé, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, died July 16, 2021 unexpectedly in his home in Wilmington, Massachusetts. He was 63.

A longtime member of the MIT community, Lagacé graduated from Course 16 (aeronautics and astronautics) with his bachelor’s degree in 1978, his master’s in 1979, and his PhD 1982. He joined the faculty in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1982.

Lagacé’s research focused on the design and manufacture of composite structures and materials mainly used in the aerospace industry. The work of his research laboratory, the Technology Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Structures, or TELAMS, ranged from characterizing a basic understanding of composite materials to exploring their behavior in specific structural configurations to computational modeling in solid mechanics. The lab also worked on the design, fabrication, and testing of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), along with their associated materials and processes.

“Paul’s most significant research contributions were in building an intellectual bridge between the material properties of emerging advanced composites, and their application to and certification in aircraft structures,” says Edward Crawley, the Ford Professor of Engineering and a longtime colleague of Lagacé in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Lagacé was widely recognized for his research expertise, particularly as it applied to the response and failure of composite structures, and the development of composite structures technology and the safety of aircraft structural systems. He was highly sought-after as an advisor and consultant to industry and government agencies on aspects of structural technology and broader engineering systems. He has served as a consultant, expert witness, and member of committees and panels in the investigation of accidents and their implications.

Lagacé held fellowships with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Society for Composites, and the American Society for Testing and Materials (now known as ASTM International). He served as president of the International Committee on Composite Materials and was recognized as a World Fellow of Composites and Honorary Member of the Executive Council.

In addition to his research, he was actively involved in education and service to MIT. Lagacé taught courses in mechanics of materials and structures with special emphasis on composite materials and their structures. In 1995, he was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, an honor that recognizes outstanding classroom teaching, significant innovations in education, and dedication to helping others achieve teaching excellence. He served as co-director of the MIT Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM — now Leaders for Global Operations, or LGO) and Systems Design and Management (SDM) programs, which are both co-sponsored by the School of Engineering and the Sloan School of Management. Drawing on his own experience, Lagacé was instrumental in launching MIT’s First-Generation Program. For many years, he was the lead faculty marshal during MIT’s commencement celebration, leading the faculty procession at the beginning and end of the ceremony.

Lagacé, a first-generation college student, grew up in Lewiston, Maine. He described his hometown as a “blue-collar town” that attracted many French-Canadian immigrants like his grandparents to work in the mills that used energy generated from the nearby Androscoggin River to produce shoes, textiles, and bricks. Lagacé’s parents — a self-employed painter and paper-hanger and a stay-at-home mother who worked part-time as a bookkeeper for her husband’s business — supported his goal to further his education, making it possible for him to attend a Jesuit high school and expanding his horizons by giving him a book about colleges one year for his birthday. Growing up during the advent of the Space Age had a profound effect on Lagacé; his interest in aerospace coupled with his academic strengths in math and science led him to MIT.

“In my many years of working with Paul, it was always clear to me that he loved MIT and he especially loved our students,” says Daniel Hastings, head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Cecil and Ida Green Education Professor.

Outside of MIT, Lagacé was a passionate sports fan particularly devoted to the Boston Red Sox. After seeing his first game at Fenway Park with his grandfather in 1968, Lagacé wove the Red Sox into his life in countless ways, from lining up a business trip with their travel game schedule to taking his future wife to a game on their first date. To the delight of local media, Lagacé also found a way to integrate his love of the Red Sox with his aeronautical knowledge into a real-life problem set for his students.

In the early 1990s, Lagacé observed that fewer balls seemed to reach the center field stands. He worked with his undergraduate students to construct a model of Fenway Park, which they then tested in MIT’s Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel to simulate the wind and baseball trajectory pathways. He concluded that a recently constructed press box created a wind vortex that prevented baseballs from reaching as far as they used to.

Paul was the beloved husband of Robin P. Lagace (Pare), cherished son of the late Lucien and Claire (Malo) Lagace, dear brother of Daniel Lagace and his wife Elyse of Voluntown, CT. Brother-in-law of Michael Pare of Pawtucket, RI and Robert and Wendy of Pare of Bow, WA. Paul is also survived by many friends and colleagues.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Friday, July 23rd from 4:00-7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, July 24th at 10:00 a.m. in St. Williams Church, 1351 Main St. (Rte. 38), Tewksbury, MA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Paul’s memory to the Epilepsy Foundation of New England, 1 Dunham Road #200, Billerica, MA 01821 or to the Dana-Farber Jimmy Fund, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168.

Louise “Janice” (Kelly) Perry

July 19th, 2021

Louise “Janice” (Kelly) Perry, age 77, of Wilmington and Lowell, passed away on July 16, 2021, with her loving family by her side.

Janice was born on January 4, 1944, in Somerville, MA; she was the cherished daughter of late Louise J. (Brisbois) Kelly. Janice was raised in Somerville before moving to Wilmington where she attended Wilmington High School.

Janice went to work as a waitress for a few different restaurants before she started her forty-year career at the Lo Kai Restaurant. As the head waitress, Janice knew everyone; her charming personality made her an asset to the restaurant. Janice loved to see new customers and “regulars.” After more than forty years of dedicated service, she took a new career path working for various telecommunications and security companies.

Family was most important to Janice; she was a devoted and loving mother to her six children, Thomas, Michael, David, Sharon, Paula, and Priscilla. When they were young, Janice would pack them all into the station wagon and head to the beach. Holidays were special for Janice, and she always made Christmas most joyous.

When the kids grew up and were married, she inherited her three favorite sons-in-law, Nick, Jeff, and Paul as well as her two daughters-in-law, Suzanne and Maryann. Janice was so excited to become “Grammy Janny” to thirteen grandchildren with whom she shared a special bond. She was most happy when she was able to get everyone together.

Janice also looked forward to spending time with her aunts, cousins, and friends whom she also shared a special bond. Sundays were for playing cards with the “girls”. They shared wonderful memories of card games and many laughs. Janice also enjoyed many trips to the casino with her family and friends.

Janice will be remembered as a loving mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, and friend to many. She will be greatly missed.

Janice was the beloved wife of the late Theodore C. Perry, Jr., devoted mother of Michael E. Allen & his wife Suzanne of Lowell, David E. Allen & his wife Maryann of Weston, CT, Sharon E. Spanos & her husband Nicholas of Lowell, Paula E. Baker & her husband Jeffrey of Wilmington, Priscilla E. Giroux & her husband Paul of Bellingham and the late Thomas E. Allen, Jr., loving “Grammy Jan” of Nicky Spanos, Thomas Leung, Alec Leung, Andrew Baker, Kevin Allen, Christopher Allen, Andrew Spanos, Brianna Leung, Ruthie Baker, Helena Spanos, Vincent Giroux, Timothy Allen and Emma Allen, sister of George P. Kelly, Jr. & his wife Patty of Lynn. Janice is also survived by her loving companion Daniel Carroll, her special caretaker Kathy Marchand as well as many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Family and friends will gather for Visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Thursday, July 22 nd from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 1:00 p.m. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

Memorial donations in Janice’s name may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959 or to Shriner’s Hospitals for Children – Boston, Attn: Development Office, 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02114. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Phyllis A. Amaro

July 16th, 2021

Phyllis Ann (Ryan) Amaro, age 81, a lifelong resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on July 15, 2021.

Phyllis loved growing up on Silver Lake, where she spent summers swimming and lifeguarding, and skating in the winter. She attended Wilmington Public Schools and graduated from Wilmington High School with the class of 1958. While in school, Phyllis met her best friend, boyfriend, and the love of her life, John R. Amaro. Phyllis and John were married at St. Dorothy’s Church on October 15, 1960. Phyllis and John had three beautiful daughters: Robin, Denise, and Cherylann. Phyllis was thrilled when she became a grandmother and truly cherished the time spent with her family. She deeply loved her “grandbabies”. She treasured spending time at the cottage in New Hampshire, skiing at Pat’s Peak, traveling with family and friends, and relaxing in her tea house.

Phyllis worked in education and loved every moment of it. She always said that she never went to work; she went to school. Phyllis had a lifelong love for learning. After she retired from teaching, she returned to school to study esthetics and became a licensed esthetician. Phyllis was an avid reader and was genuinely interested in all topics. She could regularly be found with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other.

She was a talented seamstress and created beautiful wedding veils, christening gowns, countless ballet costumes, prom dresses, and outfits for her girls. She had so much fun making Halloween costumes for her beloved grandchildren. She enjoyed knitting and spent her leisure time creating beautiful hats, scarves, mittens, and blankets. Many of her knitting projects were donated to churches, shelters, and military organizations. Phyllis truly had a heart of gold and a sense of humor to match. She filled a room with love and the world was a brighter place because of Phyllis.

Phyllis was the beloved wife of John R. Amaro, devoted mother of Robin Gearty & her husband Bob of Wilmington, the late Denise Amaro and Cherylann Arvanitis & her husband Peter of Epsom, NH. Loving “Grammy” of Lea Gearty, Johnny Gearty, the late Elise Gearty, Mariel Gearty & her husband Chris Colosimo, Katherine Arvanitis and Christopher Arvanitis. Cherished daughter of the late Paul T. and Alice T. (O’Brien) Ryan, dear sister of the late Paul Ryan. Phyllis was a special sister-in-law to the late Rosa Sadowski & her husband Edward and Dolores Silva & her late husband George, all of Wilmington. Phyllis was a loving aunt to Rosann (Sadowski) Guarino & her husband Mark, Leeann Sadowski, and the late Rick Silva. She also leaves behind beloved cousins and many friends.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Wednesday, July 21 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Thursday, July 22nd at 10:00 a.m. in St. Dorothy’s Church, Main St. (Rte. 38) Wilmington followed by interment in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Phyllis’ memory to Care Dimensions Hospice, 75 Sylvan St, Suite B-102, Danvers MA 01923. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Lorraine N. Mills

July 16th, 2021

Lorraine Nickerson Mills (White), age 86, a life-long Wilmington resident, passed away surrounded by her loving family on July 15, 2021.

Lorraine was born in Somerville, MA, on July 2, 1935; she was the cherished daughter of the late Stanley R. White, Sr. and Olive F. (Nickerson) White. Lorraine was raised and educated in Wilmington and a graduate of Wilmington High School with the Class of 1953.

Lorraine was a woman of great faith and an active member of the Wilmington United Methodist Church her entire life. She was involved in the Rainbow Girls as a young lady and served on the Advisory Board when her own daughters were active in the Rainbow Girls. Lorraine enjoyed being part of the Young Adults Fellowship where she met her husband Roger; the two hit it off and were soon inseparable; they married in the Church on August 29, 1959 and sang together in the Church Choir for over 50 years. Lorraine was also very active in the Miriam/Esther Women’s Circle and was a member of the Eastern Star. Lorraine loved the church and her fellow parishioners were like extended family; she was always there to lend a hand in their many Church suppers, breakfasts, or countless fundraisers they put on over the years.

Lorraine and Roger celebrated over 61 years of marriage and raised four beautiful daughters. Lorraine was a devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother she showered her family with unconditional love and support and made a wonderful home for them and their friends. Lorraine adored her grandchildren; James, Jr., Adam, Joseph and Emily, she was always eager to take care of them when they were small and was so proud of the adults that they had become. When Lorraine became a great-grandmother to James III, she was overjoyed and lit up when she saw pictures of him; she always referred to him as “the baby”.

In her spare time, Lorraine enjoyed her word search books, playing a friendly game of scrabble and knitting. Lorraine knitted beautiful pieces for her family and friends over the years; gifts that will forever be treasured.

Lorraine will be fondly remembered for her kindness and generosity towards others; she was always willing to give of her time and talents to help anyone in need. She was soft spoken and friendly; making others feel welcomed in her presence. Lorraine had a heart of gold and she will forever be missed by her family and friends.

Lorraine is survived by her beloved husband Roger H. Mills, she was the devoted mother of Deborah Swain and her husband James of Saco, ME, Susan Mills, Marilyn Mills, and Catherine Murphy and her husband Sean all of Tewksbury. Loving “Nana” of James Swain, Jr. and his wife Sarah, Adam Swain and his wife Amy, Joseph Zammuto, Emily Zammuto-Grchan and her husband Zachary and her great-grandson James Swain III “the baby”. She was the dear sister of Pearl Doubleday of Dummerston, VT, Stanley “Bobby” White and his wife Belinda of Republic, MO and the late Patricia White. Lorraine is also survived by her many nieces, nephews and friends.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Sunday, July 18th from 2:00-5:00 p.m. A Service to Celebrate Lorraine’s life will take place on Monday, July 19th at 11:00 a.m. in the Wilmington United Methodist Church, 87 Church St. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Lorraine’s memory to the Dementia Society of America, P. O. Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901.

Carol Ann Arena

July 15th, 2021

Carol Ann Arena (Karwanski), age 79, a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away sooner than expected.

Carol left us on Tuesday, July 13th, after an almost 2-year battle with lung cancer. Throughout it all, she never lost her hope or positivity. We admire her for this. Our mom was such a character. She always said that she wanted her children to have a better life than she did, and she accomplished this. She adored her husband, Guy, and they recently celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary.

She took great pride in her family. She spent her years as a stay-at-home mom while her children were young, taking us to hockey, dance, piano – whatever we were involved in. She was a second mom to the neighborhood kids and our cousins, especially to Stephen’s friends who routinely came and ate her out of house and home. She loved it! Her 2 granddaughters were her absolute pride and joy, and she would do anything for them, and often did.

She was gregarious – and would talk the ear off of anyone who would listen. She was generous, always thinking of the neighbors, person who would plow the drive, etc. and be sure to have Christmas presents for them. Christmas was, by far, her favorite holiday, and she adored all the fuss and cooking/baking surrounding the season. Christmas cards would be perched on the mantle, and picture cards were her favorite, and graced the home for weeks.

She liked her house a certain way, and would dance to the “oldies” while cleaning. She had a thing for plastic bags, and would use them to organize absolutely everything. She loved to watch Dr Pol and Jeopardy, and was so happy when she got an answer correct. She had a cat, Angeline, that was doted on. She enjoyed visits from Pendergast and Meghan, her grand-dogs, and was smitten with the newest furbaby, Dobbs. She loved the wildlife in the back yard as well, and would look for the groundhog and put out stale bread for the birds and squirrels. She had an ongoing disagreement with the racoons, who, many years ago, would go into the trash, and if caught, would unabashedly sit and stare at her from the pile of mess that they made.

She was happiest being with her family. She had always loved the ocean, and mom and dad would spend mornings sipping coffee and watching the waves at her favorite place, Salisbury Beach. Going there will never be the same again.

Seeing sick kids always made her so grateful that her children were happy and healthy. She wanted to donate to St Jude’s to help the families in their time of greatest crisis, and thus, our request to donate to them in lieu of flowers.

For those that knew her, she has left a hole in their hearts. For those that didn’t, she lives on in her children, who, in the end, did turn out all right.

We love you mom,
Cheryl, Stephen and Andrea

Carol was the beloved wife of Guy Arena, devoted mother of Cheryl Arena of Malden, Stephen Arena of Windham, NH and Andrea Arena & her husband Larry Sanchez of Dracut. Loving “Gram” of Syrah Arena and Olivia Sanchez, cherished daughter of the late Henry and Matilda (Arsenault) Karwanski, dear sister of Diane Tomassian & her husband Marcel of San Jose, CA, Linda Welch of Swampscott, Christine Lane of Braintree, Beverly Shirl of CA and the late Robert Karwanski. Carol is also survived by her beloved grand dogs as well as her many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Tuesday, July 20th for Visitation from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon immediately followed by a Service at 12:00 noon. Interment will take place in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Carol’s memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959

Geraldine M. Corcoran

July 15th, 2021

Geraldine Miriam Corcoran (Kennedy), age 95, a long-time resident of Wilmington, MA, passed away peacefully at home on February 1, 2021.

Geraldine was born in Waltham, MA, on August 27, 1925; she was the dear daughter of the late William B. and Rosalie (Hatfield) Kennedy. Geraldine was raised and educated in Waltham, MA and a graduate of St. Charles Borromeo High School.

Geraldine married her beloved husband the late Edmund J. Corcoran, Jr., on May 10,1949; the couple moved to Wilmington, MA, in January 1961 where they raised their two sons. Geraldine was a devoted and loving mother and grandmother; she is survived by her sons Edmund J. Corcoran and his wife Gloria of Wilmington and Gregory R. Corcoran and his wife Alison of Haverhill. She was the loving Nana of Michael and Kathleen Corcoran of Watertown, Brian and Alison Corcoran of Londonderry, NH, Jennifer and Jeremy Dusablon of Florida, Caitlin and Mark Griffin of Haverhill, Gregory and Alida Corcoran of Ohio, Scott Corcoran of South Boston and her Great-Grandchildren Tyler, William and Ryan Corcoran, Jackson Griffin, Margot Corcoran and Elsie Grace Corcoran.

Geraldine was also the dear sister of Paul Kennedy of Boston and her late brothers William Jr., Robert E. and Raymond R. Kennedy. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Monday, July 26th from 8:45-9:45 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA, at 10:00 a.m.  Interment will take place in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Geraldine’s memory to Beth Israel Lahey Health at Home Hospice, 600 Cummings Center #270X, Beverly, MA 01915.

Sgt. Evan G. Wattles

July 13th, 2021

Evan G. Wattles, age 33, of Tewksbury, formerly of Billerica and Wakefield, passed away unexpectedly on July 10, 2021, at the Whidden Hospital in Everett.

Evan was born on December 16, 1987, in Boston, MA; he was the cherished son of Jacquelyn Gaff and Gary Wattles. Evan was raised and educated in Wakefield; he was a stand out football player at Wakefield High School where he graduated with the Class of 2006.

Following graduation, Evan, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. on October 22, 2007 and soon found himself fighting the War on Terrorism with his deployment to Afghanistan. Evan’s unit was actively involved in lots of heavy combat; he lost a lot of fellow Marines and this would forever change him from the happy go lucky kid that everyone knew. Evan stood proud, finished his tour of duty, earned the rank of Sergeant and was honorably discharged on October 12, 2011; returning home to his family.

Evan had a talent for carpentry and he loved working with his hands; he went to work in the construction industry where he made many friends.

In his spare time, Evan, enjoyed reading, his favorite author being Jordan Peterson, he loved learning about philosophy and had a huge thirst for knowledge in many subjects.

Evan was outgoing and friendly with a great sense of humor; a gentle giant at 6′4″, with a heart of gold; he loved animals, kids, helping others and most of all he loved his family. He was fiercely protective of his family, friends and anyone he viewed as the “underdog”. Evan was loyal and kind towards everyone he met; he was truly a good person and will forever be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Evan is survived by his parents Jackie Gaff of Tewksbury and Gary Wattles of Cape Cod, he was the dear brother of Garrett Taylor and his wife Lauren, Uncle of Henry Taylor, grandson of the late Jacqueline and Edward Gaff, Sr. and Mary Fran and the late Benjamin Wattles, nephew of Thomas Gaff, Sally Wattles & husband Rob Dwyer, Benjamin Wattles, John Wattles, Peter Wattles and the late Edward Gaff, Jr., special Godson of Patty Nunley and Butch Marinello. Evan was also very special to his extended family, his cousins and his friends.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Saturday, July 17th from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. immediately followed by a Service at 1:00 p.m. which will conclude with Military Honors.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Evan’s memory may be made to the Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

April E. Gaffney

July 13th, 2021

April Elizabeth Gaffney, age 23, of Tewksbury, passed away unexpectedly on July 6, 2021.

April was born on March 17, 1998; she was the beloved daughter of David Gaffney of Tewksbury and Nancy Fleury of Lowell, she is survived by her adoring son James Gaffney, her loving sisters Alyssa Gaffney & her fiancé Scotty McMahon, Stephanie Willey & her husband Paul of Ardmore, OK, and Emily Babcock of Billerica. She was “Auntie” to her nephews Leo Willey and Joseph McMahon, dear granddaughter of Henry and the late Patricia Fleury, the late Joseph and Shirley Gaffney and Great-Granddaughter of Dorothy Sheehan, niece of Joseph Gaffney, Jr., Debra & Richard Andrews, Debbie & Jim Surette, Marc & Holly Fleury, Laura Fleury and the late Wayne Fleury. April is also survived by many cousins and friends.

April was a beautiful girl inside and out; she had a beaming smile that would light up a room; she was fun loving, friendly, and she loved people; especially her family. April will forever be loved and missed by all who knew her.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Wednesday, July 14th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

Col. Thomas F. Finn, Jr.

July 13th, 2021

Thomas F. Finn, Jr., COL (Ret.) U. S. Army, age 74, of Wilmington, MA, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on July 12, 2021, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

Tom was born on September 24, 1946, in Boston, MA; he was the dear son of the late Thomas and Mary Finn. Tom lived in Hyde Park as a young boy before his family moved to Dedham, MA, where he was raised and educated. Tom graduated from Cathedral High School in Boston, MA, with the Class of 1964 and went on to further his education at Northeastern University in Boston where he participated in the ROTC program. Tom graduated from Northeastern in1969 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering.

Tom was proud of his heritage; he came from a long list of family members including his Dad, Uncles and Cousins, that served in various branches of the Military during several wars. Tom lived and breathed the Military for most of his life; following his graduation from Northeastern, Tom, started his career with the Army; he entered his first duty as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Army Infantry. Tom married his “sweetheart” Jane O’Connell on October 19, 1968 and soon after he was assigned his first duty in Germany where he brought his new bride. Tom spent most of that tour of duty overseas with 3rd of the 12th Armored Calvary Division; he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 1971. Tom was honorably discharged from active duty on August 31, 1973 and transferred to the U. S. Army Reserves.

Tom and Jane returned stateside with a young family in tow, they settled in Rockland, MA in 1973 before moving to Wilmington in September of 1975. While raising a young family, Tom also resumed his education; he attended Babson College, studied hard and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, 1977.

While earning his master’s degree he began his 30 year Career at Polaroid Corporation, in Norwood, MA as an Engineer to Senior Principal Engineer.

Tom remained diligent in serving the Country; throughout his service as a reservist he continued to educate himself, answer the call of duty whenever needed and was always active and present when called upon. Throughout the years, Tom’s Army career took him through many phases; he proudly served in the U. S. Army during the Vietnam Era, following his honorable discharge from active duty he then devoted his life to the U. S. Army Reserves. In addition to the Reserves, Tom dedicated his time to The Association of the 1st Corps of Cadets in Boston as Past President and current Board Member. In 2008, at the age of 61, Tom, returned to active duty as he volunteered to go to Afghanistan and fight the War on Terrorism; he never hesitated to fight for our Country and the freedom of others. While serving in Afghanistan, Tom, was awarded several medals and commendations for his service including the Afghanistan Campaign medal with a Campaign Star, Bronze Star Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and NATO Medal. Tom moved up the ranks throughout his career, earning himself the rank of Full Bird Colonel; which his family was very proud of.

Tom went to work for the Oasis Company at Hanscom AFB in March of 2016. Tom had an unwavering work ethic and great people skills; he used his military background as well as his vast knowledge in his engineering field to make himself quite an asset to the company. Tom was scheduled to retire from the company as a Senior Systems Engineer in August 2021 following many years of dedicated service.

In his “down time”, Tom, enjoyed being with his family and looked forward to family adventures and events; he always had a video recorder going to capture every moment. He was known to be the “life of the party” every now and then; he was sociable, friendly and made everyone feel welcomed. Tom loved to attend sporting events for his children and later on his grandchildren whom he adored. Tom was well read and liked to research his family history; it fascinated him. Tom enjoyed relaxing at the family condo in Bartlett, New Hampshire, with family and friends and looked forward to his Army Reserve weekends with his buddies. Tom’s latest hobby included model trains; he was in the process of building a village for his trains and was attentive to every detail.

Tom will be fondly remembered as a “great guy”, he loved his family, friends and neighbors and would go out of his way to help anyone. He was undoubtedly a Proud American and Honorable Soldier; he was always willing to put others before himself. Tom will forever be in the hearts of all who loved him.

Tom was the beloved husband of Jane M. (O’Connell) Finn, devoted father of Katharine A. “Katie” Callahan & her husband Patrick, Matthew T. Finn & his wife Deirdre and Timothy F. X. Finn & his wife Lauren all of Wilmington and Patrick J. Finn & his wife Megan Borsari-Finn of Lawrence. Loving “Grampy” of Ryan, Hannah & Emma Callahan, Liam, Daniel & Brendan Finn, Timothy, Madeleine & Wyatt Finn, and Hayden, Brody & Irelynn Finn. Cherished son of the late Thomas F., Sr. and Mary M. (Cleary) Finn, dear brother of Kevin J. Finn of Litchfield, NH. Tom is also survived by his brothers and sisters-in-law, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Thursday, July 15th from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Friday, July 16th at 10:00 a.m. in St. Theresa’s Church, 63 Winter St., North Reading, MA. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom’s memory may be made to Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com