Obituaries 12-28-2017

Obituaries 12-28-2017

Henry Shaffer

Of Revere, formerly of Chelsea

Henry Shaffer of Revere, formerly of Chelsea, died on December 24.

He was the beloved husband of the late Beatrice (Pirkovitz) Shaffer, loving son of the late Avrum and Ethel Shaffer and dear uncle of Johanna Alper and Amy Alper of Colorado, Susan Cohen of New York, Russell Pirkot of Greenfield, Donald Alper of W. Roxbury, Andy Cohen of Tennessee, Gerald Pirkot of Randolph, Murray Bass of New Jersey, Joshua Alper of Belmont and Daniel Cohen of Massachusetts.

Graveside services were held at Sharon Memorial Park, Sharon, on December 26.

Donations in Henry’s memory may be made to the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, 165 Captains Row, Chelsea, MA 02150.  Torf Funeral Service 151 Washington Ave., Chelsea assisted the family with arrangements. For guest book and directions please visit www.torffuneralservice.com.

David Rantz

Of Lynn, formerly of Revere and Winthrop

David M. Rantz of Lynn, formerly of Winthrop and Revere, passed away on Monday, December 18. He was 82 years old.

The cherished son of the late Morris and Marjorie (Rehal) Rantz and Anne (Staretz) Rantz, he was the beloved husband of the late Marie (Blundo) Rantz, cherished father of Laura Rantz Moyer and Nadine Rantz Casey and their mother, Margaret Casey, Lisa Giambartolomei Luise and her fiancé, Michael Hayes, Diana Giambartolomei Santheson and her husband, Carl, Maria Giambartolomei Calla and her loving companion, Paulie Christie and the late Audrey Buchanan.  He was the adored grandfather of 10 and great-grandfather of eight; caring brother of Lois Vasel, who was his best friend, Joan Estabrooks, Florence Hodgkins, Selma Pomeranz, and the late Harvey Fischler, Marjorie Ferrara, and Freddie Rantz.  He is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A Memorial Service will be held in David’s honor on Saturday, December 30 at 11 a.m. in the Chapel at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett.  Inurnment will follow the service.  At the family’s request, please OMIT flowers, donations may be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute PO Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284.  For directions and guestbook, please visit: www.vazzafunerals.com.

Winifred Dorothy Churchill

Lifelong member of First Congregational Church and Winnisimmet Union of Chelsea

Winifred Dorothy (King) Churchill passed away Friday morning, December 22 surrounded by her loving family.  She was 85 years old.

Born in Chelsea, the daughter of the late James and Dorothy (LeGrow) King, Winifred grew up in Chelsea, attended Chelsea public schools and graduated from Chelsea High School, Class of 1950.  Although Winifred received her Associate’s Degree from Salem State College, she was a homemaker all her life.  She tended to her home in Everett where she lived most of her life and cared for her husband and two daughters.  In her later years, she and her husband moved to Peabody.

Winifred was a lifelong member of the First Congregational Church in Chelsea, as well as the Church’s social organization, the Winnisimmet Union.  She will be deeply missed by all her family and friends.

The beloved wife of Charles Robert “Bob” Churchill of Peabody with whom she shared 65 years of marriage, she was the devoted mother of Nancy Ellen DiMinico and her husband, Chris, Janet Elizabeth Herbert and her fiancé, John Vitale, all of Chelmsford and she is also lovingly survived by five grandchildren: Timothy, Christy and Lauren DiMinico, Katherine Herbert Muniz and her husband Derrick and Rachel Herbert, all of Chelmsford.

Funeral services will be conducted at the First Congregational Church, 26 County Road, Chelsea on Friday, December 29 at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend.  Visiting hours will be held at the Carafa Family Funeral Home, 389 Washington Avenue, Chelsea today, Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m.  Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett.

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St Rose Piazza Christmas Décor Turns Heads on Broadway

St Rose Piazza Christmas Décor Turns Heads on Broadway

By Seth Daniel

Parishioners at the St. Rose Church on Broadway have returned to put up their spectacular Christmas light display this year on the new piazza. The volunteers spent most of 2016 building out the new structure, and this year is the first year they have been able to fully decorate it for Christmas – a tradition that goes back about six years.

Parishioners at the St. Rose Church on Broadway have returned to put up their spectacular Christmas light display this year on the new piazza. The volunteers spent most of 2016 building out the new structure, and this year is the first year they have been able to fully decorate it for Christmas – a tradition that goes back about six years.

An electrified Nativity scene outfitted with a blazingly bright star is just one of the many spectacular light displays on the new piazza to the north of St. Rose Church – a light display that started humbly a few years ago and now has grown to great proportions.

Father Hilario Sanez said the annual display is back this year courtesy of many dedicated parishioners from the Vietnamese-speaking contingent of the Parish.

The 20 or so men dedicate their time year in and year out to build out the bright display for the community and to honor the Christmas holiday.

The effort is now made all the more special due to the piazza patio that is in place to the north of the church – a patio that supports the colorful light display even more than the previous lights.

Cuong Pham led the Vietnamese parishioners in installing the piazza in the summer and fall of 2016. Working late into the night on weekdays and weekends, parishioners built out on a volunteer basis the new structure so that the church could host better get-togethers outside.

Their dedication to the project was unmatched, as many of those working came to volunteer late into the night after working full-day shifts in the construction industry.

Now, after a year break from the Christmas lights, this month the crew of Vietnamese parishioners were back to work putting up the light spectacular.

Within the community, many have commented on the display, and noted that the City’s new Christmas lights compliment the St. Rose display perfectly – making the downtown area much more festive.

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Chelsea Hill Walking Group Formed Out of Community Spirit

Chelsea Hill Walking Group Formed Out of Community Spirit

By Seth Daniel

Members of the new Chelsea Hill Community neighbor group gather on the stairs near Lafayette Avenue earlier this fall. The group formed after a neighbor day in Malone Park last September, and their momentum continues to build.

Members of the new Chelsea Hill Community neighbor group gather on the stairs near Lafayette Avenue earlier this fall. The group formed after a neighbor day in Malone Park last September, and their momentum continues to build.

What started as a summer get-together for neighbors near the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home neighborhood has turned into an effort that has logged many miles this fall within their community.

Now dubbing themselves the Chelsea Hill Community, the group has grown significantly and engages in safety walks and meetings on a monthly basis.

On the first Wednesday and third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m., the group walks the streets of the neighborhood. On the fourth Thursday, they hold community meetings at 6 p.m. in the First Congregational Church on County Road.

It’s something that has been as much a surprise to the founders as it is to newcomers and those who have been in the neighborhood for years.

Monica Elias-Orellana, a life-long Chelsea resident, said the idea was born out of the Community Enhancement Team (CET) efforts, which focuses neighborhood betterment projects citywide.

Elias-Orellana is part of that effort, and she and Councillors Yamir Rodriguez, Luis Tejada Yahya Noor and Pastor Ellen Rohan Ball had scheduled a clean up of Malone Park.

Then on Sept. 2 this year, they decided to hold a ‘Meet Your Neighbor’ day as a follow up, enlisting Councillor Roy Avellaneda, Henry Wilson, City Manager Tom Ambrosino and Councillor Damali Vidot to the effort.

“After that day, we decided that we should try to keep the momentum going,” said Elias-Orellana. “We’re an independent residential group and we are now called the Chelsea Hill Community. We do similar things to the existing Sector Groups, but we also do events as a neighborhood too.”

The walks have been very productive and the group has added a police officer to accompany them. They are now doing winter walks and plan to have hot chocolate and cookies to accompany the effort.

“We have a lot of momentum right now, and I think this is something we can keep going for a long time,” said Rodriguez. “I think we can make this group strong enough to join the other groups in Sector 4 or in Admiral’s Hill.”

Rohan Ball said the meetings have brought many of her members of the First Congregational Church on County Road a lot of comfort.

“At one of the meetings, two sisters who are members of the church and had to leave Chelsea after the Great Fire of 1972, were reminiscing,” she said. “It really brought them back. I felt this instant happiness that I was thrilled to see. They enchanted us with stories of the fire and the old neighborhood. It was really great to have the newer neighbors come back with the old neighbors and learn from one another.”

The group is also trying to address an early concern of the elderly in the neighborhood, that being the task of shoveling snow. Working with the Boys & Girls Club, they are hoping to organize volunteers from the Club who will shovel the walks for elderly folks during snow storms.

Elias-Orellana said what is important about their group now is that they have recruited a strong base of neighbors who are passionate. That, she said, will endure even the coldest winter walks.

“We’re a small group now, but it doesn’t matter if we have 30 or 50 people, we are a group of passionate people who are looking to be impactful where we live,” she said.

The next Chelsea Hill Community Walk will be on Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. Check their Facebook page for the latest location.

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New Chelsea Day Center Making a Difference in Homeless Community

New Chelsea Day Center Making a Difference in Homeless Community

By Seth Daniel

Pastor Ricardo Valle, Ivone Valle, Esperanza Escobar and Ivellise Gonzalez are all volunteers in the new Chelsea Day Resource Center (SELAH) in the basement of the Light of Christ Church on Broadway. The new Center is a partnership between the City, Valle and many others.

Pastor Ricardo Valle, Ivone Valle, Esperanza Escobar and Ivellise Gonzalez are all volunteers in the new Chelsea Day Resource Center (SELAH) in the basement of the Light of Christ Church on Broadway. The new Center is a partnership between the City, Valle and many others.

In years past, when it was severely cold, those living on the streets of Chelsea had nowhere to go but under blankets.

Some, as recently as last year, died because of exposure to the cold.

Now, to help prevent that and to give those on the streets a place to go during the day, the Chelsea Day Resource Center (SELAH) has opened in the basement of the Light of Christ Church at 738 Broadway.

The Day Center is a partnership between Pastor Ricardo Valle and his church, as well as the City of Chelsea, Pastor Ruben Rodriguez, MGH Chelsea and CAPIC.

It is part of the overall effort to provide a place for those that hang out in Bellingham Square or under the Mystic/Tobin Bridge to go for services – things such as meals, clothing, hot showers, a bathroom and – occasionally – a shoulder to cry on. It’s also a resource that can be activated by the City overnight in times of extreme cold or extreme weather events.

It isn’t a new idea, but rather one Valle and others have been championing privately for a number of years. However, about three years ago, the City began to show a greater interest in partnering with Valle and others during a relentless cold snap. One particularly bad night, they put together a quick plan to partner with Valle and host those from the streets as a trial emergency measure.

It went so well that plans have been ongoing since then to get something official going. Now, that has happened.

Valle said the center has been open since Aug. 28, and so far things are working really well. In fact, SELAH is just about ready to get their full commercial kitchen working so they can provide on-site cooked meals every day, Monday through Friday.

“This is an investment with no monetary returns,” said Valle. “If someone is sick and they die, that’s terrible but we can accept that. If they die because they are out in the cold, we can do better than that. I have this space here and I believe everyone deserves a second chance and maybe this is the place where they can come find a second chance…We talk to them and try to get them to ask for help. Once they ask, we immediately have a team ready to get them the help they need to get out of this lifestyle.”

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said the population of homeless and vagrants in the city needed a place to go during the day. Many used to hang out in the Square all day, and it wasn’t compatible with the business district and nearby schools. However, there was nowhere else for them to go.

“We were really looking to partner to create a place so there’s a place people can go to get a shower and something to eat,” he said. “We hope it can be a helpful resource for our Navigators. There are now options that they didn’t have before. So far it’s doing pretty well.”

Ambrosino said the City was able to give the Center a grant of about $35,000 to build the showers and bathrooms. Meanwhile, other monies were directed to the operating budget from the Mass General neighborhood monies.

Bobby Soroka lived on the streets and under the Bridge for years until getting his own place recently. He started coming to the Day Center when it opened, and now he returns to help out as a volunteer.

“I liked what I saw when I came here and they needed help,” he said. “I was here anyway. Without this, they wouldn’t be able to shower. It’s a nice place to hand and especially with winter coming. Everybody gets along. There are no fights or problems.”

Valle said having the shower and ability to clean up is very important. He said they often find those coming in very deteriorated conditions. One man had his feet rotted, and couldn’t walk well. In general, he said, it has helped the hygiene of the community of homeless that frequent and live in Chelsea.

“A shower means a lot to them,” he said. “The first time we opened the center, it took 30 minutes and you could feel the smell. Now you come here and you don’t feel that because they have access to a shower five days a week. We had a man who came in to take a shower and he took his shoes off and his feet had deteriorated. He couldn’t walk and was using a stick to get around. It was bad and we see a lot of people in that condition.”

Soroka now has his own housing, but at night in the cold, he said he still is uneasy when he smells the air. It brings back really bad memories, and so he avoids going outside at night. He also said it helps him to continue to relate to what those at the Center are going through.

“It meant a lot to see them open this, especially a few years ago when they opened it during the cold,” he said. “I was under the Bridge then. I’m not one to go to a shelter. I’ll sleep outside first. I have a place, but I don’t like to go outside. That night air scares me to death. It makes me think I could be out there again. I hope not.”

The Day Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is in desperate need of volunteers, Valle said, and he hopes that more Chelsea people will step forward to help.

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Obituaries 11-09-2017

Obituaries 11-09-2017

John Petrillo

Of Revere

John Petrillo of Revere died on November 2.

A member of Local 25, he was the beloved son of Ralph Petrillo Jr. of Revere and the late Maureen Yolanda (Simone); cherished brother of Tayla Yolanda Simone of Revere and the late Ralph Petrillo III; loving uncle of Talia Yolanda Petrillo, Kelsey and Aryana and is also survived by Thomas Puzzo who loved him like his own son, cousins Guz Diaz and Julia Kariuki and by many caring cousins and friends.

Funeral arrangements were the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home,  Revere.   For guest book please visit www.Buonfiglio.com

Rosemary Sullivan

Of Chelsea

Rosemary A. (Mahoney) Sullivan of Chelsea, formerly of Readville, passed away on November 5 at the age of 89.

Rosemary was born in Boston to Thomas and Margaret Mahoney.

A homemaker for much of her life,  after raising her children, she spent many years working for Boston Children’s Hospital and Cathedral High School, both in Boston. After retirement, Rosemary enjoyed spending time with her family, including her grandchildren and great grandchildren. More recently, Rosemary would spend her days reading and watching her favorite programs on television as well as birdwatching and spending time with her favorite dogs.

The wife of the late Robert Sullivan, she was the beloved mother of Robert Sullivan of Westfield, Daniel Sullivan and his wife, Dome of Virginia and Kathleen “Kathy” Randazzo and her husband, Richard of Chelsea, Pastoral Associate of Immaculate Conception Church in Everett and the late Paul Sullivan. Rosemary is lovingly survived by her grandchildren: Lisa, Dan, Heather, Rich, Brian, Krissy, Kaitlyn, Dee, Matt and Corey, as well as her greatgrandchildren: Drea, Maggie, Rowynn and Alexandria. She is also the dear sister to siblings Marie Prata of Beverly (formerly of Readville) and her late husband Tony, Jeanne Pratt and her husband, Chris of California and Thomas Mahoney and his wife, Judy of Washington and many nieces and nephews.

Her Funeral will be from the Carafa Family Funeral Home, 389 Washington Avenue, Chelsea on Friday, November 10 at 8 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at Immaculate Conception Church, 489 Broadway, Everett at 9 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend.  Visiting hours in the Funeral Home are on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment will be at Brookdale Cemetery in Dedham.

Mary DeCristoforo

Fan of current events, football and Facebook

Mary L. (Domenichello) DeCristoforo of Revere, formerly of Chelsea, passed away in the loving presence of her beloved family in the early morning hours of Thursday November 2. She was 81 years old.

 Born and raised in Chelsea, she was a beloved daughter of the late Michael A. Domenichello, Sr. and Marie (Courtney) Spadafora-Domenichello.  Mary attended local schools and received her early education in Chelsea.  A resident of Chelsea for most of her life, she resided for the past 30 years in Revere together with her beloved husband Kenneth.

In her lifetime, Mary enjoyed keeping up with current events, following football, and staying in touch with her many friends posting and sharing her recent happenings on Facebook.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 47 years, Kenneth A. DeCristoforo. She was the devoted mother of Robert DiOrio and his wife ,Terry of Chelsea and Kenneth M. DeCristoforo with his friend and companion Bonnie Douglas; cherished grandmother of Robert J. “RJ” DiOrio and his wife, Catherine of Connecticut and Deryn DiOrio of Chelsea and the dear sister of Rose Buckley,  Ellen Russell and Michael Domenichello, Jr.

Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea.  Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett.

Charles Melvin

Long time Chelsea School Crossing Guard

Charles R. Melvin passed away on Friday evening, November 3 in the loving presence of his beloved wife.  He was 84 years old.

Born and raised in Everett, a son of the late Charles and Ruth (Leonard) Melvin, he received his education in Everett attending local schools.  He enlisted in the US Navy, d served honorably during the Korean Conflict, returned to Everett and for the next 34 years he worked for Touraine Paints in Everett.

Forty-six years ago, he married his beloved wife, Barbara (Doncaster-Broman) and settled in Chelsea. For the past 20 years, Charles worked for the Chelsea School Dept. as a School Crossing Guard. Rarely ever missing a day he loved his assignments watching out for the school children and parents to and from school.

During his lifetime, Charles enjoyed family camping and prided himself as an amateur horseshoe player.  His love was family, centering around his grandchildren.

in addition to his parents, he was also predeceased by a sister, June Windsor.  He is survived by his beloved wife of 46 years, Barbara N. (Doncaster-Broman) Melvin of Chelsea. He was the devoted father of Theresa N. Rosati and her husband, Anthony of Wells, ME. Chelsea Police Officer Timothy T. Broman, Sr. and his wife, Angela of Wilmington and Dawn Egan and her husband, John of Laconia NH.  He was the cherished grandfather of Chelsea Police Dispatcher Zachary T. Broman, Timothy T. Broman and Chelsea Police Officer Thomas M. Broman, John and Jacqueline Egan and the dear brother of James Melvin of Melrose, Ruth Currie of Seattle, WA and Donna Blake of Lynn.

Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea.  Interment was at Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody. Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Ribenia Ramos de Girald

Of Chelsea, formerly of Honduras

Rubenia A. Ramos de Girald

Of Chelsea passed away on Friday, November 3 after a long illness. She was 77 years old.

Born and raised in Olanchito-Yoro, Honduras, she has been a resident of Chelsea for the past 29 years. Rubenia worked with commercial fisheries in Gloucester as a packager for many years. She enjoyed trips to visit Honduras, traveling to New York City and Puerto Rico.

She was predeceased by her parents, Tomas Carcamo and Anselma Ramos, her husband, Jesus Girald and four of her nine children. She was the devoted mother of Erica Calixa of Chelsea. She is also survived by two daughters, two sons, numerous grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren and two brothers in Honduras.

Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea.

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Shakirah Hammonds-Vega

Of Chelsea

Shakirah Hammonds-Vega of Chelsea died on November 4.

The devoted daughter of Brenda I. Vega of Chelsea and Shyreak A. Hammonds of Boston, she was the beloved sister of Carlos Ayuso-Vega of Chelsea, cherished granddaughter of Ana Maria Vega of Chelsea, Peggie Hammonds of South Carolina and the late Juan Vega-Crespo and is also lovingly survived by her aunts and uncles, Juan R. Vega and his wife, Carolyn, Anna Iris Vega, Wanda Vega and Edward Vega, all of Chelsea, Kim Hammonds of South Carolina, Asya McCord of South Carolina and Rhakeem J. Kinard of Boston, as well as her cousins, Alexander, Anthony, Adrianna, Angelina, Julian, Jazmine, Selinnet, Edward, Jr., Nilda and Octavian and fondly remembered by her stepfather Carlos Ayuso.

Family and friends are kindly invited to attend a Funeral Mass to be celebrated in St. Rose Church, 600 Broadway, Chelsea on Friday, November 10 at 10 a.m. All attending are to go directly to the church, parking is available across from the church behind the rectory. Visiting Hours in the Smith Funeral Home, 125 Washington Avenue, Chelsea will be today, Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. Committal services are private. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name be made to www.youcaring/shakirah

To send a message of condolence to Shakirah’s family, please visitwww.smithfuneralhomes.com

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Obituaries 06-29-2017

Obituaries 06-29-2017

James “Yanky” “Jim” Schwartz

He called himself a ‘tough bandit’ three days after his 101st birthday

James ‘Yanky’ ‘Jim’ Schwartz  passed away peacefully on June 2 at his home in Boynton Beach, Florida. He was 101 years old.

Jim was born May 25, 1916 to Maurice and Celia (Handler) Schwartz, graduated from Chelsea High School and married Anita Mazel in 1941.

He served his country in the Pacific Arena from 1942 to 1945 during World War II. He was a Mason and a Shriner.

He lived most of his life in Chelsea, working in the oil and pharmaceutical industries. He had a car wash and pizzeria. His independent and dedicated

career gave a sense of grand style to his life in cars, dress and open attitude. He was a friend to many and many loved him as a dear friend.

Yanky’s passion for summer vacations brought him first to New Hampshire’s  Little Squam Lake, and later to a home on Lake Winnipesaukee. He enjoyed

family, photography, boating, entertaining, landscaping, comedy, foreign films, Rusty Nails and people.

Jim is survived by his three sons: Dr. Peter Alan and Mrs. Myra Schwartz of North Attleboro, Lester Keith and Mrs.Suzanne Schwartz of West Campton,

NH and George Schwartz of Sheldonville, MA; seven grandchildren: Jodi Colton, Adam

Zeitsiff, Jeremy Schwartz, Maggie Schwartz, Ben Schwartz, Lucy Schwartz and Sam Schwartz and numerous loving cousins. His great grandchildren are: Abigail and Gavin Zeitsiff and Jonah and Nate Colton. Jim was preceded in death by his loving wife, Anita; his brothers: Philip, Irving and Bernard, and his sister, Pearle. Jim is also survived by Philip’s son, Arnold Schwartz and his wife, Suzie and Pearle’s son, Ed Eich and his wife, Jayme.

Three days after he turned 101, he said “I’m a tough bandit.”

And so he was.

There will be a graveside farewell to Jim today, Thursday, June 29 at 10 a.m. at The Chelsea JCC Cemetery on Buxton Road in Danvers.

Joseph Adamowicz

Lifelong Chelsea resident

Joseph Adamowicz of Chelsea passed away suddenly on Wednesday, June 21 at the Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett. He was 78 years old.

Born and raised in Chelsea, the son of the late Napoleon and Louise Adamowicz, Joe attended local schools and was a lifelong resident of Chelsea. He worked as a paint mixer with Raffi and Swanson Manufacturing and retired several years ago.   Joseph was a devoted Catholic and lived a deeply religious, spiritual and prayerful life. He frequently attended Masses at St. Stanislaus Church and St. Michael the Archangel Chapel in Chelsea.

He was the former husband of Barbara “Bobbie” Elliot and devoted stepfather of the late Cisco Naranjo, the cherished grandfather of Krystal Naranjo, the beloved brother of Donna Hollis of Georgetown and dear uncle of Jolene Hollis-Fraser and her husband, Jesse Fraser, Chris Hollis and his wife, Lisa and adored great uncle of Anthony Silva, Gavin Fraser and Ryan Hollis.

Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend a Memorial Mass on Friday, June 30 at St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, 91 Crest Ave., Chelsea at 11 a.m. Final arrangements were handled by the Anthony Memorial-Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea. For online guestbook or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com

Richard Alphonse Pruneau

Director of Torf Funeral Service for 41 years

Richard Alphonse Pruneau, a longtime Arlington resident,  died peacefully in Chelsea on June 23. He was 73 years old.

Richard was born on February 6, 1944 in Boston to the late Francis G. and Ann (Nauer) Pruneau. He graduated from Don Bosco Tech in 1961, furthered his education at New England Institute-Kenmore Square and became a licensed funeral director in 1969.

He married Eda in 1966. After moving to Arlington, Richard began working for Torf Funeral Service in Chelsea as a Managing Funeral Director in 1970 where he stayed for 41 years. Richard also worked and assisted with many funeral home establishments in the Boston Area.

Richard loved and was dedicated to funeral service.  He was passionate about all things funeral service. Although not Jewish himself, Richard was strict in his adherence to the Jewish Laws of Tahara always displayed compassion and understanding to the bereaved in their hour of need. He was an active, dedicated member of the Bellingham Lodge #53- Knights of Pythias, Handi Kids of Bridgewater and the Temple Emmanuel Brotherhood of Chelsea. Richard was an avid drummer who marched with the American Legion Post 156 Band of Waltham.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Eda (Hohulja) Pruneau. He was the devoted father of Lisa Connearney and her husband, Frank of Medford and Michelle McCaffery and her husband, William of Burlington; proud grandfather of Ryan and Thomas Connearney and Brendan and Emma McCaffery; loving brother of Shirley Johnston and her husband, Robert of Auburndale, dear uncle to Robert W. Johnston and his wife, Cindy, Laurie Levy and her husband, Michael and the late William L. Johnston and his wife, Lauren. He is also survived by several great nephews and nieces.

His Funeral Mass will be held at St. Agnes Church, 51 Medford Street, Arlington on Friday June 30 at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Burial is private.

Visiting hours will be held from the Torf Funeral Service, 151 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, today, Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. Jude’s Hospital-501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, 165 Captains Row, Chelsea, MA 02150. Visit www.torffuneralservice.com for guest book and directions.

 Sophie Kanarkiewicz

Longtime Chelsea Teacher’s Aide

     A Funeral Mass was said on Wednesday at St. Stanislaus Church for Sophie T. (Domoretsky) Kanarkiewicz who passed away on June 21 in the peaceful surrounding of her home and in the preence of her loving famiy. She was 84 years old.

Born and raised in Chelsea and a lifelong Chelsea resident, Sophie was the beloved daughter of the late Dennis and Rose Domoretsky. She attended local schools and graduated from Chelsea High School. She married John H. Kanarkiewicz and together they raised their family of three in Chelsea.   A devoted housewife, mother and homemaker she also worked outside of her home for many years as a teacher’s aide with the Chelsea School Dept.

She enjoyed family camping trips, going to polka dances with her husband, handcrafts like sewing and crocheting, the companionship of her feline friends and interior home painting and decorating. Sophie was widowed 15 months ago with the passing of her beloved husband and Chelsea Firefighter, John H. Kanarkiewicz, Sr. She was also preceded in death this past September by her son, Chelsea Fire Lt. John H. Kanarkiewicz, Jr. and years earlier by her siblings; Vasily, Michael and Walter Domoretsky.   She is lovingly survived by her children and their spouses: Rosemarie Miller and her husband, Gary of Lynnfield and Frank Kanarkiewicz and his wife, Joanne of Peabody. She was the cherished grandmother of Dennis and Sara Kanarkiewicz, Adrienne Manes and her husband, Aaron and adored great-grandmother   of   Caroline   Manes.

A Funeral   Mass   was   said   on   Wednesday   at   St.   Stanislaus   Church. Interment followed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, Rev. Andrew T Grelak officiated.   Final Arrangements   were   handled   by   the Anthony Memorial-Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. For online guestbook or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit: www.WelshFuneralHome.com

Delia Connors

Retired principal clerk of Chelsea Treasurer’s office

Delia J. (Mallet) Connors passed away on Monday,   June 26 after a brief illness with her caring and loving family at her side and in the peaceful surroundings of her home. She was 75 years old.

Born and raised in Chelsea, she was a daughter of the late Ernest J. and Laura B. (Arsenault) Mallet.   A lifelong   Chelsea   resident,   she   attended   local   schools   and graduated from Chelsea High School in 1960. She married John J. “Jack” Connors and together they raised their family of three in Chelsea.

A devoted housewife and Mother, Delia also worked outside of her home as a data processing clerk at the Winthrop Community Hospital and she was later employed at Chelsea City Hall working for 13 years as a principal clerk in the city Treasurers Office. She retired in 2009.

In her lifetime, Delia enjoyed arts and crafts, sewing, creating and sewing Halloween costumes for her children. She also enjoyed working in ceramics, shopping and browsing through Flea Markets and collecting “Teddy Bears,” but she mostly enjoyed and loved time spent with her family and her grandchildren.

She was the beloved wife of 56 years of John J. “Jack” Connors; devoted mother of Paulette Velastegui, Juliann Boesch and her husband, Roberto and Robert Connors and his wife, Deborah, all of Chelsea; cherished grandmother of Timothy Velastegui, Daniel Velastegui, Kaitlyn Jessee, Christina Boesch, Robert Michael Connors,   Rebecca Connors and Rileigh Connors; dear sister of Theresa Roberts of Saugus and the late Ernest Mallet and Rosemarie Cardarelli. Her Funeral will begin from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea       on Friday, June 30 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church, 59 Nichols St., Chelsea at 10:30 a.m. Services will conclude with Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Welsh Funeral Home today, Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Assoc. MA/NH Office, 309 Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham, MA   02452.     For   directions   or   to   send   expressions   of   sympathy,   please   visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com

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Obituaries 09-08-2016

Carol Ann Parrotta

Of Chelsea

Carol Ann (Tedford) Parrotta of Chelsea died on June 20. The devoted wife of Nicholas Parrotta, she was the beloved mother of Elizabeth West and her husband, Christopher of Tewksbury; sister of Eileen Cronin of Chelsea and Muriel Eremka of Wilmington.

Family and friends are kindly invited to attend a Memorial Mass to be celebrated in Our Lady of Grace Church, 59 Nichols Street, Chelsea on Saturday, September 10 at 10:30 a.m. Funeral arrangements under the direction of the Smith Funeral Home. To send a message of condolence to her family, please visit: www.smithfuneralhomes.com

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Obituaries 08-04-2016

Mary Nocito

Of Chelsea, formerly of Cambridge

Mary I. (Russell, Ayers) Nocito of Chelsea, formerly of Cambridge, passed peacefully on July 30.

She was the beloved wife of Joseph O. Nocito of Chelsea and the late Clarence Ayers; loving sister of Patricia Henry and her husband, Thomas of Arlington, Charles Russell Jr. and his wife, Cathy of Middleboro, James Russell of Cambridge, Theresa Fitzgerald of Waltham, Elizabeth McGonagle and her husband, Robert of New Hampshire, Thomas Russell of Waltham and the late Richard Russell and is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours at the Keefe Funeral Home, 5 Chestnut St., (Rt.60, adjacent to St. Agnes Church) Arlington on Friday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. followed by her Memorial Funeral Mass in St. Agnes Church at 10 a.m. Burial will be in St. Paul’s Cemetery, Arlington. Donations may be made in Mary Nocito’s memory to Mystic Valley Elder Services, Inc., 300 Commercial Street #19, Malden, MA 02148. For directions or to send a condolence visit www.keefefuneralhome.com

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Methadone Clinic and Neighbors Meet Head On In Large Meeting

By Seth Daniel

Neighbors and community organizers confronted the owner of the Methadone clinic on Crescent Avenue Tuesday night in a large meeting on County Road about moving his operation, to which he said they would consider it.

Councillors Luis Tejada, Leo Robinson and Roy Avellaneda sponsored the open mic community meeting on Tuesday night at the First Church on County Road, in what was a meeting aimed at addressing violence and substance abuse. Though many topics were breached, the large crowd on hand was mostly interested in talking about moving the Methadone clinic.

The Methadone Clinic on Crescent Avenue, called Community Substance Abuse Centers, has been in operation since the early 2000s and was only placed in its location after a legal battle in which the City lost. Up until only recently, the clinic has been operating without a lot of public animosity, but seemingly out of the blue many community members began to criticize it at public meetings earlier this summer.

Dr. Steve Kassel, of Everett, spoke to the crowd about the benefits of Methadone and had three staff members on hand to explain how the clinic works.

“Studies showed that Methadone use decreased crime significantly,” he said. “They found that people in treatment at a rate of 93 percent used less illicit substances. Some 7 percent did not decrease their use. That 7 percent continued to use. But having that 7 percent is not a reason not to treat the 93 percent that find it beneficial…By giving them this medication, it’s not one drug for another. It’s taking away the withdrawal symptoms so they can then get to the counseling stage. We give people with alcohol medication…Part of the problem in Chelsea is we need more counseling. We do not cure the disease of addiction, just like we don’t cure diabetes. They do not get high on it and it blocks the high of heroin.”

That information was well received, but many in the audience wanted to ask the company – which often has been anonymous the community until the last year or so – about moving.

Chelsea Collaborative Director Gladys Vega led the charge.

“If there’s a way the Methadone Clinic can be relocated somewhere else, that would be a great relief to the residents of Chelsea,” she said. “We don’t want to be burdened with it anymore. Would you consider moving if we helped you identify a location? Not every city has the same kinds of problems we have to deal with. I’m not challenging the medicine because it’s necessary, but I am challenges the location and how it is so close to an elementary school that houses hundreds of young students. Chelsea has enough problems of its own and shouldn’t have to deal with other people’s problems coming in.”

That was followed by applause from the crowd.

The big news was that Kassel said he would consider a relocation.

“If the community has a viable location that can provide the medical treatment needed, Community Substance Abuse Centers is more than wiling to look at having the clinic relocated to a different site,” he said. “We want to work with the City and are partners with the City. We have a problem in our country with ‘Nimby,’ not in my backyard. No one wants a clinic in their backyard. If no one wants it and it doesn’t go anywhere, what happens to the 93 percent that get successful treatment?…I share your pain. I understand.”

Other parents and grandparents spoke about the huge numbers of people who congregate in Bellingham Square – some of whom go to the clinic and then migrate to the Square to hang out. Many said their children see bad things caused by the clinic in the Square, and also on Crescent Avenue while on their way to school.

“My granddaughter shouldn’t have to see that; it’s not fair,” said one women, in tears. “They are walking around in such bad condition that they have to crawl. I believe in what you’re doing, but not so close to the kids.”

Chief Brian Kyes said the clinic has been a unique situation.

He said they expected a rise in crime when it went in around 2003, but crime did not actually increase in the surrounding areas. He said around 700 people per day seek treatment there, with a vast majority getting their treatment and leaving the city. Around 15 to 20 people, though, head to Bellingham Square to hang out.

“Some got their treatment and then went to Bellingham Square,” he said. “Bellingham Square is a small area. If we have 15 out of 700 coming there, that’s a lot. That’s been a struggle for us.”

Though the meeting was all encompassing, and also addressed many crime issues, the focus seemed to be squarely on the clinic – as it has been now for several weeks.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino has said previously that the clinic was largely unknown to the City, but has recently been participating with the City in various initiatives – including police planning efforts.

Tejada – who was the main host of the meeting – said he was glad to see such an amazing turnout from folks.

“We have a top notch group of people running this City,” he said. “That’ why Chelsea is a place where people want to live now. Not long ago we would have had an event like this and maybe five or 10 people would have showed up. Look at this crowd. It’s amazing. People are working together. That’s why people want to come here now.”

Methadone Clinic owner Dr. Steve Kassel took many questions from the audience on Tuesday night, including whether or not he would consider moving his clinic to a new location. He said if there were a better location the community identified, he would do so.

Methadone Clinic owner Dr. Steve Kassel took many questions from the audience on Tuesday night, including whether or not he would consider moving his clinic to a new location. He said if there were a better location the community identified, he would do so.

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A Life of Kindness and Generosity:Community Honors Chelsea Police Officer John Bruttaniti

By Cary Shuman

The Chelsea community came together this week to remember heroic Chelsea Police officer John Bruttaniti, whose quick and decisive action saved the life of a young child who was choking in a June, 2015 incident in the city.

Mr. Bruttaniti died May 12 from injuries sustained in an accident in Lynn. He was 41.

Family and friends joined members of the Chelsea Police and Chelsea Fire Department and officers from other public safety departments for the visitation and funeral Mass at the St. Rose Church on Broadway. Several motorcycle enthusiasts joined in the impressive display of friendship and admiration for Bruttaniti, an avid motorcyclist himself.

The Rev. Hilario Sanez Jr., spiritual leader of Saint Rose Parish, officiated the Mass that highlighted Mr. Bruttaniti’s years of good deeds, his highly decorated service in the United States Army, his career in the Chelsea Fire Department and Chelsea Police Department, and the warmth, love, kindness and generosity that he extended to all who knew him.

Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, who was asked to speak at the Mass by Mr. Bruttaniti’s sister, Karen, and Ernest “Cucho” Acevedo, a lifelong friend of Mr. Bruttaniti, delivered separate, heartfelt and touching eulogies, both of which drew applause from the large assemblage in the church.

“It is with deep sorrow and an extremely heavy heart that I have the opportunity to say a few words about our brother, Chelsea Police officer John Bruttaniti,” began Kyes. “I want to describe to the many of you that are here in this church this morning the great man and extraordinary public servant that John was while he was here with us.”

Kyes spoke about Mr. Bruttaniti’s deployment in Iraq and Kuwait and the numerous medals he received in recognition of his gallant service in the U.S. Army. He talked about Mr. Bruttaniti’s decision in 2008 to leave the Chelsea Fire Department and become an officer in the Chelsea Police Department.

Kyes touched on Mr. Bruttaniti’s work with HarborCov whose leaders said he was “exceptionally helpful to victims and survivors of domestic violence.” Kyes also noted Mr. Bruttaniti’s volunteer work as a mentor in the Chelsea Reach Program.

Kyes described in Mr. Bruttaniti’s own words from the police report what the chief believed was “his finest moment as a Chelsea Police Officer.”

Mr. Bruttaniti and Officer Arsenault were interviewing a possible suspect in an incident in a local store when Mr. Bruttaniti observed a male party holding a small toddler in his arms.

Mr. Bruttaniti realized the magnitude and nature of the emergency and began administering back blows in an attempt to dislodge a foreign object that was obstructing the baby’s airway. Mr. Bruttani’s efforts resulted in the object falling out of the baby’s mouth. He had saved her life.

“I am happy to report that this beautiful girl, whose name is Brianna, is doing great and celebrated her second birthday on January 12 of this year in no small part thanks to the heroic actions of John on June 7 of last year,” Kyes said. “God had a plan that day to place an angel with Brianna and that angel was John.”

Kyes then told Mr. Bruttaniti’s family and friends, “John’s life was one of kindness and generosity and while we offer you our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy, we also thank God for having been touched by his special life.”

Like Kyes, best friend Ernest Acevedo was also brilliant in his message and delivery, perfectly capturing his childhood friendship with Mr. Bruttaniti and the many good times they shared throughout their lives, so close that many thought they were brothers.

“For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Cucho. I am John’s lifelong best friend and brother.”

Acevedo continued, “It is with great sadness that I stand in front of you today to celebrate the life of my friend. He was a great friend, brother, son, officer, fireman, and soldier. You all feel as I do, that he was taken too soon and don’t understand why tragic things like this happen to such good people.”

Acevedo talked about his friend’s remarkable accomplishments and the many laughs he shared with him.

“John acquired lifelong friends at every stage, and if you talk to any of them, they will you the same thing – that he was real. He never pretended to be someone that he wasn’t. He was the life of every party. He always made you laugh.”

Acevedo said their bond grew stronger through each year of their friendship. He recalled the dinners prepared by their respective parents at their homes.

“I would not be the man that I am today without the experiences that John and I had,” said Acevedo. “John had a lifelong dream to be a police officer but the path to that dream was not easy and he took the long way around. But he persevered.”

Acevedo spoke with reverence about his friend’s service in the United States Army. “John never talked about his time in the war but the experience changed him. He talked about the incredible friendship and camaraderie that he experienced in the Army and that was something he sought out upon his return.”

Acevedo said one of the proudest moments of his friend’s life was when he passed the police exam with flying colors.

“He had finally moved from the backseat of the cruiser to the front,” said Acevedo, drawing laughter from friends and family. “And he loved that job. He strived to be the type of cop that we respected as kids, the ones who were fair but firm, giving breaks for a mistake and turning people’s lives around. He was a consummate, professional gentleman.”

Acevedo said there was one common denominator in all he did. “John was the big teddy bear in the family. He always wanted the best and pushed [his younger relatives] to take a better path than he did.

“But he also showed me that family comes in many different places: friends, teammates, brothers in arms. Yesterday’s wake confirmed that family is not how you love, but how you are loved in return. John, you taught me to never give up in my goals. You gave me courage and you gave me confidence. You were the best man at my wedding, godfather to my children, friend, brother, and sometimes even a father figure.”

Mark O’Connor, president of the Chelsea Police Patrolmen’s Union, also praised Bruttaniti whom he first met when Bruttaniti became a Chelsea Police officer nine years ago. He said Bruttaniti was a mensch, a Yiddish term meaning a person of integrity and honor.

“I worked with John on and off over the years and he was absolutely one of my favorites and a lot of people’s favorites here,” said O’Connor. “He was very well liked, full of camaraderie and good cheer. He was a real mensch, that’s the way I would describe him. He was just a good guy in every direction.”

Officer John Bruttaniti's casket is carried by fellow officers and family members out of the church.

Officer John Bruttaniti’s casket is carried by fellow officers and family members out of the church.

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