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Remembering a dear brother

“A new day is beginning.
A brand new year is here,
filled with good wishes,
for health, peace, and cheer.”
By Elna Rae

I always hope that the new year will bring happiness and good health to all. Our family, however, received some very unhappy news on Jan. 2. We learned, from Virginia, that Hubby’s older brother John had passed away unexpectedly. John, known affectionately as “Scotty” by the members of his family, except for his sister Peg and his brothers Vinnie (“Hubby”) and Jerry, and their families, who still called him John. John joined the Marines at age 18 and served during the Korean War, in which he received a battlefield commission. After serving proudly in the Marines for 24 years, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Following his military service, he worked for, and then retired from, Dominion Power as a security supervisor at the Surry Nuclear Plant.

He was very family oriented and traveled all over the US with his wife of 59 years, Joe (named for her grandfather) Ann. In recent years, John and Joe Ann came to Boston often for family parties and celebrations. Both John and Joe also traveled to the many celebrations of their five children, their spouses, their seventeen loving grandchildren, and their two beautiful great grandchildren. John and Joe would often warn us that they would be away from their home for a week or so, visiting their kids so we wouldn’t worry if we called and got no answer. John was also very proud of his Irish heritage. (His favorite college football team was, of course, Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish.) When he first went in the service, his fellow service men thought he was Scottish, thus the nickname “Scotty.”

Hubby and I were fortunate to have flown to Virginia for John’s 80th birthday celebration three years ago July. I will never forget John’s face as he drove into son Pat and daughter-in-law Cathy’s driveway and saw so many of his family there. It was the most wonderful party. We have such great photos from that time.

In recent months, John had to have dialysis. He or Joe Ann, a nurse, would call his sister Peg, who would, in turn, let us know how he was doing, which was a little better until he passed away suddenly on Jan. 2. Peg, her daughter Terri, Terri’s son, Sgt. Jeffrey Williams, (US Army), John’s younger brother Jerry, his wife Joan, and their daughter Mary, and Hubby and I went to Portsmouth for his wake and funeral. We were amazed that the wake was only one and one-half hours long, unlike our four-hour wakes here in Boston. We were amazed that there was such a crowd during that hour and one-half. John’s funeral Mass was celebrated at the Church of the Resurrection in Portsmouth. We then drove quite a distance to the Albert Horton Memorial Veterans’ Cemetery in Suffolk, VA. (Hubby lost count after seeing 30 cars behind us in the funeral procession.) The military honors’ ceremony was very impressive. There were 12 Marines in attendance, the highest in rank being a Lieutenant Colonel, John’s rank. As we sat under a portico, it was wonderful to watch the ceremony on that beautiful Monday.

Our Boston family sends its deepest sympathy to Joe Ann, his wife of 59 years, and to his children: Beth Doloresco and husband Art; Gina Downs and husband Chuck; John Jr. and wife Alice; Michael and wife Johanna; and Pat and his wife Cathy Lockwood. John’s whole family, including the grandchildren, couldn’t have been nicer to their relatives from Massachusetts. We will miss John/Scotty so very much.
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I must mention that daughter Sue gave me a new magnet for Christmas for our refrigerator. It says: “Ship Me Up to Boston,” which reminds me of the wonderful song performed so well by the Dropkick Murphys. I can’t keep my feet from dancing every time I hear that song.
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I was so glad that I was in the car waiting for daughter Sue to come out of CVS last Sunday afternoon when I heard Gino Cappelletti chatting with his former broadcasting buddy Gil Santos on radio station 98.5 FM. (Gil and Gino had broadcast 585 Patriots’ games during their 28 years together.) Gino retired from broadcasting the games at the end of last season so I was surprised to hear him once again. He was just paying a visit to Gil and left after the first quarter, citing the bitter cold and biting wind. I heard later that Gil is going to be inducted into the Patriots’ Hall of Fame in 2013. Bravo, Gil. Unfortunately for us, his listeners, Gil has now retired, his 36 years of broadcasting the Patriots’ games at an end. Hubby and I were so disappointed as we watched Sunday’s losing game against Baltimore. I must compliment the Patriots, however, for their mostly memorable games this season. They certainly brightened our Sundays and Monday evenings. We hope that they have an even better record next season.

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I want to thank Kathy Cheney for letting me know that her aunt, Louise Cheney, had passed away on Jan. 3 at age 93. Louise and her husband Stephen lived for many years in the Port Norfolk area. Steve, whose CB radio name was “Miami,” was well known to our son Paul, who was also an avid CB radio operator. I send the sympathy of our whole family to Louise and Steve’s children: Marylou West, Eileen O’Shea, Steve, Terri Slink, and Jeanette Begley. She was a very well- liked woman.

I was also sorry to read of the unexpected death of William Harty, at age 51, on Dec. 23. William was the son of our Pope’s Hill friends Joe and Mary “Mossy” Harty. (He also went to St. Ann’s School with our daughter Susan.) I send my sympathy to William’s wife Janice and to his children Brittany and Jake. We also send our Pope’s Hill sympathy to William’s parents, Joe and Mary “Mossy” Harty and to his brother Patrick and sister Jody.

For many years, Mary Fallona was my good friend. A resident of Whitten St., she and her husband Ray adopted our Pope’s Hill organization as their own. They loved to go to the police meetings and kept a good eye on their neighborhood. She also loved plants and flowers. Mary passed away on Jan. 7. I send my sympathy to her son Ronald and to her god daughter, Elaine Lynch.

I just happen to see the obit for an old friend, Stuart Manter, whose real estate firm/insurance agency, A.M. Johnson (at 96 Neponset Ave.), sold us our first home in Neponset. Stuart passed away on Jan. 3, at age 91. Over the years, we would see him when we went to pay our house insurance at his office. He was always such a gentleman and would come out to chat when he saw us. We knew that he had served as the president of the Dorchester Board of Trade because his real estate office was the address for the DBOT for years. We also knew that he was president of the First American Bank on Columbia Road in Uphams Corner. As I read his obit, I saw that he was in the US Army for three years during World War II. Stuart leaves his daughter Marilyn and son Brad, plus five stepchildren. I know that anyone who knew him would smile when they heard his name. He was so likable. By the way, Stuart was buried in the Cedar Grove Cemetery.

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After the hectic pace during the Christmas vacation, this seemed like the perfect thought: “God put me on earth to accomplish a certain
number of things. Right now, I’m so far behind, I will never die.”