Dorchester veteran, civic leader John O. Scannell has died at 93

John O. Scannell, right, was a familiar face and voice at neighborhood events, including the annual observances of Memorial Day in Cedar Grove Cemetery. He died this week at age 93. Reporter file photo

John O. Scannell, a longtime Dorchester resident and World War II veteran who was a key figure in ceremonies to honor his fellow servicemen and women and his adopted neighborhood, died on Wed., May 6 at age 93. The former grand marshal of the Dorchester Day Parade, Scannell served in the U.S. Army, 26th Yankee Division, 114th Medical Battalion.

A native of South Boston, Scannell raised his family in Dorchester. He leaves behind four adult children, 11 grand-children and 8 great-grandchildren. He was the husband of the late Julia M. (Guerriero).

In recent years, John was frequently called upon to sing at ceremonies in the neighborhood. He possessed a beautiful, tenor voice and performed at Memorial Day exercises each year at Cedar Grove Cemetery, where he was a former member of the board of trustees. He and his son, Billy Scannell, would organize volunteer efforts to decorate the graves of veterans interred in the cemetery each year.

John was a life member of the William G. Walsh American Legion Post #369 and the James J. Rice Amvets Post#28. He was past commander of the Amvets Post #285 and the Army & Navy Union Garrison #24.

According to a obituary posted at the Murphy Funeral Home website: "He was a longtime parishioner of St. Brendan's Church and a former head usher. He was a retired member of the Cedar Grove Cemetery Board of Trustees. He was a member of the Castle Island Association, as well as their Choral Group which included volunteering at the Haunted Castle, Tour Guide at the Fort, and singing for many local nursing homes. John sang at the St Patrick's Day Breakfast, Dorchester Day Banquets, Marian Manor, and many Memorial Day events. He served as Past Grand Marshal of the Dorchester Day Parade. He was an avid bowler until he was 91 years old. He was also honored at a Boston Red Sox Game for his military service."

"A private committal and interment will take place in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester. A celebration of John's life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in John's memory may be made to the Castle Island Association, P.O. Box 342, South Boston, MA, 02127.

"John was the loving father of Julia M. Anderson and her late husband Stephen of Saugus, Diane M. Hanson and her late husband Ray of Hollis, NH, William J. and his wife Diane Scannell of Quincy, and Kathleen J. O'Brien and her late husband Patrick of Abington.

"Brother of Roger V. Scannell of Maine, and predeceased by 9 other brothers and sisters.

"Devoted "Grandpa" of Eric, Tamara, Jill, Nathan, Erin, Patrick, Michael, Jaclyn, Sean, Casey, and Kelly.

"Great-grandfather "Grampy" of Olivia, Haylee, Leif, Raven, Imogen, Cheyenne, Charlotte, and Stella.

"Survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends. Especially his devoted friends Joe Collis and Paul Suplee."