Obituaries 04-25-2012

Leah Tomlins

Mattapoisett Resident

Leah M. Tomlins died on April 23. She was 54 years old.

Born in Hartford, CT, she was the beloved daughter of Richard R. and Marie G. (Coppinger) Tomlins; cherished sister of Richard R. Tomlins, II and his wife, Joan, Marisa Ann Tomlins and Stacey Mary DiLorenzo; aunt of Emma M. Tomlins.  She will also be sadly missed by her family of friends at Mattapoisett, where she resided.

Visitation will be held Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Pontarelli-Marino Home, 971 Branch Avenue, Providence.   Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday at 9 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church, 1525 Cranston Street, Cranston, with burial to follow in the RI Veterans Cemetery, Exeter.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of SRS, c/o 400 Farmington Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920.

John MacPherson, Sr.

Reknown  ‘Busker’ AKA ‘Street Musician and Co-founder of J/R Repro-Graphics of Revere

John F. MacPherson, Sr. of Revere, formerly of Medford, Melrose and Key West, FL died on April 19 following a long and difficult struggle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. He was 71 years old.

Born in Stoneham, his early life was spent in Melrose and Medford and he was a 1958 graduate of Medford High School. In October of 1960 he entered the US Army during the Vietnam Era and served until October of 1966. In 1968, he and his wife, Rose M. (Donnarumma) established J/R Repro Graphics, a company that earned Boston Magazine’s “Best Graphics” in Boston. The company serviced schools, colleges and privately served many up and coming musicians in the Greater Boston Area. This endeavor became a family affair with all three children working within the business.

He was a man who ‘reinvented himself’ — because of his love for all music, especially jazz, in 1990 his family gave him an alto saxophone for his 50th birthday. He then entered a new career as a “Busker” aka “Street Musician” and lived the life of a “free spirit” traveling the country. In 1996, he teamed up with his friend “Trumpet Bob” and began a long stint in New Orleans as a busker. During the winter he would head for “Key West” where his fame and talent gave him the name of “Sweet Mac.” In 2011, because of his age and declining health, he returned to Revere and to his family who cared for him at home until his passing. But before returning to Revere, he spent a brief period of time in Brattleboro, VT, composing and arranging in collaboration with his son, Billy, which brought him tremendous joy. His postings can be found on the “Jukebox” page at [email protected].

He was the husband of Rose M. (Donnarumma); devoted father of Donna M. MacPherson and her husband, Donald P. Higgins and William A. MacPherson, all of Revere and John F. MacPherson, Jr. of Everett; cherished grandfather of Ashley Sanphy of Exeter, NH, Emma R. Higgins of Revere and Jonathan A. MacPherson of Chestnut Hill; dear brother of Richard MacPherson of Middleton, Thomas MacPherson of Reading, Robert MacPherson of Oregon and Stephen Aiello of Delray, FL and is also lovingly survived by his great grandson, Michael F. Cerasulo and several nieces and nephews.

Services and burial were held privately with arrangements entrusted to Vertuccio & Smith Home for Funerals, Revere. A memorial gathering and celebration will be announced sometime during the summer months. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Playing for Change Foundation, PO Box 1505, Culver, CA 90232, ( This foundation supports and assists secondary school music departments throughout the country in educating music students. For more information visit:

Ellen Morrison

Everett School Teacher

Ellen C. Morrison of Revere died on April 20. She was 66 years old.

Born in Boston and a teacher in the Everett Schools, she was the beloved daughter of the late Eugene and Margaret (Grady) Morrison; loving companion of Rocco Frallicciardi of Revere; dear sister of Eugene L. Morrison and his wife, Linda of Randolph, Arlene M. Colodonato and the late Anthony of Maryland and the late John K. Morrison; cherished friend of Nancy Neville and Patricia Crowley and is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Funeral arrangements were by the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons~Bruno Funeral Home, Revere. Burial was at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, West Roxbury. Memorial donations may be made to: Leukemia Society, 496 Old Connecticut Path, Suite 220, Framingham, MA 01701. For guestbook please visit:

Carlo ‘Carl the Biff’ Abruzzio

Of Revere, formerly of the North End

Carlo J. “Carl the Biff” Abruzzio of Revere, formerly of Boston’s North End and Medford, died peacefully on April 16 surrounded by family and friends. He was 84 years old.

He was the beloved husband of 54 years of Marie (Vaccaro), loving father of Thomas Abruzzio of Chelsea, Kenneth Abruzzio of Revere and Carla Havanidis of Revere and grandfather of George Havanidis of Revere; son of the late Thomas and Christine (Caruso) and brother of the late Thomas Abruzzio. He is also survived by many sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and many loving nephews, nieces, and cousins.

The family wishes to express its gratitude to Dr. Caridad and the nurses at Whidden Hospital, and also the Magnotta family and Imbruglia family.

Funeral arrangements were by the Boston Harborside Home, Boston. Burial was at Puritan Lawn Cemetery, Peabody. Memorial donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, PO Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312. Boston Harborside Home J.S. Waterman & Sons-Langone

Gerald Forgione

Worked for Colonial Provision and UMASS Security Department

Gerald “Jerry” Forgione of Revere, formerly of East Boston, died on April 16 after a long battle with cancer. He was 81 years old.

An employee of Colonial Provision Company for 28 years and the University of Massachusetts Security Dept., he was a graduate of  East Boston High School, Class of 1947 and a U.S. Coast Guard veteran of the Korean War.

He was the cherished   husband of Beverly ( Statho) Forgione; son of the late Albert and Mildred (Costello) Forgione; stepfather of Donna Zagami and her husband, Joe of Maine, Dianne Ferri and her husband, Kevin of New Hampshire and John Statho Jr. and his wife, Janine of Melrose. He was “Grampa Jerry” to eight grandchildren who adored him. He is also survived by his cousins John Hanlon and his wife, Sarah, Jean Scaduto and her late husband, Mario, Rita Valente and her husband, Don and Karen Siciliano and her husband, Al. He was the brother in Law of Diane Lombardi of Chelmsford, and Thomas Boland and his wife Jacqueline of California.

Funeral arrangements were by Vazza’s “Beechwood Funeral Home, Revere. Entombment was in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Remembrances may be made in his name to the Hospice of the North Shore and Greater Boston, 75 Sylvan St., Danvers, MA For guestbook:


Lorraine Strekofsky

Beautician and School Volunteer

Lorraine (DiNapoli) Strekofsky died peacefully in the arms of her loving family on April 18. She was 83 years old.

She spent many years as a beautician and was a dedicated volunteer at the Veteran’s Memorial and Felton Schools. She enjoyed spending time and took great pride in her sunlit garden.

The beloved wife of the late Edwin Strekofsky with whom she shared 57 years of marriage, she was the devoted mother of Janice Rubino and her husband, Joseph of Boxford, Joanne Strekofsky Hillman and her husband, Guy of Winthrop and Cheryl Pagliarulo and her husband, Jay of Bradford; proud and adoring Nana of Anna Hillman and Nicholas and Thomas Pagliarulo; daughter of Michael and Elvira DiNapoli; dear sister of the late Ralph DiNapoli and the late Joseph DeNapoli, both of Revere.

Funeral arrangements were by the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons –Bruno Funeral Home, Revere. Burial was at Puritan Lawn Memorial Park. For guest book visit

Marion Howard

Chelsea Resident

Marion F. (Rackie) Howard of Chelsea died on April 14.

She was the beloved wife of the late Melvin Howard; loving mother of Richard Howard of Cambridge and the late Leslie Killiam; dear sister of Eileen Lyon of Wilmington and the late Richard Racki; cherished grandmother of seven and great grandmother of three.

Funeral arrangements were by Vazza’s “Beechwood” Funeral Home, Revere. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to MSPCA, 350 South Huntington Avenue, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. For guest book:

Evilio Caraballo

Longtime Chelsea Resident

Evilio Caraballo, a longtime Chelsea resident, died at the Everett Nursing and Rehabilitation in Everett following a long and courageous battle with an overwhelming illness. He was 72 years old.

Born and raised in Guayama, Puerto Rico, he was the son of the late Alejandro and Marie (Hernandez) Caraballo. He attended schools in Puerto Rico and immigrated to the United States in the late 1950s settling in the Bronx, NY. He returned to Puerto Rico and married Aparicia Rodriguez. Together they returned to the United States, settled in Chelsea and raised their family here.

Mr. Caraballo worked various jobs spending time working at Converse in Medford, US Gypsum in Charlestown and at the Shrafft’s Candy factory until its closing. He was an amateur wrestler in his younger days and also enjoyed watching professional wrestling and baseball. In his spare time he enjoyed working on cars and was a skilled mechanic. Evilio also enjoyed watching The Three Stooges and Tom and Jerry.

He was the beloved husband of Aparicia Caraballo of Chelsea; devoted father of Jay Caraballo and his wife, Laura of Chelsea, Nelson Caraballo and his wife, Janet of Somerville, Shirley Caraballo and her husband, Hector of Revere, Ketsy Caraballo and her husband, Corey of Dorchester and Luis Caraballo of Puerto Rico; dear brother of Carmen, Juanita, Sophia, Junior, Victor, Luis and other siblings in Puerto Rico. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

His Funeral will begin from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea on Thursday, April 26 at 10 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Rose Church, 600 Broadway Chelsea at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit

John Viarella

East Boston Resident

John F. Viarella of East Boston died on April 23.

He was the husband of Ann (Tecci) Viarella; loving father of John Viarella and his wife, Kimberly of Virginia, Christine (Viarella) Gomes and her husband, Marcus of Revere, and Lisa Ferrara and her husband, Luigi of Saugus; dear brother of Joseph Viarella of Revere, Stephen Viarella of East Boston, Catherine Freni of Medford, and Joanne Stone of Chelsea and the late Michael, Salvatore, and Vincent Viarella and cherished grandfather of John James, Viarella Lindsay Millar, Marcus and Luciano Gomes. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

His Funeral will be from Vazza’s “Beechwood” Funeral Home, 262 Beach St., Revere, Thursday morning at 8 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Revere, at 9 a.m. Family and friends may visit today, Wednesday, from 4 to 8 p.m. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. For guest book and directions,

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