Obituaries 04-21-2021

Claire Helfer

She Thoroughly Enjoyed the Closeness of Family and the Fun of Sharing Time with Them

Family and friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Thursday, April 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Vertuccio & Smith, Home for Funerals, 773 Broadway (Rte. 107) Revere for Claire N. (Mathison) Helfer who passed peacefully on Saturday, April 17 in the Lighthouse Nursing Care Center of Revere following a long illness. Following the visitation, a Funeral Service will be conducted in the Funeral Home at 7:15 p.m. Interment is private. Face masks must be worn at all times and social distancing must be maintained in the funeral home. All attendees are required to provide their name and phone number for contact tracing and temperatures will be checked prior to entering the funeral home. Only 25 people are allowed in the Funeral Home at one time. Guests are asked to visit briefly and to exit the funeral home to allow others to enter.

Born and raised in East Boston, Claire was a graduate of Girls’ Trade School, Boston, Class of 1959. She and her family left East Boston in 1998, moving to Revere, where they remained. Early in her working career, she worked for the former Boston Acoustics of East Boston and the Ames Department Store.

Claire was a woman who thoroughly enjoyed the closeness of family and the fun of sharing time with them. She was the very proud grandmother to Brendon T. and Jamie M. Helfer, who made their home with her; the beloved wife of 52 years to Robert L. Helfer and the cherished mother to Robert M. Helfer and his wife, Teresa and the proud grandmother to Brendon T. and Jamie M. Helfer, all of Revere; the dear sister of  Gary Mathison and his wife, Audrey of East Boston and the late Joyce White and Donald L. Mathison, Sr. and his late wife, Gloria. She is also the loving sister-in-law to Charles White of Peabody. Several nieces and nephews also survive her.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to MSPCA (Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 350 South Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02130-9923. To send online condolences or for more information, please visit

Paul Joseph Arsenault

Retired Revere Police Officer and Friend to Everyone He Met

Paul Joseph Arsenault of Windham, NH, formerly of Revere, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away on April 13 at the age of 74.  

He was born in Revere to parents, Joe and Ruth. After high school, he joined the US Marines and later served in the 126th Signal Battalion of the Army National Guard. He was a Revere police officer for over 20 years before retiring in 2000.

Paul was a friend to everyone he met. He enjoyed striking up conversations with people wherever he went.  He was good natured, laughed easily and never took himself too seriously.

He struggled mightily with technology and some of his texts are legendary. He was always up for any adventure and was known to drop everything to help family or friends in need.  He loved being outdoors, fishing, grilling and snappy hotdogs.

More than anything, Paul loved his family. He was a devoted husband and wonderful father. He particularly enjoyed being a grandfather.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Elizabeth (Betty), his children Kerri, Edward and Erin, his son-in law Richard, and his grandchildren: Nicolas, Ava and Benjamin as well as by many nieces and nephews.  He is predeceased by his parents Joe and Ruth, his sister Denise Ricciardelli and his twin sister, Paula Dirring.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons –Bruno Funeral Home, Revere.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Paul’s name to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. For guest book please visit

Josephine Amara

Family Matriarch Who Will Be Wholeheartedly Missed for Her Presence, Her Love, Her Stubbornness and Her Spunk

Josephine (Piazza) Amara of Revere, formerly of the West End, passed away on Friday, April 16 at the age of 99.

Josephine was the sole proprietor of Josephine’s Cleansers, a dry cleaning and tailoring shop in Woodlawn, Everett.

She loved spending time with her family, playing bingo, baking cookies, and making pasta. Her unwavering desire for independence kept her driving and taking the bus into Boston well into her late 80’s. She also lived on her own until three years ago. As the matriarch of the Amara Family, she will be wholeheartedly missed – her presence, her love, her stubbornness, and her spunk.

She was the devoted wife of the late Frank Amara, the loving mother of Dominic and his wife, Virginia of Revere and Anthony (Tony) and his wife, Kathleen of Lynn. She leaves behind her grandchildren: Stacy Amara and her partner, Roderick Redman of Clarksville, MD, Nikki Amara Myers and her husband, Richard of Needham, Ryan Amara and his wife, Jenna of Tewksbury and Renee Carvalho and her husband, Dennis of Cary, NC, and five great-grandchildren. She was the beloved daughter of the late Antonio and Josephine Piazza, and the eldest sister of Mary Kessler and her husband, Joseph of Braintree along with the late Helen, Paul and Sebastiano “Jimmy” Piazza.

 Visiting hours will be Thursday, April 22 from 10:30 a.m. to12:30 p.m. at the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home, 128 Revere Street, Revere followed by a prayer service at 12:30 p.m. We ask that you keep your visit brief to allow others to enter the funeral home. Masks are required when entering the funeral home. Services will conclude with Interment at the Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Family and friends are kindly invited. Rest in Eternal Peace. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Renal (Kidney) Medicine in Boston or Chelsea Jewish Lifecare -165 Captains Row, Chelsea, MA 02150 – Attn: Joanne Thomas. For guestbook please visit

Edward Bushee

Musician Who Loved the Arts and Listening to Jazz Music

Edward J. Bushee of Chelmsford, formerly of Revere, died on April 14 at the age of 80. 

Edward proudly served his country in the United States Army and was a member of the National Guard 26 YD Yankee Division Band.  He played several instruments.  Edward loved the arts and listening to jazz music. 

The beloved husband of the late Rosemary (Hayes), he is survived by his daughters, Heidi Ricker and her husband, Jonathan of Tewksbury and Suzanne Silvestri and her husband, Nicholas of Danvers; dear brother of the late Frederick Bushee Jr, and Mary Murphy and cherished grandfather of Haley and Delilah Ricker and Nico and Luca Silvestri.  He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. 

A Visitation will be held at the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home 128 Revere St, Revere on Friday, April 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. followed by a private prayer service.  Due to capacity limits, we ask that you keep you visit brief to allow others to enter.  Relatives and friends are kindly invited.  Masks and social distancing are required at the funeral home. 

Interment will be in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park.  In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 3 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701. For guestbook, please visit

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