Obituaries 02-23-2022

David F. O’Donnell

Family Man, Executive, and Entrepreneur

David F. O’Donnell of Winchester died peacefully on February 19 in Sarasota, FL at the age of 84.  He was surrounded by his family and gently held his rosary beads, which brought him enduring peace.

He was born in Everett, the son of Francis M. and Julia Walsh O’Donnell, and was raised in Revere.  He attended Immaculate Conception School in Revere where, in the 11th grade, he met his future wife, Anne Finnegan.  Dave and Anne married in 1960 and were blessed with four children: Bill, Dave, Tim, and Maryanne.  They enjoyed 61 wonderful years of marriage together.

Family always came first for Dave, and he counted his family as his greatest achievement.  He shared a special bond with each of his four children.  For years, he coached his kids in basketball and baseball, and attended every recital.  Win or lose, he supported his children, though he had a strong preference for winning.  The eternal optimist, he thought every game was winnable. After his coaching days ended he attended every one of his kids games and races.

That tradition continued with his 16 grandchildren.  He and Anne attended literally thousands of baseball, hockey and soccer games, track meets, and dance recitals.  Every Sunday, the family would gather at DaveO and Nana’s for lunch, and the meal always began with a prayer from DaveO; gratitude above all else.  And each Sunday, he would engage with each and every attendee.  He was a gifted storyteller, with a quit wit and remarkable memory for the smallest details.  Dave possessed that unique gift that made each person he talked to feel special.

Faith was a driving force in Dave’s life and one of the greatest gifts he gave his children and grandchildren.  Following his wife’s lead, he attended Mass daily for over 40 years.  On his many business trips, the first question he would ask at his hotel was “where is the nearest Catholic church?”  Near or far, Dave found a way to receive Holy Communion every day.  During the Covid lockdown, Dave and Anne watched a mass online every morning.  He lived his faith, and he was proud of it.  He was generous in compassion and kindness, and his character was truly admirable.

David’s career was premised on hard work.  After a stint at GE, David joined Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and retired as Senior Vice President after 25 years to pursue entrepreneurial interests.  Dave was co-founder and Chairman of OmniClaim, Inc., an industry leader in healthcare payment integrity where he enjoyed working with a team of talented and motivated colleagues. Dave served on numerous corporate boards for both privately held and publicly traded companies. 

Dave loved sports.  Prior to 2001 and the arrival of Tom Brady, his favorite athlete was Ted Williams.  Dave had fond memories of his grandfather Pa Walsh working overtime to earn money to buy Red Sox tickets so Dave could see Ted Williams.  Beginning in 2001, Dave and Anne faithfully watched TB12 whenever he was competing.  He also enjoyed horse racing and August weekends at Saratoga with family and friends were special to DaveO.    

Dave lived a blessed life, and he knew it.  He is survived by his wife, Anne; his sons: William and his late wife, Mary (Pomer) of Melrose, David and his wife, Jennifer (Elwell) of Winchester and Timothy and his wife, Kathleen (Ho) of Lexington and his daughter, Maryanne of Melrose.  He is also survived by 16 grandchildren: Tom, Jim, Matt, Luke and Maria O’Donnell; Erin, Abigail (Husselbee), Jack, and Caroline O’Donnell; John O’Donnell; and Sam, Annie, Dan (Ernie), Chad, Maggie and Emma Little.  Dave is also survived by his great-granddaughter, Alessia Husselbee and his grandson-in-law, David Husselbee.  DaveO will be dearly missed, and his love for and dedication to his family will never be forgotten.

In addition, Dave is survived by his loyal brother, Richard and his wife, Jane of Andover and his loving sister in-law, Claire O’Donnell of Swampscott.  His dear brother, Frank died in 2016 and he was predeceased by his loving, sister-in-law Doreen O’Donnell.  He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and their children, for whom he deeply cared.  Dave is fondly remembered by two dear friends who considered him a second father, Rabah Hassad and Arn Cheang.  Dave was the patriarch of the extended family.

Dave’s wake will be held on Monday, February 28 at Gately Funeral Home, 79 West Foster Street, Melrose, MA from 2 to 5 p.m.  A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Church, Herbert Street, Melrose, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1 followed by the interment in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Dave’s name to The Angel Fund at 649 Main St. Wakefield MA 01880.

For directions & to sign online condolence visit:

John Cogliano Jr.

Loving Husband, Father and Grandfather

John Cogliano Jr., 88, passed away peacefully with many of his family members by his side on Thursday, February 3. For 56 years, he was the beloved husband of the late Audrey A. (Hill) Cogliano.

Born in Revere on August 3, 1933, son of the late John and Jenny (Sasso) Cogliano, he graduated from Revere High School and later earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in business from Boston College. He was a resident of Palm City, FL and a longtime resident of Westford, MA where he was a communicant of St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish.

John was the Co-founder and Chairman of the Board for the Sullivan and Cogliano Companies. Since his company’s inception, he worked tirelessly in the staffing services industry. Through his companies, he helped thousands of people find employment and was recognized as an industry leader serving as the President of the National Technical Services Association. In addition, John also received the New England Association of Personnel Services Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was civic minded and was appointed a Board Member of the Massachusetts Port Authority. John served on Governor Weld’s Commission on Employment of People with Disabilities and chaired a task force on small business development in the Commonwealth. He also served on the Board of Middlesex Community College and volunteered at SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer expert business mentors.

John contributed to many charities too numerous to name and was willing to help many in need who crossed his path. He loved talking to others, hearing their stories, and selflessly sharing his inspirational wisdom and experience. He was an avid car lover and enjoyed spending time with his family taking boat rides around Nabnasset Lake.

He is survived by his children: Helen Lyons and her husband John of Palm City, FL, Jay Cogliano, Herb Cogliano and his wife, Lori and Jim Cogliano and his wife, Liz, all of Westford; six grandchildren: Brittani, Chris, Haley, Dominic, Sydney and Bryce Cogliano; many nieces, nephews and dear friends. He was the brother of the late Lena Gallo, James, Edward and Carmen.

At his request, private services for immediate family will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation using this link:

Elaine Marie Dzik

Retired Airline Stewardess

Elaine Marie Dzik, 85, of Palm Harbor, FL passed away Saturday, February 19 at Mease Countryside Hospital, Safety Harbor, Florida.

Elaine was born on February 4, 1937 in Revere to Phillip and Sophia Garofalo, who have preceded her in death.

During her working years, Elaine was a stewardess for Northeast and Delta Airlines.  She was a generous, kind, loving spirit and a devoted wife for 56 years to her surviving husband, Ted.  Elaine also leaves three nephews and their wives: Kenneth and Linda Garofalo of Revere, Christopher and Julie Garofalo of Norwood, NJ and Phillip and Kim Garofalo of Lynnfield.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Bernadette Carey

Owner of the Former General Edwards Inn

A Funeral Mass was celebrated in St. Anthony of Padua Church on February 22 for Bernadette M. “Bernie” (York) Carey, 88, who died on Wednesday, February 16 following a brief illness.

Interment followed in Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden.

Bernie was born and raised in South Boston.  

She was educated in South Boston and a graduate  of the Gate of Heaven High School, Class of 1950. After graduating, Bernie began to work at MA

Bell as a Telephone Operator where she worked until she was married in January of 1956. She and her husband settled in the Point of Pines section of Revere where they raised their five children and enjoyed being close to Revere Beach.

After her children were grown, she returned to work as a telephone operator, which was now, New England Tel & Tel. She later left the telephone company to run their family business, The General Edwards Inn, which was where she met her husband many years prior and she continued to operate the business until its closing.

Bernie loved nothing more than to be close with her family, they were what mattered most to her. She always put her children first because she was a selfless woman. She loved to travel to Florida where she would visit her sister. Bernie also loved to dance and listen to jazz music.

Bernie was the founder of “The Sandlot League” in the Point of Pines. She will be forever remembered as being a selfless person and incredibly hardworking.

The beloved wife of 27 years to the late Paul W. Carey, Sr., she was the loving mother of Susan C. Otolo and her husband, Robert W. of Revere, Paul W. Carey, Jr. of Bedford and his former wife, Karen Carey of South Boston, Michael R. Carey and his wife, Christina of Revere, Barbara A. Napolitano and her husband, Michael of Peabody and Brian Y. Carey and his wife, Jeanette of Missouri; cherished grandmother of Gillian C. Sideri and her husband, Nicholas of Peabody, Robert P. Otolo and his wife, Angela of Danvers, Bryana Israelyan and her husband, Arman of Idaho, Patrick Carey of Reno, NV, Rose M. Carey of So. Boston, Courtney M. Carey of Revere, Michael Napolitano of Boston, Christopher P. Napolitano of Somerville, Erin Baxter and her husband, Ethan of Honolulu, HI and Matthew Carey of Missouri; treasured great grandmother of Nicholas, Nolan, Camden and Liam; dear sister of the late William and Arthur Walsh, Mildred Vulleumier, Claire DeFranco, Audrey Fahey, Marie Barry and Beverly Stack. She is also lovingly survived by her late companion of 20 years, Selvin “Sully” Paperino and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Remembrances may be made in Bernie’s memory to the Sutton House, 7 Sewall St., Peabody, MA 01960.      

The staff at Vertuccio & Smith, Home for Funerals is most honored to have assisted the family in completing funeral arrangements. To send online condolences please visit

Filomena Emmanuele

Of Revere, formerly of Italy

Filomena “Mea” (Grasso)  Emmanuele  of Revere, formerly of Candida, Avellino, Italy died on February 19.

Mea was back and forth between the U.S. and Italy for many years finally settling in Revere and becoming a citizen in 1981. She enjoyed cooking and baking for her family.  Mea and her husband developed a passion for ballroom dancing.

She was the beloved daughter of the late Michele and Giusepina (Mattola) Grasso; devoted wife of the late Giuseppe Emmanuele, loving mother of Josephine Marino Emmanuele of New Hampshire, Carla Emmanuele of Revere, Rosanna Emmanuele of Winthrop and the late Carmela Camuso; cherished nonna of Dania, Gabriel, Vincent and Mia Bella; dear sister of Consiglia Sarno and Caroline Albanese, both of Italy and the late Angela Polcaro, Antoinette Grasso, Maria “Nina” Grasso, Carmine, Gaetano, Salvatore and Luigi Grasso. She is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

Her Funeral will be held from the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home, 128 Revere St, Revere on Thursday, February 24 at 9 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Anthony’s Church, Revere at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. Visiting hours will be today, Wednesday, from 4 to 7 p.m. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery, Saugus. For guestbook, please visit

John T. DiLiegro, Jr.

Co-Operated John’s Service Station on Beach Street, Malden With his Father

John T. DiLiegro, Jr. of Revere passed away after a courageous battle with glioblastoma on February 16.

John was a lifelong Revere resident and was well known and admired by all who knew him. John was a hard working man. He, alongside his father, operated John’s Service Station located on Beach Street, Malden. When not at work, you could probably guess that he was working out, fitness was a big part of John’s life.

He was about to reach a major milestone. April would have been his 15th year of sobriety. He was determined to live a clean and healthy life.

John had a certain energy about him. He lived every day to the fullest. He enjoyed traveling to Aruba. The 4th of July was one of his favorite holidays. He loved being with family and friends. John always looked after his children, whom he loved dearly.

The beloved son of John T. Sr. and Donna (Barrett) DiLiegro, he was the loving fiance of Candice Borden, loving father of Jaime DiLiegro and Domenic DiLiegro; dear brother of Kristin Galli and her husband, Michael and Karen DiLiegro, all of Revere. John is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Visiting hours were held at St. Anthony’s Church, Revere on Friday February 18 followed by a Funeral Mass on Saturday, April 19. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s memory to Glioblastoma Treatment at MGH. Gifts can be made online at or checks made payable to Massachusetts General Hospital can be mailed to MGH Development Office,125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston MA, 02114-1101

Cara Birritteri

Graduate of RHS, Class of 2004

Cara Birritteri of Winthrop, formerly of Revere, passed away unexpectedly on February 16 at the age of 37.

Cara graduated from Revere High School, Class of 2004 and then enlisted in the United States Air Force. She served two terms in the Iraq War, one term in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for special services. She was a member of the American Legion, Post # 146 Winthrop.

The cherished daughter of Sebastian “Sibby” Birritteri and his wife, Michele and Mary (Guarnotta) Birritteri and her fiancé, Robert Glynn, she was the dear sister of Marisa Birritteri of Revere, Revere Police Officer Marc Birritteri and his wife, Lauren of Saugus, Freddy Birritteri of Winthrop and Jamie Lee and Jillian Lightbody of Revere and caring aunt to Sebastian and Lily Birritteri and Jayla and Gianna Gulla.

She is also survived by her aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and her beloved dog, Toshi.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Mass on Thursday, Feb. 24 in St. Anthony’s Church, Revere at 12 Noon.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in memory of Cara Birritteri to the For online guestbook, please visit

Frank George Reska, Jr.

A Wise Man and Loyal to Many Friends

Frank George Reska, Jr. 82, passed away Friday, January 7 at the VA Hospital UK Campus in Lexington, KY after a short illness.

Although born in Rhode Island, he spent the majority of his youth and young adult life in Massachusetts where he met and married his high school sweetheart. He went on to spend a decade in the US Army serving in Europe and Korea until honorably discharged and reentered civilian life.

He was preceded in death by his father, Frank George Reska, Sr., mother, Celia (Antropik) Reska, the wife of his youth, Janice Carmen Zwirble and his young son, David Michael Reska.

He made his way south and finally settled in Lexington, KY where he spent the remainder of his life. He met and married the love of his life, Donna Gail (Baker) Reska, who after 43 years of devoted love also preceded him in death in January of 2021.

He was a wise man and a loyal friend to many. He never met a stranger. He loved to tell jokes and make others laugh. He enjoyed caring for stray animals and feeding the local wildlife. He enjoyed hockey, football, baseball and was a hard core Kentucky Wildcats fan. He had a fetish for collecting tools of any kind and they never lay idle as he had a knack for repairing just about any type of tool, electronic device, motor, equipment, furniture, etc., that others had given up on. He was commonly referred to as “Mr. Fix It.” In many cases, not only would he repair whatever the item was, he would create a masterpiece. In many cases this ‘gift’ brought him financial gain.

He loved to travel with his wife and has left quite the collection of photo albums documenting the wonderful sites and gorgeous scenery our nation has to offer. Many a tale was told around the table describing their travels.

He had a great love for family and greatly enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. He is survived by his daughter, Deborah Case, of Lewisport, KY, son, Richard Carmen Reska, of Lewisport, KY and step-son, Robert (Jenna) Fabre, of Lexington, KY; his grandchildren: Michael (Becky) Reska, Daniel Reska, Leonard (Krystal) Holloway, Jon-Matthew Board, and Jesse Carmen Reska; his great-grandchildren: Alexis, Dylan (Madeline), Van, Jaxton, Maverick, Matthew and his one great-great grandchild, Zayleigh.

He was greatly blessed in life to have loved so deeply and we have been greatly blessed to have known his love. He shall be sorely missed.

Interment will take place with a private ceremony at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville, KY at a future date. Any condolences of sympathy would be appreciated in the form of a donation to either the Wounded Warriors Project or the National Society of Cancer Research, both of which he was an avid supporter.

Walter Giampietro

MBTA Retiree

Walter Giampietro of Beverly, formerly of Revere, died on February 17.

After growing up in Roxbury, Walter and his wife, Eva moved to Revere in 1956 where they raised a family together. Walter worked for the MBTA as a bus driver for 20 years. He always enjoyed playing cards. Those who knew Walter know he loved to have a good time and make everyone laugh. He will truly be missed. 

The loving husband of 64 years to the late Eva (Conte), he was the devoted father of Walter Giampietro and his wife, Joanna of Danvers, Deputy Chief RFD Anthony Giampietro and his wife, Lisa of Groveland and Maria Manganiello and her husband, John of Peabody; cherished grandfather of Haley, Marissa, Olivia, Anthony, Nico, and Ava and dear brother-in-law of Victor Conte and his wife, Donna of Saugus. Walter was predeceased by his parents, Antonio and Bambina and his eight siblings.

Funeral arrangements were by the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home, 128 Revere Street, Revere. Interment Woodlawn Cemetery. Please consider making a donation in Walter’s name to the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers. Donations by check are payable to Care Dimensions, mailed to 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923.  For guest book please visit

John and Lillian Anderson

Of Revere

By Cynthia Samuels

My parents lived in Revere all their lives. Their pictures should perhaps be on the wall of the new museum on Beach Street. We lived across the street at #91. As a young boy my father set up the pins at the Nautical bowling alley, before a machine came along and took his job. He grew up to be a left-handed bowler who won many trophies. Mum worked at the 5&10 on Shirley Ave., went to secretarial school in Boston, married her high school sweetheart, raised four girls and went on to work at the Revere Federal Savings Bank on Broadway. Both enjoyed growing up when Revere Beach was a dream of a place. If they weren’t renting a boat off the pier, or digging clams, or grabbing a pizza from Anna’s, they were strolling along down to the pavilion or riding bikes to Point of Pines. I got to enjoy it all too – the merry-go-round, roller coaster and arcades.

I’m sure some of you reading this will smile and remember” back in the day.” I’m one of their four daughters and find that I have the task of writing an obituary of sorts. Yes, my parents are now both gone.

The day before dad went into the hospital, he was balancing the checkbook. All he did was fall on the rug and six days later he was, as my pastor says: “promoted to glory.” It was a shock even though he was 92. I mean he only decided to give up the keys to the car three months before because the mechanic declared, “John, it’s all rusty underneath.” I said, “Aren’t we all dad.” And he smiled

My mum had many chronic ailments and in some ways, it was a relief to see God mercifully take her home. It was on a day that was nationally celebrated. And I heard the infamous words, “Free at Last. Thank God I’m free at last.” And it was fitting. It was a few weeks ago now, but when the matriarch of the family is no longer here – well, it is somewhat less of a home. She was a creative and charming woman – a lover of the bargain and a keeper of coupons. Our childhood was woven on a loom of a village. Need a few groceries, cigarettes or the paper? Cross the street and go to Eleanor and Tony’s. Right beside them was a man named Sasha who was responsible for sharpening your skates.  Down Pleasant Street you passed the Police Station and came to Broadway. On the corner, a family run pharmacy named Palladino’s. Everyone trusted the two brothers Al and Peter to not only fill our prescriptions but explain them. They knew us all by name. Best ice cream sodas at Paone’s Spa. Or there was Bill’s Spa right across from the old Revere High, which was across the street from the Immaculate Conceptions School where the Anderson sisters went. Uniforms could be brought by jumping on the Beachmont bus and going into Boston. And of course, there was no other place to go for our shoes but Shirley Ave. Yes, Revere was more of a village back then and everything we needed was within walking distance. We could even go home every day for lunch.

Well perhaps I’m letting nostalgia get the best of me. But it certainly is a melancholy season now that they’re gone. There was only four months between visits to the funeral home – dad in August and mum in January. They told me that spouses usually follow close behind. And perhaps that’s understandable. They were married for seventy years.

I feel the only thing that matters now is our faith. We have hope and confidence that we will see our parents again. You have in your hands a notification of a change in address for John and Lillian. They are no longer in Revere. They are now in Heaven.

But how can I be sure? We lived good lives and just hope the man upstairs considers it good enough. Who could ever know that for sure? Because of Christmas – Jesus’s very means: God to the rescue. Salvation. And if not for the man upstairs coming down to us, we would all be in darkness with no hope. But he did come down and he made several outrageous claims. And so, I remind my heart of what Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

Now either Jesus was a liar, a lunatic, or what he said was the truth. Easter is right around the corner. It reminds us that Jesus rose from the dead and was seen by many witnesses. And he was the only man who ever did that. Because of the resurrection we can believe what Jesus said and take it to heart. When those you loved have died you reach out for a life preserver to grab onto. Is there any hope for a life beyond this one? Will I even see them again? Where are they now?

My parents are now as the Bible declares: “Away from the body, present with the Lord.” And in the meantime, before we are united, I set my mind and heart on the Kingdom to come. Jesus had a lot to say about this Kingdom – a city made by God, not by man. Now that captures my Imagination. But now…we groan until the perfect comes. And we miss them of course. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Another promise found in the Bible.

When I see my parents again, they will have cast off their mortality and put on immortality. I’m trying to imagine what it will be like to have them experiencing a world where there is no more curse. Where everything is gloriously perfect – even their own broken humanity. A happy ending? Yes. That’s the promise of a Christian worldview. Those of us left behind have to see it with the eyes of faith. This is not the end of the story for Sonny or for Lil. There really will be a happy ending for all who believe. Not now…but soon.

A week before my mum died, we were watching: Heaven is for real. It’s a true story about a child who dies and comes back with many stories to tell.

I asked her half-way through the movie, “Hey mum, if you go before me do you want me to buy the movie and give it to everyone, so they’ll know where you are? And even though she was very sleepy, she quickly answered “Yes.” I was a bit surprised because I didn’t know if she had heard me or not. “Really?” I asked again. “Yes, I do.” She repeated. “Alright then, I’ll do it!”

And so, I will give it away when we hold her memorial. Heaven is for real. She wanted everyone to know that.

Again, I consider this a change of address notification. Lil and Sonny are now in Heaven. And because Jesus said to the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” I’m assured there was nothing on this earth that they experienced that can compare with what they’re doing now. “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor has it entered the imagination of man what God has prepared for those who love him.” Another promise you’ll find in the Bible.

Yes, “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” It is now their morning. And somehow that does my heart good. Because of our faith week now…the separation is only temporary.

If you’ve never read the Bible, consider it, because it is the place to find hope. And it seems to me if ever there was a time people needed good news, it is now.

Services will be held on March 4 at noon at Still Waters Chapel, 197 Lynnway, Revere, MA 02151

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