WILMINGTON, MA — James F. Vitale, Jr., “Jim”, age 79, a resident of Wilmington for over 50 years, passed away unexpectedly on March 16, 2018, at the Winchester Hospital.
Jim was born on April 30, 1938, in East Boston, MA; he was the dear son of James and Sarah Vitale. Jim was part of a large and loving family who was raised and educated in Reading and Cambridge. He graduated from Cambridge Rindge High School.
In January of 1956, Jim, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Where he was trained in Airman School as well as Fleet Air Intell School. He was honorably discharged from active duty on January 23, 1959 and went on to serve in the Marine Reserves until 1962.
On March 19, 1958, Jim married the “love of his life” and his best friend Theresa Hyland. Jim and Theresa complimented each other; she was quiet while he had an enormous personality but they both had one thing in common they loved their family and friends unconditionally. Jim and Theresa settled in Wilmington over 50 years ago where they raised four beautiful daughters; Terry, Debbie, Jackie and Jami. Jim’s wife and girls were his world; there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do to make them happy. Jim and Theresa shared many wonderful years together before her passing in 2007 which left quite a hole in his heart.
Jim had an incredible work ethic and was a “self-made” man; he started his own catering truck company and ventured into owning race horses. Jim was up bright and early every morning to tend to his route; he was always friendly, kind, and fair to his customers which made him so successful throughout the years. To his colleague’s in the catering business he was known as “the king”.
As an entrepreneur in the racing industry he wasn’t afraid and loved the game of chance. When Jim thought about race horses he had a habit of closing his left eye just a little.
In his spare time, Jim enjoyed cooking and spending time with his family. He loved to follow the New England Sports teams especially the Patriots and Red Sox and he looked forward to his annual trip to the Saratoga race track.
Jim had a gregarious personality and could always tell the best stories. Jim was kind, generous and helpful to everyone; he would go out of his way to do whatever needed to be done. Jim made everyone feel loved and appreciated.
Jim will be fondly remembered as a wonderful husband, dad, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother, uncle, neighbor and friend to many. He had a huge heart and will forever be missed by all who loved him.
Jim was the beloved husband of the late Theresa M. (Hyland) Vitale, devoted father of Terry Walden & husband Jay of Bradford, Debbie Cleary & husband John of Peabody, Jackie Vets & husband John of Haverhill and Jami Leger & husband Michael of Londonderry, NH. Loving Grandfather of James & fiancé Katie, Christopher, Andrew, Maxwell, Samantha, John, Sydney, Brent, Erin and Great-Grandsons Brady, Aiden and Michael. Cherished son of the late James F. Sr. and Sarah (Spezzano) Vitale, dear brother of Virginia Possidento of Wolcott, CT, Fanny Arena of Belmont, Ann Jordan of Weymouth, Julie Lancaster & husband Ron of Washington, IN, David Vitale & wife Kathy of Winchester, the late Frank Vitale and Pamela Bradford. Jim is also survived by his sister-in-law Kathy Flett of Malden as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Tuesday, March 20th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Monday, March 19th from 4:00-8:00 p.m.
Memorial donations in Jim’s name may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or a Veteran’s Organization; these were charities that were near and dear to his heart.
(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)
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