OBITUARY: Frank Robert Matarese

Below is an obituary from Dello Russo Family Funeral Home:

READING, MA — Frank Robert Matarese, a resident of Wilmington, MA for over 55 years, passed away, Saturday, September 19, 2020, at the Sawtelle Family Hospice House in Reading. Bob was the beloved husband of the late Anna “Louise” (King) Matarese. The young couple were married on June 23, 1951. They met when Louise worked as a secretary for the John Hancock Insurance Co in Boston and Bob was attending the University of Massachusetts.

Frank, as he was professionally known, was a Stoneham educator for thirty-two years. Modest and unassuming, Frank was no stranger to heights; whether they are in school organizations or literally above the Earth serving in the United States Army Air Force. Frank graduated from Medford High School in 1941. Fresh out of high school he joined the Army Air Force and served honorably in the American, Asiatic, European and African Operational Theatres during World War II. Frank, not yet twenty years of age was decorated four times, his duties included flying the “Hump” from India to China and back which include flying over the Himalayan Mountains as a flight radio operator Staff Sargent in medium to heavy size bombers and cargo aircraft, accumulating over 1,700 flying hours. He was a proud disabled Veteran.

Introduced to teaching while instructing air cadets on radio communications, Frank began working toward this goal as an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts. The determination and drive that would mark his professional life was already evident, for example when serious injury while serving in Army Air Force ended his college career in football, he switched to soccer and made the varsity team. His early years teaching in Burlington, MA School System were invaluable to roles Frank would assume in the next thirty-five years. He taught on virtually every grade level and every subject from elementary through high school. Essentially a scholar in Physical and Life Sciences, he earned advanced degrees from Tufts University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He was head coach of football, basketball and baseball and advised a host of school clubs and activities. Frank was inducted into the Burlington High School Hall of Fame in 2016 as a coach of football, basketball and baseball. Perhaps these varied experiences explain his uncanny ability as Superintendent to know everything that is happening in the school system, from a technique for teaching reading to the reasons a boiler is not running correctly.

Paul Rotondi, former School Committee Chairman quoted,” I have known you as a teacher, coach, assistant superintendent, superintendent and most importantly as a friend. As a teacher, you taught me responsibility, as a coach, you taught me sportsmanship. As an administrator, you demonstrated by example, the true meaning of dedication, hard work and unselfishness. As a friend, you showed that philosophical differences and disagreements could not destroy loyalty or mutual respect.”

Following his retirement, Frank and Louise enjoyed traveling extensively to places like Colorado, Alaska, Italy, France, Ireland and throughout the Caribbean, as well as many trips to Las Vegas and Foxwoods Casino to name a few. He will be forever missed by his family, neighbors and dear friends.

Frank was the devoted father of Robert G. Matarese and his wife Trudy of Avon, CO, Maureen M. Matarese of Manchester, NH and the late Mark M. Matarese. Loving grandfather of Kathleen Louise “Katie” Matarese. Brother of the late Tina Depauw and Constance Matarese and is further survived by several extended family members.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated, Saturday, September 26th, in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave, Wilmington, at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Services will conclude with Military Honors and burial at Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. All attending must wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing protocols. Arrangements by the Dello Russo Family Funeral Service of Wilmington. It has been requested that in lieu of flowers contributions in Frank’s memory may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to the New Horizons at Choate, 21 Warren Ave, Woburn, MA 01801.

Frank Robert Matarese

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