WILMINGTON, MA — Loretta R. “Laura” Caira, 95, the much loved and widely admired matriarch of a large Wilmington family, died at her home in Wilmington on October 3, 2020 enveloped in the loving arms of her family. She was the beloved wife of the late Aldo A. Caira, former National President of the Order Sons of Italy in America and a long time Wilmington public official.
Mrs. Caira was born in Newton, MA, the youngest of 12 children to Felice and Lucrezia Bianchi. She graduated from Newton High School in 1943. She met her future husband, Aldo, who was also from Newton, upon his return from military service in 1946. Despite knowing he was a Yankees fan, she agreed to a first date at Fenway Park. They married in 1947 and soon thereafter she converted him to the Red Sox! One bright spot to the Red Sox 2020 season was a video scoreboard and broadcast tribute by Jerry Remy, her favorite player, honoring her lifetime support for the team.
Laura and Aldo moved from Newton to Wilmington with their growing family in 1958. Laura was actively involved in the activities of her five children and willingly opened her home and her heart to their friends. She delighted in the births of her twelve grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, rarely missing an opportunity to attend their games, recitals, concerts, plays, award and graduation ceremonies, and a myriad of other activities. Her most enjoyment, however, came from cooking homemade meals and feeding her family and their friends. Everyone eagerly awaited her all too familiar inquiry, “Seconds?”
Her contribution to her community was most exemplified by her active membership in the charitable, cultural and social programs of the Order Sons of Italy in America. She was a member for 67 years, initially in Newton and later in both Winchester and Wilmington. She was instrumental in her husband’s success as he rose through the ranks of the Order. She quickly captivated members throughout the country in her role as both State and National First Lady with her gracious demeanor and her countless acts of kindness. She was equally at ease whether helping out at a local lodge supper or attending a White House State Dinner, as she did with her husband when President and Mrs. Reagan honored the Prime Minister of Italy.
Laura’s greatest achievements as a member were with her home lodge in Wilmington, which she founded in 1967. She has been the guiding force of the Wilmington Sons of Italy, spearheading countless projects and programs which have helped raise and distribute nearly $2 million for community, scholarship and charitable endeavors. Her dedication and unflagging commitment to the service of others was formally recognized in 2004 by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Laura was presented with the Golden Lion Award, the most prestigious award given to a member.
Laura was a welcome and familiar presence in the Wilmington community. She served nearly 50 years as an election official, greeting countless voters at the Wildwood School. She volunteered at the Wilmington schools into her 80’s, was an active member of the Wilmington Senior Center and a faithful parishioner of St. Thomas of Villanova Church. This past July, the community celebrated her 95th birthday with a 60 vehicle caravan led by the Police and Fire Departments. She was recognized by the Governor, both branches of the Massachusetts Legislature and the Wilmington Board of Selectmen.
Laura will be remembered for her boundless energy, her engaging personality and for her generosity and kindness. Laura was much loved and will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
She is survived by her devoted children, Michele Caira Nortonen, Michael and Jane Caira, Aldo Jr. and Sharon Caira, Kevin and Cheryl Caira, all of Wilmington and Kenneth and Marianne Caira of Pelham NH. Adored grandmother of Jennifer and Christian Bolanos, Angela Caira, Michael Jr. and Kristen Caira, Brian and Amanda Caira, Sara-Jean and James Phillips, Brianne Caira, Jeffrey Caira, Joseph and Katherine Caira, Aldo Caira III and Gabrielle D’Entremont, Mark Caira, Amy Caira and David Caira. Special GiGi to Christian Jr., Allison and Samantha Bolanos, Caroline and Anna Caira, Jude Phillips and Lucy Caira. Laura was especially excited to welcome her 8th great grandchild, Jacoby, at the end of this month. She is also survived by her dear sister-in-law Rita Coppola of Newton, her goddaughter Patricia Walsh of West Roxbury, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours that will be held on Thursday, October 8, 2020 from 4:00 to 8:00PM at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, October 9, 2020, in St. Thomas of Villanova Church at 10:00 AM.
Laura was a woman of extraordinary faith. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to: Catholic TV, PO Box 9196, 34 Chestnut St., Watertown, MA 02471 or to: St. Thomas Church of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington MA 01887. Please observe all social distancing protocols; masks must be worn. Arrangements by the Dello Russo Family Funeral Service of Wilmington.
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