OBITUARY: Charles Athanasia, 90

Below is an obituary from Nichols Funeral Home:

WILMINGTON, MA — Charles Athanasia, formerly a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away on October 8, 2021, at the age of 90.

He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Florence, and his three sons and their families, Charlie, his wife Sandra, and their children, Sarah and Matthew, Dean, his wife Sherri, and their children, Gabrielle, Samuel, and Christopher, and Chris, his wife Lisa, and their child, Kalista.

Charlie was the son of Thomas and Florence Athanasia. He was born and grew up in Alston, Massachusetts with his late brother Anthony Athanasia and his sister Dolores Anthony. After graduating high school, Charlie joined the Army and was stationed in Japan as a Sergeant in the Military Police. He used this time not only to serve his country, but also to amass a good number of stories to entertain his three sons later in life — tales of his friend, “Pineapple” from Hawaii, their nemesis, the elusive Johnny Squirrel, his dog Kudo and many others.

When he returned to the United States, Charlie attended Northeastern University, where he met the love of his life, and his partner in life, Florence. What began with the line, “Hey, who’s little girl are you?” grew into a long and meaningful relationship of over sixty years. They shared the love and laughter of a marriage, the good times and, of course, the bad times too, and most importantly, the total dedication to each other and to their family.

Charlie was an educator, spending many years in the classrooms of the Everett school system, and eventually becoming a guidance counselor before he retired. He felt so much pride in his work, touching the lives of so many children over the years. He was tough. Strict. Old school.

But, most important to Charlie was his family, and especially his three boys. Whether it was through sports, work around the house, playing games, or just having dinner, Charlie was an educator first and foremost, teaching all the life lessons his children would need throughout their lives to be happy, successful, and — when the time came — good fathers to their own children.

At some point, Charlie became “Papa,” and together with “Mimi,” so enjoyed their six grandchildren. They shared in their lives, watched them grow, develop, and become young adults. Papa was ever present, never missing a birthday or special occasion, and always there with all of the love, guidance and support he could offer. Although he rarely talked about it openly, he expressed great pride in seeing his sons and grandchildren being able to achieve things in life beyond what he ever thought he could. We will all miss him dearly and will hold him in our hearts each and every day.

Family and friends gathered at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Saturday, October 16th at 8:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA, at 9:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors followed in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett, MA. Visiting Hours were held at the Funeral Home on Friday, October 15th from 3:00-7:00 p.m. 

Charles Athanasia

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