2011 Review: Deaths


Ronald A. Gray, 59, on January 6. A graduate of Canton High School, Gray was the past president of Canton Pop Warner, a former Canton Little League coach, and a longtime volunteer for the town’s July 4th celebration. He and his wife, Deborah, owned and operated the Canton Rink snack bar and the snack bar at the town pool for over 20 years.

Charles W. Ford, 96, on January 18. A lifelong resident, Ford was an Army veteran of WWII and served as a stenographer for Secretary of War Henry Stimson. He later worked as the stenographer for Suffolk Probate Court and also worked as the stenographer at Canton town meetings for many years.

Eugene "Cal" Calibani

Eugene A. “Cal” Calibani, 86, on January 20. Calibani served as a first master sergeant in the Marine Corps for over 26 years during WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He was a member of the Canton Veterans Department Honor Guard and delivered bread for many years to the local food pantries, senior centers and nursing homes.

Janet M. (LeBlanc) Joyal, 81, on January 21. Joyal spent most of her adult life in Canton, where she worked as a cafeteria worker for the Canton Public Schools for many years. She also worked as a secretary in the Building Department.

Paul M. Alberts, 52, on January 22. Known as the “Canton UPS man,” Alberts was an employee for the United Parcel Service for over 31 years, with a route in Canton center.

John E. Strumski, 81, on February 7. Born and raised in Canton, Strumski was a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War. He later worked for the Canton High School maintenance department for many years.

Reverend John T.P. Jackson, 73, on February 8. Rev. Jackson was the former pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church in Canton.

Chester T. Wentworth, 86, on February 10. A lifelong resident, Wentworth was a highly decorated Navy veteran of WWII, earning two Bronze Stars along with numerous other medals. He was on the carrier U.S.S. Block Island when it was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat, and he also took part in the Okinawa invasion. He later joined the Canton Fire Department, where he remained until he retired in 1989.

Paul F. Hagan, 64, on February 13. Hagan was a retired Canton firefighter, and a member of the Canton Town Club and the Messenger Street Playground Association.

Carlos A. DiStasio, 86, on February 15. A Navy veteran of WWII, DiStasio worked as a custodian at the Canton Public Library for many years before retiring.

Paul E. Kelleher, 88, on February 23. Born and raised in Canton, he was a star quarterback on the Canton High football team and a pitcher on the baseball team. He served in the Army during WWII and saw combat in the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Archen. He also served as a recon scout and was awarded the Bronze Star.

Robert E. Silver on April 6. A veteran of WWII in the 82nd Airborne Division, he worked as the sealer of weights and measures for the city of Newton and the town of Canton and was the past president of the Massachusetts Department of Weights & Measures.

Leonilda A. (Verzone) Salemme, 100, on April 10. Salemme worked for Draper Mills in Canton for several years and was also a self-employed beautician and owned and operated a variety store in Canton for many years. She was the grandmother of Canton historian George Comeau and Planning Board member Jeremy Comeau.

Harry Hinchliffe, 84, on April 11. A lifelong resident, Hinchliffe served as a crossing guard at Cedarcrest and Oakdale Road for 20 years. He was presented the town of Canton’s Distinguished Veteran Award for his unselfish devotion to duty during WWII.

Harry Hinchliffe

Maurice E. Ronayne III, 60, on April 13. A lifelong resident, Ronayne worked as a corrections officer for the Norfolk County Sherriff’s Department for 13 years and previously worked as a physical education teacher for the Canton Public Schools.

Margaret M. Chierus on April 20. Chierus was the first female cab driver in the town of Canton, where she worked for Canton Taxi.

Marilyn R. Pinkham on May 8. Pinkham was a teacher in the Canton Public Schools for 24 years, retiring in 1986 as head of the math department at Galvin Middle School.

Edward W. Dockray, 92, on May 15. Born and raised in Canton, Dockray served as town treasurer for over 20 years. He also served as executive director of the Canton Housing Authority and was a member of the board of trustees at both the Canton Public Library and the Bank of Canton. He was a founding member of Canton Youth Hockey and was very involved with Canton Little League. A corporal with the Marine Corps, he served in the Pacific Theatre during WWII.

Mark V. Whidden, 56, on May 17. Whidden was a former police officer for the town of Canton and a former civil engineer for the town of Sharon.

William J. Thibeault, 74, on June 2. Thibeault was the retired executive secretary for the town of Canton and previously was the town manager for the town of Whitman and the ombudsman for the town of Beverly. He previously wrote articles for the Canton Journal.

Kathleen (Cerro) Kapsis, 93, on June 15. Kapsis worked in the cafeteria at Canton High School for over 20 years.

William J. Correia, 62, on June 16. A lifelong resident, Correia was a Navy veteran of the Vietnam Era. He worked for the Canton Highway and Sewer departments for 44 years before retiring in 2010.

Michael L. Burke, 75, on July 24. Burke served as a first lieutenant in the Army and served as the director of the Bureau of Transportation, Planning and Development for MassHighway. He lived in Canton for 45 years and served on numerous town boards, including the Finance Committee and the Planning Board.

Nicholas L. Vinios, 81, on July 29. Vinios was instrumental in the founding of the Hellenic Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canton and continued his support of the facility with a charitable golf tournament.

Donald Cougle, 67, on August 9. A graduate of Canton High School, Cougle worked as a mechanic for the town of Canton for many years.

MacLaren H. MacGregor, 96, on August 10. MacGregor served in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a flight instructor during WWII and retired as a Naval commander in 1969. He practiced law in Canton for more than 40 years, where he also served as a selectman, a Republican town moderator, and chairman of the Canton Housing Authority. He was admitted as an attorney and counselor of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1985.

Virginia M. (Galligan) Hagerty, 91, on October 6. A lifelong resident, Hagerty worked as an elementary school teacher for the town of Canton and was a former member of the Bank of Canton’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

Frederick M. MacDonald, 87, on October 13. A Navy veteran of WWII and a former state representative, MacDonald was a social studies teacher at Canton High School for 39 years and a timer for the Canton July 4th road race.

Barbara E. (Demers) Smith, 71, on October 14. Smith worked for the Finance Department for 18 years and later worked as executive administrative assistant to the Canton police chief for 10 years.

Mario J. Gada, 94, on October 18. Gada served as a crossing guard at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School.

Edward M. Duggan, 86, on October 28. A graduate of Canton High School and an Army veteran of WWII, Duggan was the past president and chairman of E.M. Duggan Co., Inc. of Canton.

Rev. James L. McCune

Gerard F. Kenneally, 77, on October 28. An Army veteran of the Vietnam Era, Kenneally worked for many years as a probation officer for the Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham before retiring in 2004. He was past president of the St. John School Association and past president and coach for Canton Little League.

Sheila Cheimets, 75, on October 30. A former reporter and editor for the Canton Reporter, Cheimets became the first woman ever elected to the Canton Board of Selectmen. She later became the first female executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, which she helped transform into a powerful lobbying group.

Reverend James L. McCune, 79, on December 7. Rev. McCune served as secretary and master of ceremonies to Cardinal Humberto Sousa Medeiros. He later became the pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton, where he served until 2000. He also served for ten years as director of the Office of Senior Priests.

Eileen J. (McElhinney) MacDonald, 76, on December 20. MacDonald was the nurse at the Hansen Elementary School for many years before retiring in 2002. During her retirement she continued to work as a substitute nurse for the Canton Public Schools and St. John’s School.

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