Obituaries 08-23-2012

Helen Keith

Educator, School Administrator, Bird Watcher and Traveler

Helen V. Keith of Stoneham, formerly of Medford, died on August 17 at Bear Hill Nursing Center where she had resided for the past several years. She was 92 years old.

Thanks is extended to the center for the nursing care she received.

She was a graduate of Lowell Normal School and received her master’s degree in education from Boston University. She taught in the Medford School system at the Christopher Columbus School and was Assistant Principal for many years until her retirement in 1982. She was an avid bird watcher, enjoyed traveling with her sister and friends and a voracious reader who kept up with local, state and national politics. She will be missed by all who survive her.

She was born in Fall River in 1920, daughter of the late Kathleen (Hurley) and William H. Keith. She was the sister of the late Anne Westcott, William and James Keith. Helen is survived by her brother Paul of Framingham and many loving nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews.

Her Funeral will be held from the Dello Russo Funeral Home, 306 Main St., Medford today, Thursday at 9 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Raphael Church, 512 High St., Medford, at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Services will conclude with burial at Winthrop Cemetery, Winthrop. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Mass Audubon Society, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln, MA 01773 or a charity of your choice. To leave a message of condolence

James Vacirca

Of Winthrop, formerly of East Boston

James Vacirca of Winthrop, formerly of East Boston, went peacefully home to the Lord on August 19 surrounded by his loving family. He was in his 85th year.

He was the beloved husband of Elizabeth “Betty” (Colella); cherished son of the late Agrippina and Felice Vacirca; devoted father of Jay and his wife, Denise Vacirca and Anthony and his wife, Kelli Vacirca, all of Saugus; dear brother of the late Joseph, Michael, Mary, Helen and John and adored grandfather of Anthony James Vacirca. He is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.

His Funeral will be held from the Ruggiero Family Memorial today, Thursday, August 23 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in celebration of his life in Immaculate Conception Church, 127 Winthrop Ave., Revere at 10:30 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Services will conclude with burial in Woodlawn Cemetery.. For transportation to the memorial home please call 617-569-0990. For more information or to send an online condolence, please visit

Mark Amsden

Former Altar Server and member of St. Anthony’s Youth Band

Mark J. Amsden of New Hampshire, formerly of Revere, died unexpectedly at home on August 12. He was 43 years old.

Born in Chelsea, he was raised and educated in Revere and was a 1987 graduate of Revere High School. As a young boy, he and his brother, Stephen S. were altar servers at St. Anthony of Padua Church and were also members of the St. Anthony’s Youth Band. He has lived in New Hampshire for the past three years.

He was the beloved son of Craig D. Amsden of Saugus and Joanne (Crisostano) Amsden of Winthrop; devoted brother of Stacy A. Amsden of Winthrop and Stephen S. Amsden and his wife, Penny of Revere and is also lovingly survived by his step mother Joan M. Amsden of Saugus, three nephews, Jonathan R., Steven C. and Devin L. and one niece, Samantha-Jo Amsden as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Services were held in the Vertuccio & Smith Home for Funerals, Revere. Burial was in Puritan Lawn Memorial Cemetery, West Peabody. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to your favorite charity. For more information, visit: www.vertuccioandsmith.com_

Elizabeth Sparicio

Of California, formerly of Winthrop

Elizabeth A. “Betty” (Connors) Sparicio died peacefully on July 16 in San Luis Obispo, California.

The daughter of the late Howard and Lillian Connors of Winthrop, she grew up in Winthrop and attended Salem State Teacher’s College where, in addition to having been the president of the Social Club, she played basketball and tennis. After graduation she taught in the Newton school system prior to starting her family.

She and her former husband, Frank raised their family in Simsbury, CT. She was active in the community, leading the local Girl Scout troop, teaching religious education and volunteering for the PTA. She later settled in San Luis Obispo, CA. where she combined her love of the arts and volunteering by ushering at the Performing Arts Center for more than 10 years.

Her happiest times were spent dancing. If there was music and a dance floor, Betty would be there in a colorful outfit with a lilt in her step and a smile on her face.

She is survived by her brother, Robert “Bob” and his wife, Pat of Winthrop; her former husband, Frank of Florida; her three children: Paula Rocco and her husband, Thomas of West Roxbury, F. Joseph Sparicio, Jr. and his wife, Mary Kay of Natick and Carol Bych and her husband, Ken of San Luis Obispo, CA; five grandchildren: Margaret and Elizabeth Sparicio and Garrett, Marissa and Brendan Bych.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, August 25 at St. John the Evangelist Church, 320 Winthrop St., Winthrop. Burial will follow at Winthrop Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Rd, S.W. Lilburn GA. 30047 ( Funeral arrangements are by the Maurice W. Kirby Funeral Home, 210 Winthrop St., Winthrop. For guestbook, go to

Robert Swerling

Of Lynn, fornerly of Winthrop

Robert Swerling of Lynn, formerly of Winthrop and Ft. Lauderdale died on August 20.

A US Army veteran of World War II, he was the beloved husband of the late Rita Swerling (Berensen); devoted father of Gary Swerling and his wife, Gloria, Paul Swerling, Stuart Swerling and his wife, Leonora; dear brother of the late Meyer Swerling, George Swerling, Ida Novins. Rita Pearlstein and Gerald Swerling; loving grandfather of Lisa, Wendy, Amy, Bradley, David and Jonathan and great-grandfather of Lucy and Samuel.

Graveside services were held at Sharon Memorial Park. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Mass Division, 9 Riverside Road, Weston, MA 02493 or to the Hospice of the North Shore, 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923. For online guestbook, please visit the funeral home website:

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