Influential Residents Remembered
A look at some of those who passed in 2010.
Daniel Wandell Sr.
Daniel Wandell Sr. passed away in the middle of December this year at age 82. He served the Wilmington Fire Department for many years, beginning in 1957 when he was the first Wilmington firefighter to be appointed by Civil Service. In 1980 he was appointed chief of the department and served until he retired in 1993.
He also served as a Board of Selectmen chairman for two terms and as a member of the Finance Committee. He was involved with Youth Hockey as well and won a championship as coach.
Before serving as fire chief, he served in the Navy during the Korean War and was honorably discharged. His late wife Betty and his family enjoyed vacationing on Cape Cod and spending time together.
Recently, Wilmington lost a retired Police Sergeant. David McCue died at age 64 near the end of December. He was known as a brave, caring man to many. He leaves behind a wife, son, grandchildren, extensive family and many friends.
Dr. Shirley Callan
This summer, Dr. Shirley Callan passed away. She was 73 years old. The imprint she leaves on Wilmington is lasting. She was instrumental in obtaining the Harden Tavern, where the Wilmington Historical Commission is stationed. In addition to her work with the Historical Commission, she served on the Board of Library Trustees for over fifteen years and the School Committee for ten.
Callan didn't restrict her talents and passions to Wilmington. She worked for Methuen, directing their Public School and Adult Education Program for almost twenty years, and helping many with ESL teaching.
By the time he passed away by at age 78, Dave Landers was a longtime Wilmington resident with a big influence on the Buzzell Senior Center. As chair of the Commission of Elderly Services, he spent a lot of his time at the center, producing the newsletter and helping with the yearly talent shows. His background and career in automation systems allowed him to run computer systems at the Senior Center, helping many with technology.
A Wilmington resident since 1962, Joseph Steen, age 76, was very involved with the veterans of the town. During the Korean War, he served in the Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1955. Until his passing, he was commander of the American Legion Post in Wilmington. He was a member of the AmVets Association, V.F.W, and was involved with Local Heroes, a Wilmington charity that sends packages to soldiers overseas.
He was an active participant in the Memorial Day Parade in Wilmington, and valued the American Flag and its symbolism very highly. The Citizens Flag Alliance counted him among their members.
The Wilmington Little League and Youth Hockey Programs were also recipients of his enthusiasm and support. He worked for the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety until retiring in 1990.
Charles Gilbert died peacefully at age 84 at the end of December. He was a former Marine and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was devoted to veterans' causes in and around Wilmington.
Without him, WCTV wouldn't be what it is today. Gilbert was instrumental in founding the studio, right from its origins in the basement of Swain School. He was the first president of the Board of Directors, and the three stations WCTV has can be attributed directly to his efforts.
"The station made out great because of him," said Sandra Curtain, director. "He attacked every project like he was going up a hill."
Robert Vassallo passed away at 73 years old in April this year. He once served as Sergeant for the Wilmington Police Department. Besides his experience with law enforcement, he was educated and practiced attorney used his experience to serve Wilmington on a variety of boards. He was a member of the Board of directors for Wilmington Family Counseling and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. He actively participated in the Aleppo Temple Shrine.
John Maguire lost his life in an unexpected tragedy. A Woburn Police Officer, John Maguire was only 60 years old and near retirement at the time of his death. He was a Wilmington resident and leaves behind his wife and two children.
Wilmington said goodbye to many valued residents in 2010. Please add your comments and personal memories of anyone Wilmington has lost this year.
Thanks to Nichols Funeral Home and families for photos.