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Robert E. Furtado
Feb 12, 2017

Robert E. Furtado, 88, of Mattapoisett died February 12, 2017 at Sippican Health Care Center surrounded by his family. He was the husband of the late Joanne (Chittenden) Furtado. The youngest of four children, he was born in New Bedford, the son of the late Charles P. and Mary (Mendonza) Furtado, he was raised in Fairhaven and lived in Acushnet before moving to Mattapoisett. Bob was in sales for most of his life. His winning personality and deep product knowledge made for a successful career. Bob retired in 1990 from Hertz Car Sales in Rhode Island as General Manager. He lived a long and interesting life. While in school, Bob worked for his father at Rose's Market in Fairhaven. As a very young man he worked on the Nobska Steamship Ferry, traveling from Woods Hole to Nantucket. His job was to polish all the brass on the ship. He joked that he got many compliments on that shiny brass. Later, Bob shipped out on a Merchant Marine vessel, traveling to the east coast of South America and throughout the Caribbean. He served in the U.S. Army. Bob and Joann loved to travel and made many trips to Naples, FL and traveled throughout New England extensively. He was, for many years, on the Board of Directors for Descendants of Whaling Masters. Bob traced the genealogy for membership applicants. He was proud of his Portuguese heritage. He traveled to the Azores, to the island of St. Michael, where the Furtado family lived before immigrating to the U.S. in previous generations. His kind and friendly nature, his generosity, his love for everyone he met, are the attributes that will be lovingly remembered by all. Survivors include his six children, Nancy-Lee (Furtado) Duerr and her husband Robert of Salem, MA, Richard Furtado of Key Largo, FL, Robert A. Furtado and his wife Debbie of New Bedford, Amy (Furtado) Harrington and her husband Peter of Bridgewater, Kenneth Furtado of Middleboro and Jonathan Furtado and his wife Mia of Fairhaven; 2 step-children, Janice (Chittenden) Haggan and her husband Wally of Pembroke and Alan Chittenden of Plymouth; a sister, Vernice Grgurich of Crosby, MN; his former wife and friend, Amy (Morang) Macomber of Fairhaven; 14 dearly loved grandchildren; several great-grandchildren whom he adored; and several nieces, nephews, friends and extended family who were all close to his heart. He was the brother of the late Eleanor Brown and Carl Furtado and was the grandfather of the late Alyssa Paris Furtado. His Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday at 10 AM in the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6), Mattapoisett. Burial will follow in St. Anthony's Cemetery. Visiting hours Tuesday from 4-8 PM. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in his name to Coastline Elderly Services, 1646 Purchase St. New Bedford, MA 02740, whose staff provided loving care for our Dad for an extended period of time. For directions and on-line guestbook, please visit

Professor Walter Mierzejewski
Feb 09, 2017

Professor Walter Mierzejewski, 91, of Dartmouuth, formerly of Mattapoisett, died January 29, 2017 at St Luke's Hospital after a brief illness.
Born in New Bedford, he was the son of the late Andrew Mierzejewski and the late Kathyrn (Bryda) Mierzejewski. He was the brother of the late Edward Mierzejewski and the late Helen (Mierzejewski) Jako.
A graduate of New Bedford High School, Walt went on to the school now known as the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where his studies were interrupted by his induction into the United States Army during World War II. Walt served in Europe during the war, was captured in France and was moved to a prisoner of war camp in Germany. Surviving frostbite, starvation, and Russian attempts to detain him, he gained his freedom when his guards fled before the Allied advance.
After the war, he graduated from Harvard University, Class of 1948. He continued graduate studies at Boston University, later winning fellowships to study at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, Oklahoma State University, the University of Florida, and Rutgers University.
A life long educator, Walt began his career teaching a multi-grade class in Bennington, Vermont. Moving back to New Bedford, he continued to teach mathematics at Roosevelt Junior High School, New Bedford High School, the New Bedford Institute of Technology, and finally, (as one of the original members of the mathematics department) until his retirement, at Southeastern Massachusetts University, now the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.
Civic-minded, Walt was active in government, social, political and charitable organizations. He is a former member of the finance committee in Dartmouth and served as a town meeting member. He was elected to the Republican Town Committee of Dartmouth, and later, to the Republican Town Committee of Mattapoisett. He was a delegate to the Republican State Conventions of 1974, 1986, 2006, and 2010. With press credentials he attended the Republican National Conventions in 1976 and 1980, and the Democratic National Conventions of 1980 and 1988. He also served as member of the Faculty Senate at Southeastern Massachusetts University, was elected to the board of UMASS Retirees Association, and was a member of the board of directors of the Society for Human Advance through Rehabilitation Engineering (SHARE).
Walt was also a member of the Polish-American War Veterans and Friends of Poland.
Walt loved to travel, taking trips throughout the United States as well as Canada, Mexico, and parts of Europe. Later in life, one of his great joys was to spend the winter in Pompano Beach, Florida, in stark contrast to the winter he spent as a POW, and as a reminder of the wonderful journey his life had become.
Walt is survived by his only son, John Mierzejewski, and several nieces and nephews.
It was Walt's wish to continue the education of others by donating his body to Harvard Medical School. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to SHARE at UMASS-Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747. Arrangements were by the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford. For online condolence book, please visit

Roger F. Sites
Feb 09, 2017

Roger F. Sites, 93, of Fall River, formerly of Brockton, died after a long illness. He was a resident of the Crawford Nursing Home, and formerly lived in the Montello section of Brockton for his entire life. Born in February 9, 1924, he was the son of John George Sites and Katherine Daley Sites. He was a graduate of the 1942 class of Brockton High School and served for many years on the reunion committee of his class. A veteran of the United States Army, he proudly served in the European Theater during World War II, and was present during D-Day, though he kept his memories of that experience to himself throughout his life. He firmly believed in the adage that the honor of any job came from the doing of the job, not from any praise lavished upon one after the job was done. He attended Boston University and Bentley College, and worked at the former Columbia Packing Company in Boston. When it ceased operations he worked as the Bookkeeper/Accountant at the Brockton Redevelopment Authority until his retirement in 1984. He was a longtime member of the Thorny Lea Golf Club, and enjoyed traveling to Sanibel Island Florida, to Bermuda, and the Bahamas. His greatest joy in retirement was spent at his sister’s beach home in Ocean Bluff, Marshfield where he enjoyed cultivating his marigolds in her front gardens, and the time he spent fishing with his brother George. His wife, Rosemarie (Sullivan) Sites, died in 1983. His sister, Katherine (Sites) Oldham died in 2013. He is survived by his children, Michael G. Sites and his wife Kathleen Flaherty Sites of Mattapoisett, formerly of North Easton; his daughter Jo-Anne Sites Lombardo and her husband John Lombardo of East Taunton, his brother J. George Sites of Brockton, his nephew John G. Sites of Pembroke, his nieces Heather Brooke Sites and Jessica Leigh Sites both of Pembroke, his nephew Stephen Sites of Berkley, California, his niece Susan Barca and her husband Joseph Barca of Mansfield, his nephew Brendon Barca and his niece Alexandra Barca both of Mansfield. His funeral will be held at St. Anthony Parish, 22 Barstow Street, Mattapoisett, Saturday, February 18, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. Calling hours will be at Conley Funeral Home, 138 Belmont Street (Route 138), Brockton, Massachusetts, on Friday, February 17, 2017, from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Mr. Sites’ name be made to the Brockton Educational Foundation, c/o Brockton Public Schools, 43 Crescent Street, Brockton, MA 02303, to St. Anthony’s Building Fund, P.O. Box 501, Mattapoisett, MA 02739, or to any charity of your choice.

Evelyn (Braga) Duff
Feb 04, 2017

Evelyn (Braga) Duff, 72, entered into eternal peace surrounded by her family on Saturday, February 4, 2017, at Brigham and Women's Hospital after a long illness.
She was the wife of John R. "Jack" Duff, Jr. with whom she shared 47 years of marriage.
Evelyn was born on May 27, 1944 in Fairhaven, daughter of the late Joseph and Georgianna (Mello) Braga, she lived in Fairhaven before moving to Mattapoisett in 1986.
She was formerly employed at Lockheed Martin (previously Sippican) for many years until her retirement.
She was an awarded quilter, enjoyed shopping and watching cooking shows. Evelyn was an avid Patriots and Red Sox fan. She was a loving wife, mother, nana, sister and friend.
She is survived by her husband; 3 daughters, Kimberly Riley and her husband Christopher of Rochester, Keri Duff of Marion and Shelley Butler and her husband Christopher of Mattapoisett; a son, John R. Duff, III and his wife Karen of Somerset; her loving grandchildren, Braydon Duff, Aja Duff, Harrison Riley, Mackenzie Riley, Jack Butler, Drew Butler, Marissa Duff and Riley Duff; her sister, Janice Kummer and her husband Karl; her sisters-in-law, Maureen Best and her husband Robert and Beatrice Braga; and several nieces and nephews.
She was the sister of the late Dennis Braga.
Funeral from the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6), Mattapoisett Wednesday at 9 AM. Funeral Mass at St. Anthony's Church, Mattapoisett at 10 AM. Burial will follow in Riverside Cemetery. Visiting hours were held Tuesday. For directions and guestbook, please visit

Maureen Hathaway
Feb 01, 2017

Maureen Hathaway, age 90 of Marion formerly of New Bedford, passed away on Wednesday, February 1 2017 at Sippican Health Care Center.
Born in New Bedford, MA she was the daughter of Leonard M. McDonnell and Florence Reddy McDonnell and was the beloved wife of the late Joseph Hathaway of New Bedford. Maureen was born on Ellen Street in New Bedford in the house owned by her grandparents, Michael and Alice Reddy. She lived on Ellen Street for most of her life before moving to Marion to be with family. She enjoyed the beaches and ice skating at Victory Park in the South End during her youth. Her parents encouraged her love of music. She played piano and trumpet, sang soprano both in choirs and solo, and played the bugle in a drum and bugle corp led by her father, which traveled throughout New York and New England to perform in parades and events. She attended St. Mary's Grammar School, and Sacred Hearts Academy in Fairhaven where she earned many academic awards. She was offered a full scholarship to Rivier College in New Hampshire but she chose to work at Camp Edwards Air Force Base on Cape Cod in order to participate in the war effort during the Second World War. After the war she worked in downtown New Bedford as a secretary and office manager for an insurance company. She married Joseph Hathaway in 1954. Together they raised four children. She was a parishioner of St. James Church and for many years was a member of the choir.
Maureen passed along her love of music to her children and she encouraged them to take their education seriously. She was always interested in politics and current events, often reading two newspapers a day. Maureen cherished her family and faith above all. She will be remembered for her quiet and compassionate nature, for her "Irish" sense of humor, and her inner strength.
She was the sister of the late Leonard P. McDonnell. She is survived by her sister Jean Silver and her husband Robert of Fairhaven; sister- in law Jane Britton of New Bedford; son Thomas Hathaway and his wife Deborah of Norwell, MA; daughter Carol Mamroe and her husband Tim of Hartland, VT; daughter Maureen Hathaway and her husband Richard Gonsalves; daughter Patti Hathaway and her husband Constantine Scionti. She was the proud grandmother of Elizabeth, Rebecca and Patrick Hathaway, and Christopher, Timothy, and Lauren Gonsalves.
The family is grateful for the loving and attentive care Maureen received from Kim Medeiros of Tender Hearts, the staff of Sippican Healthcare, and the staff of Fidelis Hospice.
Her funeral was held on Monday beginning in the funeral home with a Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish at St. James Church. Burial followed in St. Mary's Cemetery. Visitation was held Sunday afternoon.

Tucker Adam Francis
Jan 31, 2017

Tucker Adam Francis (19) died on January 31st in a snorkeling accident in the Virgin Islands. He lost consciousness while free diving, a condition called "shallow-water blackout." He was spending the winter of his gap year working as the chef on Tabor Academy's schooner, the Tabor Boy, during the Caribbean Studies program. In the fall he was headed to Santa Clara University to study engineering.
Tucker was a joyous, kind young man with twinkling blue eyes and an infectious smile. He was happiest when doing anything with family and friends, and loved to ride his Ninja motorcycle, build a drone, whack a golf ball at Kittansett, fix anything mechanical, create a cool new gizmo out of carbon fiber, gobble a huge plate of sushi at Turks, kite board, scuba dive, ski, play lacrosse, or work out to the thump of loud rap. On a moment's notice he could whip up a mean pan of fried rice or stir-fried pasta, perfectly grill a platter of flat-iron steak, or bake a batch of chocolate-chip cookies for a gang of his friends. Local residents may have enjoyed his cooking last summer at "Tucker and Zack's Snack Shack" at the Piney Point Beach Club or last fall at "Kate's Eats."
The first 12 years of his life were spent in Locust, New Jersey, where he attended the Rumson Country Day School. Tucker and his family moved to Marion in 2009, then set off on a 13-month sailing adventure to Nova Scotia, the Caribbean, and Central America. Upon returning, he was welcomed into 7th and 8th grades by Friends Academy in North Dartmouth MA. Tucker then attended high school at Tabor Academy as a day student, where his personality and confidence blossomed - academically, athletically, and musically. The new "Maker Space" at Tabor was one of his favorite places, where he learned to weld, use a 3D printer, design electrical circuits, build electronics, and teach younger students his new-found passions. During two summers he was employed as the cook on the Tabor Boy for orientation cruises around Buzzards Bay, where his love deepened for the vessel, its crew, and Marion's home waters. This past November he crewed on the schooner as it sailed from Marion to Bermuda and on to the Virgin Islands, delighted to be part of the team that included some of his best friends and most respected mentors.
Tucker's parents, Peter and Jennifer, are Marion natives, and his sister, Holly, attends college at Stanford University. Grandpa Earl Briggs and his wife Mimi also live in Marion, as does his Uncle David, with cousin Christopher nearby in Wareham. Close family members also include the Briggses in Sherborn and Boston MA; the Dades in Norwich VT, San Francisco CA, and Boston MA; the Zinns in Steamboat Springs CO, Vail CO, and Bozeman MT; the Dowlings in Timmonsville SC; the Kunze/Dades in Seattle WA; Nancy Francis in Aiken SC; the Hamills in Richmond VA and New York City; the Roberts in London, England; and the many members of the Francis and Huber families near and far.
No words or gestures will ever fill the hole created by the loss of this amazing young man, but the entire Francis family is immensely appreciative of the love and support from the many friends and families who were touched by Tucker around the world. A celebration of Tucker's life will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Tucker's memory to the Tabor Boy Deckhouse Fund, as this space on the schooner is at the heart of crew life aboard, and it will need to be replaced in the near future. The image of Tabor Boy crews gathering for decades to come in the new deckhouse that Tucker helped "build" is a happy one and would make him proud.

Nancy B. (Whitcomb) Morse
Jan 31, 2017

Nancy B. (Whitcomb) Morse, 80, of Wareham, passed away Tuesday January 31, 2017 at the Tremont Health Care Center. She was the wife of Channing H. Morse Jr. of Wareham. Mrs. Morse was born in Wareham the daughter of the late Robert M. and Barbara T. (Tallman) Whitcomb.
Mrs. Morse graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and taught in the Old Rochester Regional High School for 26 years. She was a member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. She was a member of the First Congregational Church of Wareham and was a former member of the choir and church librarian. She was also a volunteer at the Wareham Public Library.
In addition to her husband Mrs. Morse is survived by her children: Elizabeth "Betsy" N. Finch of Glen, NH and Warren Channing Morse of Wareham. She is the sister of Carl R. Whitcomb of Wareham and the grandmother of Erin A. Baxter, Kayla A. Morse, Dillon C. Bennencourt, Ashley M. Kahler and great grandmother of Aaden M. Brown of Wareham. She is also survived by many loving relatives and friends. She was the mother of the late Melinda "Lindy" Laura McCarthy.
A memorial reception was held on Sunday February 5, in the First Congregational Fellowship Hall located at 11 Gibbs Ave. Wareham. Relatives and friends were cordially invited to attend. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Deacons Memorial Fund 11 Gibbs Ave. Wareham, MA 02571. Burial was private.

Rita J. (Carrier) Galligan
Jan 27, 2017

Rita J. (Carrier) Galligan passed away at the New Bedford Jewish Convalescent Home, on January 27, 2017, at the age of 101. She was the wife of the late Edward J. Galligan and the daughter of the late John and Marilda (Boily) Carrier. Rita was most proud of mothering two sets of twins and family was her lifetime joy. She was the mother of the late Joan G. Capone of Somerset. Survivors include two sons, Terrence E. Galligan and wife Alison of Acushnet, and Thomas J. Galligan of Plympton, her daughter Jean and husband Dr. James F. Tierney of Mattapoisett, as well as her son-in-law, Paul J. Capone of Somerset. Rita was blessed with 14 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be private. Remembrances may be made to the New Bedford Jewish Convalescent Home, 200 Hawthorn St., New Bedford, MA 02740 or Community Nurse Home Care, 62 Center St., Fairhaven, MA 02719. Arrangements are by the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford. For online condolence book, please visit

Josephine "Jo" (Healy) Bruce
Jan 26, 2017

Josephine "Jo" (Healy) Bruce of Mattapoisett, formerly of East Boston and Melrose, passed away on January 26, 2017 at the age of 93.
Loving wife of the late Edward F. (Frank) Bruce. Devoted mother of Kathleen Bruce of Atlanta, GA, Patricia and John Morris of Hanover, and the late Colleen Bruce. Cherished grandmother of Kate and Dan Joyce of Kingston, Stacey and Curt Diedrich of Hingham and Colleen Morris of Quincy. Great grandmother to John and Anna Joyce and Alex and Will Diedrich. Also survived by her sister Kathleen and Bob Garner of Lincoln, sister in law Mary and Albert Seghezzi of Quincy and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Jo worked at Raytheon Missile Systems Division in Bedford, MA for 30 years. Upon retiring, Jo became an accomplished quilter and joined the Shining Tides Quilt Guild and Plymouth County Cranberry Quilters. Jo was a celebrated cook, and enjoyed traveling, mystery novels, crossword puzzles, and walks around Point Connett in Mattapoisett. Jo may be best known for her unparalleled hospitality, opening her home to family and friends for many raucous holiday parties and gatherings.
A memorial gathering was held on Saturday, February 4th. Burial was private. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jo's memory may be sent to the Friends of the Mattapoisett Council on Aging, Inc., P.O. Box 1116, Mattapoisett, MA 02739.

William B. Purtell, Jr.
Jan 25, 2017

William B. Purtell, Jr., 77, of Bristol, RI, died Wednesday, January 25, 2017 after a long illness. He was the husband of the late Jane (Hinton) Allen Purtell. Born in Trenton, NJ, son of the late William and Marion (Hammond) Purtell, he lived in Fairhaven for most of his life. He served his country in both the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force, and later worked for the Department of Defense for 25 years until his retirement. In retirement, he assisted his wife in real estate services for many years. William was a graduate of Fairhaven High School, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he received both his Bachelor's Degree in Finance and Master's Degree in Business Administration, Army Management Staff College, National Defense University, and San Francisco Technical University, where he received his Doctorate in Business Administration. He is survived by three sons, Scott Purtell of Mansfield, Timothy Purtell and his wife Kristen of Melbourne, FL, and James Purtell and his wife Colleen of Somerset; his former wife, Patricia (Burton) Purtell; a brother, Sergio Purtell and his wife Melanie of Brooklyn, NY; nine grandchildren, Jillian, Kaylee, Brayden, Emma, Max, Evan, Summer, Nathan, and Mackenzie; two stepchildren, Jason Allen of Klawock, AK, and Jonay Zeis and her husband David of Cary, NC; and a step-granddaughter, Stella. He was predeceased by his son, William J. Purtell. His Funeral Service will be held on Friday, February 3, 2017 at 11 AM in the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd., Rt. 6, Mattapoisett. A private family burial will follow in the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne. Visiting hours will be Thursday, February 2, 2017 from 5-7 PM. For directions and guestbook, please visit

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