Haverhill — John A. Buccini Sr., 91, of Haverhill, a former Big Band and jazz musician, who once played alongside celebrities such as Patti Page, Frankie Lane and Jerry Vale, passed away on Friday, September 13, with his loving family by his side.
Mr. Buccini was born in Haverhill on February 1, 1922, the son of Giovanni and Teresa (Paciulli) Buccini. He attended Haverhill Public Schools and was a graduate of Haverhill High School, Class of 1939. Furthering his education, he attended Bryant and Stratton Business School in Boston, and was an alumnus of the Berklee College of Music.
Mr. Buccini studied bass violin with Mr. Ludwig Juht of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the early 1950s, during which time he auditioned at Symphony Hall and was awarded a Tanglewood Scholarship.
His first love, however, was the Big Bands. Two of them were the Ted Herbert and Randy Brooks Orchestras. He played with both, which gave him the opportunity to perform with the McGuire Sisters, The Four Lads, Les Paul and Mary Ford, and Ray Eberle of the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
In 1956, he was a member of the Dave Lester Orchestra at the Salisbury Frolics. While at the Frolics, he met pianist Sully Borrelli, and the two became lifelong friends. From the 1960s through the 1980s, they performed as part of the Sully Borrelli Trio. He was a former member of the Merrimack Valley Symphony Orchestra and a local chamber group. From 1985 through 1998, he was the resident bassist at the Hampton, (N.H.) Playhouse.
A veteran of WWII, Mr. Buccini proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1943 until being honorably discharged as Sergeant in 1946. He was employed at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as a supervising cost accountant, retiring in 1978.
In 1947, he met Vera McFadden at the Hampton Beach Casino, where he was performing. They were married on May 6, 1951. A surprise guest at their reception was pop artist, Guy Mitchell, who sang “Because,” and led the guests in a group of Italian songs. The Buccinis were married for 62 years.
Mr. Buccini leaves his wife, Vera; two sons, John A. Buccini Jr., and Randy M. Buccini and his wife, Cynthia; a daughter, Maureen Buccini; and a niece and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Anthony, Mario and Elmo.
ARRANGEMENTS: Friends and family are respectfully invited to call on Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Kevin B. Comeau Funeral Home, 486 Main Street, Route 125, Haverhill. Funeral services will begin on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., from the funeral home, with a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 11 a.m., in St. James Church, Winter Street, Haverhill. Burial will follow in St. James Cemetery, Primrose Street, Haverhill. Memorial donations may be made in his name to the St. Vincent DePaul Society of St. James Church, 6 Cottage St., Haverhill, MA 01830. To offer condolences, please visit Comeau Funeral Home on Facebook, or www.comeaufuneral.com.