Methuen — Thomas John Petrillo, 96, of Methuen, passed away on Wednesday, September 18, 2013, at Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill, surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Marguerite T. (Fitzpatrick) Petrillo to whom he was married for 65 years.
Born in Methuen on January 21, 1917, he was the son of the late Giovanni "John" and Gaetana "Ida" (DiBurro) Petrillo. Thomas served his country by serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He distinguished himself in rescuing and aiding his shipmates on the U.S.S. St. Lo during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. For his brave service and sacrifice, Thomas received 9 medals, including the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and the Purple Heart. He worked as a carpenter at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Mass. for 25 years until his retirement in 1970. He was also a local contractor, having built many homes in Methuen. He was a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the VFW in Salem, N.H., and the St. Lo Association.
In his free time, Thomas was a great hunter when he was younger. He loved playing 45's throughout his life and enjoyed sharing stories with his family and friends about his time serving during World War II. He also loved spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he loved very much.
Thomas will be deeply missed by his wife, Marguerite; son, Kevin T. Petrillo of Haverhill; 3 daughters, Carol Calderone of Londonderry, N.H., Susan LaFlamme of Bethel, Vt., and Kathleen Gray and her husband, Robert of N. Hampton, N.H., 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by 5 brothers, Frank, Albert, Americo, William, and Alfred Petrillo and by 3 sisters, Jenny Perrotta, America Petrillo, and Evelina Petrillo.
ARRANGEMENTS: Family and friends will honor and celebrate Thomas's life by gathering for calling hours at the Kenneth H. Pollard Funeral Home, 233 Lawrence St., Methuen on Sunday, September 22, 2013, from 3 - 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, September 23, at 9 a.m. at St. Monica's Church in Methuen. Burial will follow in Elmwood Cemetery in Methuen.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested, in Thomas's honor, memorial contributions be made to the Merrimack Valley veterans through the Disabled American Veterans, Queen City Chapter 2, P.O. Box 374, Lawrence, MA 01842 or to St. Monica's Church 212 Lawrence St., Methuen, MA 01844. For directions or to send an online condolence to Thomas's family, please visit www.pollardfuneralhome.com. The Kenneth H. Pollard Funeral Home is honored to serve the Petrillo family.