Hill Happenings

Happy 91st birthday to Charley Kelly (May 24), a distinguished gentleman from Calumet Street on Mission Hill. Charley is a 1943 Mission High School graduate and he is part of the famous Kelly basketball family at Mission, along with his brother, Ivan Kelly. After high school Charley enlisted in the Navy and he served on the USS Wasp during World War ll as a radioman. Charley engaged in battles in Guam, the Marianas, and Okinawa. Disaster struck in Okinawa when a 500-pound bomb gashed through four decks of their ship, killing 200 American soldiers.

On that awful day fate glittered on Charley. Exhausted after coming off duty, Charley opted for rest instead of going to the lunch hall where many of his comrades were killed or wounded. Charley, still nimble, had a few Budweisers at the Mission Hill Post last week to celebrate his birthday.

On April 28, 1946, Charley also had a few beers on Mission Hill. That day, with the war finally over, Charley was discharged from the Navy. He picked up by his brother, Martin Kelly, and friend, Red McIntyre, at the Fargo Building in South Boston and the trio went to the Calumet Cafe (currently The Mission Bar & Grill). Although it’s been more than seventy years, that day at the Calumet Cafe is etched in Charley’s mind. This wonderful man from the greatest generation was happy to be home, but bereaved by the loss of many young men.

Happy birthday to Joan Kern, a lovely woman who was also born on May 24. Joan is a Mission High alumna and it’s always nice when she stops in Mike’s Donuts to say hello to the folks.

Congrats to Emeralda Tangu, who became a U.S. citizen in a ceremony at the Federal Building on May 3. Emeralda is a pretty young lady who arrived here from Albania in 2010. She works at Mike’s Donuts in Mission Hill and Emeralda serves the coffee and muffins with a smile.

Condolence to the family of Jean Marie Regan Spellman, who passed away on April 26. Father Dabney celebrated the memorial mass at Mission Church for Jean Marie, a beautiful woman from McGreevy Way in the Mission Hill project.

Mission Hill has a new Boston Police officer assigned to our area. Welcome Officer Shawn Maciver, a fine young policeman and a nice guy.

About 600 folks attended a terrific concert at Mission Church last month, performed by The Irish Choral Society of Canada. Gifted vocalist, Father Philip Dabney, also participated in the concert, which was dedicated to the memories of Tighe Chihaya O’Brien and John Casey, who passed away in the past year.

Longtime Mission Church priest, Father John Lavin, celebrated his 75th birthday (May 11) with a joyous party at the Parish Center. I love Father Lavin and I’ve known him since we were Mission Hill neighbors at Tobin Court. At the party, I ate like a king with special thanks going to Mary Cortes for baking the scrumptious Spanish lasagna. The music at Father Lavin’s party was provided by accordion players, Father Furey, who is a 1951 Mission High graduate and Dave Sullivan. Dave, magnificent with the accordion, is a Mission Church parishioner from Norwood and a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

There will be another celebration for Father Lavin on

June 19 to commemorate 50 years as a Redemptorist priest, which will also be at the Mission Church Parish Center after the 11 a.m. Spanish Mass.

Congrats to Kristen O’Neill who recently earned her master’s degree in education from Emmanuel College. Kristen, a charming young lady, is a graduate of Merrimack College. She is the daughter of proud parents, Jack O’Neill and Evelyn O’Neill. Jack, a Mission High graduate, grew up in the Mission Hill project at Tobin Court.

A heartwarming time for Joe D’Entremont was held last month at Florian Hall in Dorchester. Joe, who suffered a stroke last year, was greeted by more than 600 well-wishers, many from Mission Hill. Joe has volunteered countless hours on behalf of our veterans, including our prisoner-of-war and mission-in-action soldiers. Special guest Congressman Stephen Lynch presented Joe with an engraved plaque for his selfless dedication to veteran affairs.

On display at the Harvard building at 675 Huntington Ave. are several terrific paintings by Mission Hill residents Bowman “Bo” Wiley and Bill Cummerford. Before moving to Mission Hill, Bo was an art teacher at Hostos Community College in New York City.

Bobby “Red” O’Donnell celebrated his 60th birthday on May 25 with dinner and drinks at the Galway House in Jamaica Plain with Joe Ryan and Jim “Rabbit” Ryan. The Ryan brothers and Bobby grew up at 31 Tobin Court in Mission Hill. It was the Tobin Court basketball courts where Bobby honed his superb basketball skills.

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