Hill Happenings

A memorial mass was held last month for beloved James Killilea. James, a Mission High graduate, was a well read and brilliant man.

James was a retiree from the City of Boston Election Department, and he had a passion for politics and sports. He would often talk politics at Doyle’s in Jamaica Plain where he relaxed with his stack of daily newspapers. When I played basketball for Mission High School 50 years ago, James, along with his brother, Tom, would officiate the junior varsity games at the Tobin Gym. James would occasionally point out the error of my basketball ways in an advisory manner. That was vintage James.

Some other prominent former Mission Hill residents passed away last month, including Janet Loughman from the 1955 Mission High School class. Janet was a beautiful woman who lived on Oswald Street. She worked at the Mission Church Rectory for many years. Folks of Janet’s generation recall her performing in “Pilate’s Daughter,” the magnificent religious play staged at St. Alphonsus Hall during Lenten season.

Mission Hill mourned the death of Marty McEachen, who passed away May 26. Marty was an endearing, fun-loving guy. He was a graduate of English High School who worked as a custodian at the West Roxbury YMCA. Marty enjoyed the small things in life, such as picking blueberries from the timber on Iroquois Street. The McEachens are a fine family and Marty will be missed.

Several local folks gathered at the American Legion Post in Dedham last Saturday to say hello and wet their whistles with Joe Conlon, who was visiting from his home in New Hampshire. Joe, who hails from Mission Hill, is a retired captain in the U.S. Army, Special Forces. He is the recipient of the Silver Star Medal for his military service in Vietnam. Among the celebrants with Joe was retired Lt. Col. George Rollins, who was recently awarded a Bronze Star Medal for his service in Afghanistan.

Several dazzling women, including Marion “Tootsie” McCarthy, Maureen Earley and Susan Shearns, were on hand to say hello to Joe. Other faces in the crowd included Davey  “Little Cowboy” Gill, “Oldies But Goodies” DJ Joe Looby, and former Mission Hill state Rep. Frank Dwyer.

Pretty Janine Welch celebrated her 40th birthday last month with family and friends at Doyle’s in Jamaica Plain. Janine, who looks 15 years younger, is a Northeastern University graduate and a nurse at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Me. Several of the Mission Hill Healeys attended Janine’s party, including Chris Healey from Sachem Street.

Congrats to Chris’s daughter, Caity Harnois, who graduated from Merrimac College last month. Caity earned a degree in communiations and also in women’s studies. Compliments also go to Caity’s sister, Abby Harnois, who recently earned a scholarship to Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Abby graduated from St. Joe’s Prep in Brighton last month. It’s always nice to see the offspring of Mission Hill folks do well.

God bless lifelong Mission Hill resident Cathy Clifford, who will celebrate her 80th birthday on June 19. I’ll keep my ears open regarding Cathy’s birthday celebration at Mission Park.

Cathy worked at the famous Ellie’s Donut Shop, located across from Mission Church. Ellie’s in the ’60s was similar to our modern-day Mike’s Donuts.

Thanks to the Gazette reader and baseball historian who sent me pages of baseball stories and pictures, with an emphasis on the Mission Hill populace. One article chronicles the rise to the Major Leagues of pitcher Tom Earley. Earley, a Mission High School graduate, made his debut in the Majors on Sept. 27, 1938 at Braves Field for the Boston Bees. The Bees beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-1.

Emma Lane has lived in the Charlesbank Apartments in Mission Hill for 27 years, and last month she was recognized at the Charlesbank Shareholders meeting for her dedication and kindness to the  tenants at Charlesbank. Emma is always the first one to volunteer, be it organizing a birthday party or visiting a sick neighbor. We need more Emmas in the world.

Congrats to Mary Todd and Toni Komst on their work on the Mission Hill Crime Committee. Both are selfless women, adept at behind-the-scenes work. Mary and Toni were each awarded with a $50 gift certificate to the Mission Bar and Grill.

Lt. Col. George Rollins and Captain Joe Conlon at Dedham Veterans Post. (Photo by Maureen Earley)

Lt. Col. George Rollins and Captain Joe Conlon at Dedham Veterans Post. (Photo by Maureen Earley)

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