John F. “Johnny” Abreu

December 21, 2019

John F. “Johnny” Abreu
U.S. Veteran

US Navy

WWII

John F. “Johnny” Abreu – of Woburn, peacefully, Saturday, December 21st, at the age of ninety-five. Beloved husband of the late Norma Mae (Collier) Abreu. Cherished father of Robert and his wife Sharon of Brewster, James of Woburn, and Paul and his wife Denise of Billerica. Loving grandfather of Robert Abreu Jr, Edward “Teddy” Barrett III, and Derek and Jason Abreu. Dear brother of Natalie Macinanti, and the late Manuel, Anthony, Jay, George, Mary Balesteri, and Bella Grady. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to pay their respects on Thursday, January 2nd, from 10-11:30, with a prayer service and Military Honors to follow at 11:30 a.m. at the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main St, Woburn. Burial will take place at the convenience of the family. Remembrances may be made in John’s honor to the Friends of Woburn Veterans, 144 School St., Woburn, MA 01801.

John F. “Johnny” Abreu – of Woburn, died peacefully, Saturday, December 21st, at the age of ninety-five. Born and raised in the Abreu family homestead in Woburn’s south-end, John was the son of Portuguese immigrants, the late Antonio and Augusta (Mendes) Abreu. He would live in this house for most of his life.

In his younger years, John loved to play soccer. He and his four older brothers were teammates and the Sunday games at Fleming field on Hudson St (later the site of the Clapp School) were well attended by cheering family members and friends. His fancy footwork was also on display on the dancefloor as he loved to dance, especially the Jitterbug. At any given party, he was not content until he had danced with every lady in attendance.

John was educated in the Woburn schools and left high school at the beginning of WWII (he would later receive his Woburn High diploma at age 92!). Soon thereafter, he enlisted in the US Navy where he served his country proudly as a Seabee. During the filming of the movie “The Fighting Seabees” he met film star John Wayne. He recalls Wayne eating lunch daily with the guys and being a great guy and down-to-earth person.

After being honorably discharged from the Navy after the war, John moved back to Woburn where he met his future wife, Norma. They were married in 1952 and settled back into the Abreu family homestead where they raised their family. They were avid campers, spending many summers at campgrounds in central Mass, loved to dance, and spend time with family and friends. John also enjoyed bowling, golfing, watching his sons and grandsons play sports, and was a faithful Boston sports fan. For many years John worked for Bethlehem Steel in Cambridge.

As a Papa, John enjoyed spending countless hours watching his grandsons grow up. A kind, loving, and generous man, he would always make time to visit or help friends and family. He would drive around nightly and just ‘drop in’ for a few quick visits. He very much enjoyed the annual block parties on “Mount Misery” where his neighborhood came together as one big family. John’s outgoing personality and love for his family shown through and he will be deeply missed by them all.

John is survived by his children, Robert and his wife Sharon of Brewster, James of Woburn, and Paul and his wife Denise of Billerica. Loving grandfather of Robert Abreu Jr, Edward “Teddy” Barrett III, and Derek and Jason Abreu. Dear brother of Natalie Macinanti, and the late Manuel, Anthony, Jay, George, Mary Balesteri, and Bella Grady. Also survived by many nieces and nephews.

 

Relatives and friends are invited to pay their respects on Thursday, January 2nd, from 10-11:30, with a prayer service and Military Honors to follow at 11:30 a.m. at the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main St, Woburn. Burial will take place at the convenience of the family. Remembrances may be made in John’s honor to the Friends of Woburn Veterans, 144 School St., Woburn, MA 01801.

Relatives and friends are invited to pay their respects on Thursday, January 2nd, from 10-11:30, with a prayer service and Military Honors to follow at 11:30 a.m. at the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main St, Woburn. Burial will take place at the convenience of the family. Remembrances may be made in John’s honor to the Friends of Woburn Veterans, 144 School St., Woburn, MA 01801.

Guestbook

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  1. So sorry for your loss! He was such a huge part of our neighborhood for years. You are all in our prayers. Love the Nelson’s and Donovan’s

  2. Robert F Connolly Jr

    Robbie, Jimmy, Paul and the Abreu family,

    I’m sorry to hear that that your Johnny has passed. I had the privilege of getting to know him through my involvement with the sons and neighbors on Mount Misery and Gorg arena. I have many great memories of my time with your family.
    My thoughts and prayers are with your family during these sad times,
    Bobby C

  3. Margarette Masotta

    A member of one of the finest family in Woburn and I am so glad that many of my memories include them. Take care of each other as in the past that’s what that family did. Love and prayers Mrs. Margarette Masotta

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