U.S. Army veteran of WWII

Published in the November 30, 2017 edition

NORTH READING — John N. Arvanites, 93, of North Reading, formerly of Lowell, died Friday, November 24, 2017, at Winchester Hospital. He was the beloved husband of the late Mary Ann V. (Nuccio) Arvanites.

Born in Lowell, on October 23, 1924, he was the son of the late Nicholas J. and Bessie V. (Stamatopoulos) Arvanites and he was the youngest of six children. John attended Lowell High School and was captain of his basketball team, which defeated Somerville in his senior year. He received a basketball scholarship to Villanova University, but during the last day of May in 1943, in his senior year, he was drafted and left to serve his country.

He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II. A Buck Sergeant in the Triple A Gun Battalion, he served in France, Germany and Belgium and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. After three years of service he was discharged in 1946.

In his early years John was part of the “Lowell Boys Club,” later to be called the YMCA, for many years. This is where he fell in love with basketball. The Boys Club played a tournament in Chicago but unfortunately lost.

John lived in the West End in the ‘50s. He was part of the “Bullgang.” From 1951 to 1958, he drove the Zamboni at the Old Boston Garden and saw many famous hockey and basketball players. He would joke that the rats were as big as dogs.

John later worked at the Crown Baking Company in Malden, which is where he met his wife Mary. John was a retired DPW Foreman for 27 years for the Town of North Reading and was Superintendent of the Cemetery Department. He was a hardworking man and gave his whole life to his family. He always had a sense of humor. John loved his grandchildren and was always humble and wise. He loved reading his daily newspaper and followed his Boston sports. He loved his Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox and BC Eagles. He enjoyed working in his garden and was an avid landscaper for over 40 years. He has been a resident of North Reading for the past 54 years.

Family members include his loving children, Stephanie Arvanites of Wakefield, Christine Dumont and her husband Randy of North Andover, Paula Melo and her late husband Fernando of North Reading, Nicholas Arvanites of Lynn and his girlfriend Leslie Condon, and his late son Christopher Arvanites.

He was the brother of the late George and Arthur “Duke” Arvanites, Helen Plantamura, Millie Aceto and Penny Anastasopoulos. He is survived by seven cherished grandchildren, Andrea Arvanites of Melrose, Christopher Desmond of Wakefield, Nicole Dumont of North Andover, twins Ava and Sophia Melo of North Reading, and Hayllee and Alessa Arvanites of Wakefield. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law, Joseph Nuccio of Lynn and Louis Nuccio of Billerica, and sister-in-law, Barbara Raftery of Everett, and was loved by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

His funeral will be held from the Croswell Funeral Home, 19 Bow Street, North Reading on Friday, December 1, at 9 a.m., followed by a 10:30 a.m. funeral Mass at St. Theresa’s Church, 63 Winter Street (Rte. 62), North Reading. Calling hours will be held on Thursday, November 30 from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery in North Reading.

Memorial donations may be made in his memory to the charity of one’s choice. www.croswellfuneralhome.com.