Flew his own plane and enjoyed hang-gliding

Published September 12, 2019

MELROSE — Francis J. “Jiga” Stamegna, 62, of Melrose, died unexpectedly on August 30, 2019. He was born and raised in Melrose and was a lifelong resident.

Jiga, also known to friends and family as Francis, Franny, Fran, Frank or Tabby, brought the party to heaven when he danced through the Pearly Gates on Friday, August 30. Heaven just became a lot more fun, but the world has become a much sadder place. Jiga loved life and was often referred to as the Man, the Myth and the Legend.

He was completely devoted to the love of his life, Karla Wilson, and was happiest when in the company of his soulmate.

Jiga may have been the biggest prankster this world has ever seen. If you were lucky enough to know him, you most certainly were pranked at some point in your life. Pranks always ended with big hugs and laughter by all parties and the memory of his joyful laugh will bring a bittersweet smile to all those who got to hear it. Jiga knew how to grab life by the horns and loved seeking new adventures.

He spent many days living his best life racing cars at the speedway, piloting his own plane, captaining speedboats and hang-gliding with friends, but his most favorite adventures happened at The Pond with his dear Karla by his side. Jiga loved so many people, but was loved by even more. He was the definition of a true friend and was always willing to jump in and help a friend in need. His loyalty was surpassed only by his sense of humor. Jiga had the gift of enthusiasm and his fun-loving spirit always brightened the day. After recently retiring, he had planned to move to Florida with his sweetheart, but God had other plans and wanted to bring him to the party upstairs instead. He will be missed dearly by all who knew him, because knowing him meant loving him.

He was the beloved son of Barbara (Allen) Stamegna and the late Donald R. Stamegna. He was the loving and longtime companion of Karla Wilson. He was also the cherished brother of Susan L. Martin, Donald R. Stamegna Jr., Richard A. Stamegna, Nancy C. Gargano, Joseph P. Stamegna, Betsy A. Spiro, Peter A. Stamegna and Paul J. Stamegna. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and friends.

Visitation was held at the Gately Funeral Home in Melrose on Thursday, September 5. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Mary’s Church in Melrose on Friday, September 6. Interment was in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. To send a message of condolence please visit www.gatelyfh.com.