Skilled engineer who enjoyed Irish dancing with his wife and an avid traveler


NORTH READING — John J. Finnegan, 82, of North Reading, formerly of Braintree, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

Born in South Weymouth on June 12, 1941, he was the cherished son of the late John T. and Grace E. (Donovan) Finnegan.

John’s life was marked by a profound dedication to his family, his work and his community. He was a graduate of Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree, Class of 1959, and pursued a passion for engineering, earning a degree in Technical Study in Industrial Electronics from the Industrial Technical School in 1961. He furthered his education at Northeastern University, graduating with a degree in Engineering in 1975.

A skilled engineer, John later designed and built a beautiful forever home for his family in North Reading, largely working on weekends, with the help of friends. Throughout his career, he served as an Electrical Engineer and Technician for EG&G/Perkin Elmer in Salem and later worked for the Town of North Reading, transporting students with special needs to and from school.

Beyond his professional endeavors, John was a devoted family man, always putting his loved ones first. Despite his busy schedule, he made time for his children, whether it was assisting with Pinewood Derby cars in Cub Scouts, coaching Little League and soccer or helping with school projects. Demonstrating his unwavering commitment to his family’s happiness, he approached every DIY project with enthusiasm and was always ready to lend a helping hand.

John’s kindness and ingenuity endeared him to many. He was the ultimate “MacGyver” and possessed an uncanny ability to solve any problem through “creative engineering.” He found joy in attending Irish dances with his wife and friends and was an active member of the North Shore Irish Association.

An avid traveler and sports enthusiast, he relished cheering on his beloved Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots and spending time with his family, especially on holidays. In addition to his remarkable accomplishments, John was a member of the Wakefield Bowling League and a faithful parishioner of St. Theresa’s Church in North Reading. His 56-year marriage to his loving wife was a testament to his enduring commitment to love and family.

John’s life was a gift to all who knew him. He leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter and unwavering kindness. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and all whose lives he touched.

Family members include his loving wife of 56 years, Elaine L. (DeGilorma) Finnegan; his sons, John D. Finnegan and his wife, Tricia of Pelham, N.H.; and Kevin M. Finnegan of North Reading; his daughter, Cheryl E. Fischer and her husband, Doug of Nashua, N.H.; and six grandchildren: Zachary, Caitlyn, Callie, Tyler, Kiera and Lucas. He was the brother of the late Claire M. Finnegan.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 21 at the Croswell Funeral Home, 19 Bow St., North Reading from 9:30 to 11 a.m. followed by an 11:30 a.m. funeral Mass at St. Theresa’s Church, 63 Winter St., North Reading. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, North Reading.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in his memory to Tufts Medical Center or to the American Cancer Society. To leave an online message of condolence, please visit