An extremely intelligent and compassionate man

NORTH READING — Robert (Bob) Mascola, of North Reading, 88, beloved husband of Jean Mascola, passed away in his sleep on January 17, 2023.

Bob was raised in New Haven, Connecticut by his parents, John and Mary Mascola, and doted on by his four adoring sisters. His mother lovingly referred to him as “my son, my son.”

As a teenager, Bob worked at his father’s barbershop every day after school and was able to quickly learn how to cut the latest hairstyles earning him considerable tips every week and being considered “well off” by his high school friends’ standards.

Bob graduated from East Haven High School and Fairfield University. He was nicknamed “Doc” as he had planned on becoming a doctor. He soon realized that medicine was not his calling and pursued his education in science and theology. After graduation, he was offered a position with Avco Corporation and moved to Massachusetts and had a long and successful career as principal scientist specializing in thermodynamics at Textron Defense Systems (formerly Avco Corp.) for over 38 years. He worked on the Apollo Space Program, consulted for Lincoln Labs and was a winner of the Independent Research and Development (IRAD) Program as well as the Excalibur Award for outstanding performance.

Bob was an extremely intelligent and compassionate man who was happiest when spending time with family and friends. Bob was an avid reader who owned and read over one hundred religious books, including reading the Bible from cover to cover three times. He enjoyed spending hours working in his yard, meeting up with family members at Kitty’s Restaurant and going out to the “99” on Friday nights with Jean.

Most days he could be found at the Union Congregational Church in North Reading doing whatever needed to be painted, hung up, washed or moved. Bob considered his church his second home and participated with his church family by regularly being at Sunday worship and serving on several ministries including House, Care, Lobster luncheon team, rummage sale, Frosty’s Fair and Associate Pastor Exploration Committee. Bob traveled several times out of state with youth group members to assist with rebuilding homes. He enjoyed several spiritual retreats to Weston Priory in Vermont.

He also volunteered as Warden at Precinct #3 during elections in North Reading and Big Brother Big Sister of Greater Lawrence.

Bob will be dearly missed by his wife of 29 years, Jean (DiFraia) Mascola of North Reading as well as children, John Mascola and his wife Lucy, Michael Mascola, Maria Mascola and her husband Jim Donahue, and Robert Mascola and his wife Beth. Bob also had stepchildren who considered him family from day one, Kathy DiFraia and her wife Kathy Brunelle, David DiFraia, and Kris Bellino and her husband John. Bob also leaves behind his former daughter-in-law Nancy Morneault and her husband Claude, and his former wife Mary Mascola.

He will also be missed by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Paul Mascola, Madeline Mascola, Andrew Mascola and his wife Allison, Jessica Szulaks and her husband Jake, Brian Mascola and his wife Rachel. Sam Donahue, Ben Donahue, Adam Donahue, Daniel Mascola, Ariana Mascola, Nicholas Bellino, Sophia DiFraia, Vincent DiFraia and Leo DiFraia; great-grandchildren Rielyn, Aubrey, Kinley and Colton Mascola as well as his two beloved sisters, Laurie Esposito and Gail Gaffney.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at the Union Congregational Church, 148 Haverhill St., North Reading at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 31. The service will also be live-streamed on the church’s YouTube channel, NRUCC.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations in Bob’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association ( or the Union Congregational Church, 148 Haverhill St., North Reading, MA 01864 for major repair fund. (  To leave an online condolence please visit:

A luncheon will be served after the service. Come and share your memories of Bob and to say your goodbyes. Arrangements are under the direction of the Croswell Funeral Home, 19 Bow Street, North Reading.