Published in the April 14, 2017 edition

OBIT_Phyllis-Colarusso-webMELROSE — Phyllis M. (Guerriero) Colarusso, 93, passed away peacefully at Merrimac Valley Hospice House on April 9, 2017.

Born on March 29, 1924, she was one of six children of the late Gennie and Ralph Guerriero of East Boston. After graduating from East Boston High School, Phyllis joined the U.S. Marine Corps. She was stationed at The Presidio in San Francisco. Phyllis was very proud of her service and looked back on her time as a “BAM” with much fondness.

After WWII ended, she returned home and met her future husband, Joseph J. Colarusso, at a ballroom on Revere Beach. They were married in 1948. She moved to her beloved home on Lincoln Street in Melrose in 1959.

Phyllis was a founding member of Melrose Sharing & Caring (SAC), an organization that helps to support special needs children. She greatly enjoyed the monthly bowling outings with the kids and the yearly fashion show, which helped to raise funds. She was also active in Incarnation Parish.

Her husband, Joseph, predeceased her in 1989. She was also predeceased by her siblings, Nicholas Guerriero of Medford, Louis Guerriero of East Boston, Emily Guerriero of East Boston and Sally Guarnera of West Palm Beach, Florida.

She is survived by her youngest brother and his wife, Ralph Guerriero and Henrietta of Mansfield; her brother-in-law Salvatore Guarnera of West Palm Beach, Florida, as well as her son Michael Colarusso and his wife Mary of Charleston, S.C.; her daughter Eleanor Belanger and her husband Vincent of Coronado, California; and her daughter Phyllis Nolan and her husband Peter of West Newbury.

Phyllis is also survived by six grandchildren, Jonathan Colarusso of Charleston, S.C.; Brian Colarusso and his wife Maria of Haverhill; Mia Smith and her husband Andrew of Charleston, S.C.; Joseph Nolan of W. Newbury; Juliette Nolan of Portland, Oregon; and Michael Nolan of W. Newbury. She is also survived by three great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

The family is greatly appreciative of the care and kindness given to Phyllis by the staff of New Bridge on the Charles Memory Care Assisted Living, Holy Family Hospital and the Merrimac Valley Hospice Home.

Visitation will be held on Monday, April 17 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Incarnation Church, 425 Upham St., Melrose. Her funeral Mass will be held at Incarnation Church immediately following the visitation at 11 a.m. Burial at Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. Relatives & friends are respectfully invited to attend.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in memory of Phyllis Colarusso to: Melrose Sharing & Caring, 48 Ellis Farm Lane, Melrose, MA 02176. To leave an online message of condolence please visit