Loved riding and working on antique Triumph motorcycles
WAKEFIELD — John J. Bingham (“Jeff”) passed away on November 29 surrounded by his family. He was 71. A willful man of pride and integrity, Jeff maintained steadfast resolve until the very end.
Born and raised in Melrose, Jeff was the middle of five children. He attended Melrose Public Schools, where he would make lifelong friends and meet his future wife Sheila (Nolan). The couple married in 1978 and welcome their twins, John and Jennifer, shortly after.
Coming from a “hockey family”, Jeff displayed natural athletic ability, playing various sports throughout his youth. He would later go on to teach his twins to skate on Ell Pond and eventually coach his son’s hockey team. Jeff was a regular at Hockey Town in Saugus and could often be seen playing in the men’s league in his downtime. Those living in the Highlands area of Melrose will recall seeing Jeff play street hockey outside his home with his kids.
Although not known to many, Jeff was an extremely talented artist. His natural artistic ability enabled him to excel at various mediums, including photography, sculpting and painting. Jeff painted throughout his entire life, having attended art school, participated in gallery exhibitions and occasionally took on commissioned works.
Jeff applied his love of painting to Bingham Painting and Wallpaper, the business he owned and operated for 40 years, serving Melrose and surrounding areas. He was an incredibly hardworking man, taking much pride in his work. Later in his career Jeff specialized in large scale mural installation. His work can be seen at many residential and commercial properties in the greater Boston area, including Gillette Stadium and IBM.
A lifelong “Triumph guy”, Jeff loved riding and working on his collection of antique Triumph motorcycles whenever he had free time. When the weather was nice, he and Sheila would regularly cruise in any one of the many MG/MGB’s they owned over the years. Similarly, Jeff could not turn a blind eye to an old Volvo with a for sale sign on it. When it came to his “toys”, one was never enough.
Jeff enjoyed spending summers down Nahant with Sheila, his kids and the rest of the Bingham’s who’d migrated from Melrose to Nahant. Nahant held a special place in his heart, as he and Sheila married there on a beautiful September day in ‘78. Short Beach and 40 Steps were his favorite spots to swim with his family. The Bingham’s would watch the 4th of July fireworks from his mother’s waterfront home on Little Nahant Rd. which had the best view in town.
As the years went on and the family grew, he would occasionally take a spontaneous dip in the ocean fully clothed, as to not miss an opportunity to splash around with his beloved grandkids. He was blessed to be a grandfather for almost 20 years. Spending time with Brandin, Anna, Cohle and Cora enriched and fulfilled his life immensely. He was a very present and hands on grandparent, always attending their various activities such as little league games, school plays and recitals. Right up until his final days he continued to encourage them to be their very best and to never give up. He was a great father and the absolute gold standard of a grandfather.
A man of principle with a tell-it-like-it-is attitude, Jeff gave his family the tools, support, guidance and at times tough love necessary to grow up capable of navigating any obstacles life may throw at them. They are eternally grateful for his love and dedication to them. He will forever be remembered for his unwavering commitment to Sheila and his family.
Jeff is survived by his devoted wife of 45 years, Sheila M. Bingham (Nolan); son John Bingham and wife and Gabrielle of Wakefield; daughter Jennifer Pilla and her husband Steve of Amesbury; sister Margaret “Peggy” Barile and her husband Enzo of Nahant; and his 4 cherished grandchildren: Brandin, Anna, Cohle and Cora. In addition to many cousins, in-laws, friends and neighbors, Jeff leaves behind many special nieces and nephews, whose lives he left a positive and lasting impression on. Jeff is predeceased by his parents Robert and Muriel (Sheedy) Bingham; brothers Robert J. Bingham Jr., Pfc.; David A. Bingham; Samuel Bingham; and sister Sandra J. Bingham.
Internment will be private. Arrangements by The Gately Funeral Home in Melrose. Please feel free to send a message of condolence at www.gatelyfh.com. Donations in Jeff’s name can be made to Melrose High School, Pfc. David A. Bingham Scholarship Fund at www.mhsfund.org/permanent-scholarship-list/?cdid=Pvt.+David+A.+Bingham+USMC+Memorial+Scholarship.