A Worcester family is mourning the loss of two of its members, who succumbed to the coronavirus this month within days of one another.
William Parretti, 83, died on May 1, and two days later, his son, Robert Parretti, 57, passed away. The father and son lived together before their passing, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports.
William was born and raised in Worcester, where he worked at Norton Company for almost 30 years before his retirement. Robert spent time in the Air Force working as an Airlift Maintenance Specialist at bases across the country, later working at Norton alongside his father and brother as a molder for more than 25 years.
Both men were “avid golfers” and dedicated themselves to their families, their loved ones wrote in their obituaries.
“He loved his family more than anything and spent countless hours teaching his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren about faith, sports, life, the ‘pendulum swing’ of society and politics and, most importantly, the complete and unabridged history of Norton Company according to Bill. … His most special accomplishment and life’s goal was taking care of his family and making sure that everyone was well taken care of,” relatives wrote of William. “Nothing was more important to him in his life than his family.”
“He dedicated his life to always doing what was right and providing for his family,” loved ones wrote of Robert. “He played and excelled at many sports growing up, and adored teaching and playing sports with his son, Zachary, throughout his fatherhood. He was the perfect representation of a son, brother, father, husband, friend, and most of all, a hero. He will be missed very much by very many.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the family plans to hold a gathering celebrating the lives of the father and son at a later date. Read the obituaries for William and Robert, shared by the Mercadante Funeral Home, below:
William D. Parretti
William D. Parretti, 83, a lifelong resident of Worcester, passed away Friday, May 1st, 2020.
Bill was born in Worcester, one of five sons of Nicholas and Mary (DiLeo) Parretti. Raised on Fales Street, he graduated from the High School of Commerce and earned a certificate from the WPI School of Industrial Management. After raising his children, he returned to Fales Street to live close to his brothers and the church. Bill grew through the ranks at Norton Company where he worked for more almost 30 years before retiring as plant supervisor. After retiring from Norton Company, he worked as an insurance agent with Atchue Insurance for many years and finished out his career working at International Ceramic Engineering, where he retired in 2016. During the early 1960’s, Bill served in the Massachusetts Army National Guard 1st BN 181st Infantry.
Bill’s wife Janice A. (Borglund) Parretti passed away in 2012. He was also predeceased by his daughter Shirley A. Parretti in 2019. He is survived by his two sons, William Parretti and his wife Sherilynne of Worcester, and Robert Parretti of Worcester. Two brothers, Robert Parretti of Worcester, and Richard Parretti of Holden; eight grandchildren whom he was very proud of, Andrea, Angela, John, Sean, Tony, Jared, Zach and Veronica; seven great grandchildren, Destiny, Johnelle, Alysha, Dwayne, Ava, Jhonen, Damon; many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. His two brothers, Vincent and Lawrence Parretti, also predeceased him.
Bill was an active member of Our Lady of the Rosary Church and always made decisions with his faith in mind. He loved his family more than anything and spent countless hours teaching his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren about faith, sports, life, the “pendulum swing” of society and politics and, most importantly, the complete and unabridged history of Norton Company according to Bill. An avid golfer, he enjoyed golfing on several area courses with his brothers, sons and friends, even once recording the elusive hole in one. He also enjoyed trips with family to casinos, especially with his sons. He was always ready to greet everyone who walked into his house with food, drinks, smiles and Fox News turned up just a little bit too high. In his younger years, he was very active in coaching his and the neighborhood kids in sports of all kind, with the proud memory of coaching the East Side Babe Ruth team as the 1961 State Champions. His most special accomplishment and life’s goal was taking care of his family and making sure that everyone was well taken care of. Nothing was more important to him in his life than his family.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are no calling hours. His funeral will be celebrated Wednesday, May 6th at 11:00 am in Our Lady of Rosary Church, next-door to his home at 15 Fales Street. Due to circumstances, entry to the church services are limited, but to be a part of the mass, you can watch a live stream feed by going to www.mercadantefuneral.com (click on live services at top of page). Burial with his wife Janice will follow in St. John’s Cemetery. For close friends and extended family that would like to join, the live stream will be broadcast outdoors at 15 Fales Street. Attendees should gather at 10:30, with a procession to the burial site to follow the mass. Masks and adherence to social distancing guidelines will be required if you plan to attend in person.
Robert J. Parretti, 57, of Worcester passed away Sunday, May 3, 2020, following the passing of his father William Parretti two days earlier on May 1st, both from complications of COVID-19.
Robert was born on April 9, 1963, in Worcester, one of two sons of William D. and Janice A. (Borglund) Parretti and was raised on Fales Street. Robert spent his early to mid-twenties in the Air Force as an Airlift Maintenance Specialist on C-130’s, working on bases in Hawaii, Texas, and New Mexico, among others. He later worked alongside his father and brother as a molder for the Norton, Saint Gobain company for over 25 years.
Robert is survived by his son, Zachary T. Parretti, and former wife, Hope (Frigon) Parretti of Worcester; his brother, William Parretti and his wife Sherilynne of Worcester; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and lifelong friends, all of whom he loved very dearly. In addition to his father, he was pre-deceased by his mother Janice (Borglund) Parretti in 2012 and his sister Shirley Parretti-Hadley in 2019.
Robert was an avid golfer his whole life, and was consistently one of the best players in his company’s weekly golf league. His favorite local course was Holden Hills, and he also enjoyed frequently playing at Green Hill, Pakachoag (“Pack-a-helmet”), Leicester Country Club, and Clearview (“ClearRock”).
Robert adored going to the casino with his father, brother, and son for dog racing, horse racing, and keno. Following a casino visit, he often loved to go to local bars and restaurants with his brother William and his best friend Sally Maloney to explain just how close he was to winning.
If Robert wasn’t on the golf course or at the casino, he could often be found under a car doing repairs or on the couch watching Fox News or sports. He dedicated his life to always doing what was right and providing for his family. He played and excelled at many sports growing up, and adored teaching and playing sports with his son, Zachary, throughout his fatherhood. He was the perfect representation of a son, brother, father, husband, friend, and most of all, a hero. He will be missed very much by very many.
Robert’s services will be private. However, the Parretti family plans to have a large gathering in celebration of both Robert and his father William’s lives at 19 Fales Street on a future date, to be determined in conjunction with state safety laws. The MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation St., is honored to assist the family once again, especially under this difficult circumstance.