Michael J. Palumbo, 66
Shrewsbury – Michael J. Palumbo, 66, longtime Shrewsbury resident, firefighter and musician, passed away Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 with the family he loved so much gathered beside him after a long battle with heart disease.
Michael was born in Worcester, the son of Joseph A. and Phyllis L. (Tomaiolo) Palumbo. He grew up in the Italian section of Worcester, on E. Central Street. He graduated from Sacred Heart Academy, enrolling in St Phillip Neri Academy. He transferred to Assumption College, then to Worcester State, earning his degree in Education.
In 1970, Michael married Mary Ann (McArdle) Palumbo, who would be his soul mate and love of his life for the next 43 years. They began their life together in Worcester, before settling in Shrewsbury over 37 years ago.
Michael loved his family and enjoyed sharing his love of Disney with them. They took many memorable trips to “The Happiest Place on Earth.” He adored his three granddaughters and loved spending time with them.
Michael, being blessed with the gift of music has been involved with song for over 48 years. He was a member of the Irish band, Mulligan Stew, often found playing at The Old Timer in Clinton. As a church organist and choir director, he played throughout the Dioceses of Worcester for 48 years, with over 40 of those years as Music Director for St Anne’s Church in Shrewsbury.
The son of a Worcester Fire Fighter, Michael always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. He became a lieutenant for the call Shrewsbury Fire Department. After 10 dedicated years of service, he suffered a heart attack that took his dream away.
He found a way to return to his love of fire service upon the formation of the Worcester Fire Brigade Pipes and Drums. He joined the organization, studied the bagpipes, played the organ and became a valued member of that organization. He also became a member of the revival of the Worcester Fire Department Special Services Canteen Truck, Box 4.
Michael was even prouder when his daughter applied for the fire department and became a fire photographer. His son Brendan was appointed to the Shrewsbury Fire Department, 53 years to the day that Michael’s father had been appointed to the Worcester Fire Department.
Michael’s other interests included the First Friday Club, the Sons of Italy, Worcester Lodge 168, and the former Calvary Retreat Center as a member and music director. He was an integral part of St Anne’s Social Committee. He supported the celebrations at St Anne’s: Italian Night, Irish Night, French Night and Country Western Nights among others.
Michael was also a history buff, incredible at trivia and interested in Native American Heritage. He attended Native American Pow Wows and tribal functions through the Worcester Inter-tribal Indian Community. He always stayed in touch with his boyhood friends that he grew up with on Shrewsbury Street, at the Mt Carmel Recreation Center functions and his Boy Scout Troop #47.
Michael is survived by his devoted family that stuck by him, helped in his battle with heart disease and never left his side during his long ordeal. His wife Mary Ann; his three devoted children, Laurie A. Palumbo, Brendan M. Palumbo and his wife Kerry (Muntz), Joseph J. Palumbo and his fiancé Lauren Baldini; his sister, Phyllis Ann (Palumbo) Halstead and her husband, Lee; the three apples of his eye; his granddaughters, Lillian “Lilly”, Kylie and Julie; Sisters in law Margaret Giguere, Janet Camyre and her husband James, nieces, nephews, large extend family and numerous friends.
Friends and relatives are invited to visit with Michael’s family Tuesday, Oct. 1, from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m., in the church he devoted his life to, St Anne’s, 130 Boston Turnpike Road, Shrewsbury. His Celebration of Life funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 10:00 a.m., in St. Anne’s Church. Burial will be in Mountain View Cemetery, Shrewsbury.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances in Michael’s name can be made to the Worcester Fire Department Box 4 Special Services Canteen, care of Worcester Fire Department Credit Union, 34 Glennie St., Worcester or St Anne’s Church Human Services, 130 Boston Turnpike Road, Shrewsbury.
The Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel of Worcester is honored to assist the family with arrangements.
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