Michael J. Vuona Jr., 81, of Shrewsbury

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Shrewsbury – Michael J. Vuona Jr., 81, a longtime Shrewsbury resident, passed away Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 after being stricken ill at home.

Michael was born in Worcester, one of eight children of Michael J. Vuona Sr. and Lucy “Sally” (Abasciano) Vuona. He began his life in Worcester before moving to the Jordan Pond neighborhood of Shrewsbury at the age of 12. Michael graduated from Shrewsbury High School, where he starred in football earning the nickname “Mr. Touchdown.” After high school, he joined the U.S. Army to serve his country at the Panama Canal. Upon his return from service, Mike married his sweetheart, Kathleen “Kay” Plaud. Together they settled in the same neighborhood he lived in and enjoyed the love of family, friends and devotion for the next 56 years.

He worked in the research and development division of the Wright Line Company for over 33 years before retiring.

Michael is survived by his love, partner and best friend,  Kay; three children, Nadine M. Johnson and her husband Christopher of Millbury, Audrey Brogan and her husband Shane of Westminster, and Shrewsbury Fire Chief James M. Vuona and his wife Heather of Shrewsbury; two sisters, Jean Perro and her husband Kenneth of Pompano, Fla. and Marie N. Flanagan of Ft. Myers, Fla.; four brothers, Robert P. Vuona and his wife Theresa of Victorville, Calif., Richard A. Vuona and his wife Janet of Shrewsbury, Maurice P. Vuona and his wife Arlene of Bartow, Fla, and Patrick J. Vuona and his wife Toni of Ft. Myers, Fla.; nine grandchildren, Christine Gagliardo and her husband Adam, Hannah McClure and her husband Corey, Noah Johnson, Michael R. and Raeann Vuona, Daniel and Timothy McMaster, Robert and Abigail Brogan; a great-granddaughter, Calleigh Mae Furtado; and many nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.  A daughter, Andrea J. Vuona, and sister, Dorothy A. Skiest, predeceased him.

Michael was a member of St. Anne’s Church, the Shrewsbury Friends Group and a member, eight-year Past President and league Bocce player of the Italian American Victory Club in Shrewsbury. An avid bowler all his life, Mike was a 40-year member, past President and Treasurer of the Shrewsbury Men’s Bowling League, and Shrewsbury Senior Bowling League.

Family was the most important part of Mike’s life. He truly believed that faith, family and friends were special times, and he had room in his heart for everyone he met. They enjoyed camping for many years as a family, at many different camping venues, especially Peter’s Pond Park on Cape Cod and Bear’s Den Park in Wells, Maine. Kay and Mike also enjoyed wintering in Florida for the past 12 years.

Mike was a beautiful person who enjoyed the simple pleasures of life like spending time with family and friends, family dinners, playing cards and talks over coffee with his dear friends. “Papa” Vuona traveled near and far to attend the many sporting events, musical concerts and dance recitals of his beloved grandchildren. It was also one of his greatest joys to buy everyone in the family ice cream after one of these events. He was very generous with his love and time and helped anyone he could. His passing leaves a hole in the hearts of everyone who knew him.

Friends and relatives are invited to calling hours Friday, Oct. 27, from 4-8 p.m., in the MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation St., Worcester. His funeral will be held Saturday, Oct. 28 from the funeral home with a procession to St. Anne’s Church, 130 Boston Tpke., Shrewsbury, where his celebration of life Mass will be held at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd., Waltham, MA 02452.