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Wakefield’s Heart of Gold

By Julia Giordano

Local Wakefield seniors and Wakefield Memorial High School seniors came
together for lunch, conversation, and interviews as part of a cross-generational
program titled Seniors to Seniors. The resulting articles written by students using
lived experiences from the adults as content are being published as a series.
Seniors to Seniors is a collaboration between The Savings Bank, The Room to
Write, Wakefield High School, Wakefield Senior Center, Wakefield Daily Item, and
JC Marketing Associates.

Marie Elaine Dwyer, a proud resident of Wakefield of 51 years, radiates a
remarkable commitment to fostering love in her community. Recognized and
valued not only as a cherished aunt, mother, and grandmother, Marie is also an
active member of various senior centers in Wakefield, Melrose, Lynnfield,
Reading, and Stoneham, embracing community involvement. Furthermore, she
serves as a minister at The Most Blessed Sacrament Church and is the president of
the Women’s Guild. She portrays selflessness by devoting her days to uplifting
those around her and igniting joy in every encounter she has. She embodies a rare
blend of kindness, optimism, everlasting joy, thoughtfulness, compassion and
generosity, representing a beacon of love that never dims.

Marie’s love knows no bounds, as she consistently expresses her giving
spirit in various ways throughout the year. Her passion for her favorite holiday,
Christmas, shines through as she transforms her home into what she calls an
“Enchanted Village,” hosting numerous gatherings for neighbors and friends,
welcoming everyone with open arms. Marie’s dedication for spreading holiday
cheer extends beyond her home; as she says, “The best thing I have ever done in
my entire life was playing Mrs. Claus,” something she embraces publicly. She
even garnishes her car with festive decorations and spreads holiday cheer
throughout her community. This not only brings joy to those around her, but also
herself.

Her profound impact extends far beyond her neighborhood, as she touches
the lives of countless individuals volunteering extensively in nursing homes,
schools, and her church, wearing her signature red attire throughout the season.
Her commitment doesn’t fade after Christmas, it extends year round, on holidays
and ordinary days alike. Whether through community service, acts of kindness, or
warmly welcoming everyone into her beautifully decorated home, her spirit shines
bright. Marie holds immense gratitude for her family and those around her, where
she views that her “neighborhood is not just a neighborhood, it’s a family”. Maries
limitless warmth and positivity have earned her the title “mother of the
neighborhood,” symbolizing her impact she has on her community, always ready
to extend a welcoming hand.

Marie Dwyer grew up in Everett, spending her formative years within the
close-knit community of Saint Anthony’s Church until her marriage at age 25.
After graduating high school, Marie embarked on her journey at Bay State
University, where she earned a degree in business after initially starting in
education. After college she began her career with United Airlines, a job that not
only connected her with her husband of 40 years, Bill Dwyer, but also sparked her
passion for service. At the age of 27, she welcomed her first child into the world
alongside her husband. Since then she has been blessed with two children,
Kerriane Sherburne and Kelly Dwyer, along with four beloved grandchildren:
Samantha Sherburne, Katie Sherburne, Brendan Gray, and Madison Gray.
Additionally, she has two younger brothers, Tony Giordano and the late Nicholas
Giordano. Marie came from a large, loving Italian family with fond memories of
her father’s aunts who spoiled her and her brothers rotten. Moving to Melrose for a
brief period, she resided in a two-family home before settling in Wakefield.
Throughout her life she expressed a deep appreciation for the life she was given by
her parents and family, whose unwavering support shaped her into the person she
is today.

Following the birth of her children, Marie transitioned her focus to the
Greenwood School, where she served first as a lunch lady, then as a certified job
coach. Over the span of 30 years, Marie dedicated herself to working with students
with severe special needs, primarily at Wakefield Memorial High School. It was
during that time that she discovered her true passion for nurturing and empowering
young minds. She truly loved what she did, excited to come to work every single
day. Marie’s love for her work was matched only by the impact she had on her
students. Even today, she maintains close connections with them, sending heartfelt
cards during holidays and never missing an opportunity to celebrate their
birthdays. The appreciation her former students hold for Marie is evident in their
touching gesture of gathering outside her door on her birthday with a card in hand,
singing “Happy Birthday.” Knowing she continues to bring joy to those she once
taught fills Marie with an enduring sense of fulfillment and purpose.

In the heart of Wakefield lives Marie Elaine Dwyer, who embodies
extraordinary goodwill, whose unwavering dedication to spreading joy has
illuminated the lives of those around her for over half a century. Her motto, “To
live for today, to love your family and your friends, because you don’t know what
tomorrow is going to bring,” encapsulates her approach to life, rooted in optimism
and generosity. Despite the passing of her husband almost 16 years ago, she
continues to believe in the power of goodness and the importance of spreading
affection, as well as advocating for creating a brighter world through even the
smallest acts of kindness. Her journey, fueled by compassion, serves as a glimmer
of hope, reminding us of the transformative power of kindness and the value of
cherishing each moment with loved ones. In a world often overshadowed by
negativity, Marie shines as a guiding light, proving that love, laughter and
positivity can illuminate even the darkest of days.

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Mail Theft Advisory
The North Reading Police Department is advising that anyone who utilized the blue, standalone US Postal Service collection box, which is located at the rear of the post office, at 174 Park St., any time after 12 PM on Saturday, June 8, has had their mail stolen. Direct questions as follows: • Specific questions on your account, please contact The Savings Bank at 800-246-2009. • Questions regarding this theft, please contact the North Reading Police Department at 978–664–3131. Read more.