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Wednesday, December 21, 2022
4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)
Dr. Stephen P. de Garavilla, D.M.D., age 69, a lifelong resident of Wakefield, passed away peacefully on December 11, 2022 at Massachusetts General Hospital surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Medford on January 5, 1953, he was the son of the late Richard C. and Rose (Guzzetta) de Garavilla. A 1970 graduate of Wakefield Memorial High School, Stephen received his B.S. from Boston College in 1974 and his dental degree from Boston University Dental School in 1978. He was commissioned into the United States Navy as a dental officer and was stationed at Parris Island in Beaufort, SC. Following his service in the Navy, he returned home and opened his own practice on Main Street in Melrose where he spent 38 years practicing family dentistry until his retirement in 2019. Alongside his loyal assistant Diane Tulipani of Melrose, he developed lifelong relationships with patients that spanned generations of the families he cared for.
In his youth, Stephen was a gifted athlete and passionate about sports. He competed in baseball, soccer and most notably, tennis, where he reigned on courts across Wakefield. Later in life, he shared his love of sports with others. He began coaching soccer in Wakefield in 1987 and has since served in various roles including coach, volunteer, and board member with the Wakefield Youth Soccer Association, the Middlesex and Essex County Youth Soccer Leagues and the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association (MYSA). He was also a volunteer and Board Member with Wakefield Youth Hockey during the 1980s and 1990s. In October 2022, Stephen was chosen by MYSA as the recipient of the 2022 Boys Recreational Soccer Coach of the Year. Stephen went on to be awarded the same honor by United States Youth Soccer (USYS) for the East Region, and was ultimately honored at a national level. His coaching endeavors will be celebrated at the USYS gala in Philadelphia in January 2023. Stephen was so humbled to have been nominated for and awarded these accolades.
As a coach, Stephen’s pride and joy was developing his players on and off the field. He got great fulfillment following players as they advanced through the soccer ranks, some becoming coaches themselves. His 35-year soccer coaching career is one of his greatest legacies.
Stephen was the loving and devoted husband of 45 years to Patricia A. (Kelleher). Stephen and Patty loved spending time together dining out, vacationing in New Hampshire, taking family road trips, going to Red Sox games, cheering on the BC Eagles at football and hockey games, hosting family gatherings and spending time with their children and grandchildren. He had a zest and passion for life that will not be forgotten.
Stephen was the loving father of Amy Doucette and her husband Brendan of North Andover, Andrew de Garavilla and his wife Kristin of Scituate, and Julie Merrigan and her husband Jonathan of Melrose. He was the cherished “Grampy” of Lilah, Sophia, and Patrick Doucette, Nolan and Claire de Garavilla, and Julien, Alden, and Adeline Merrigan. He was the adored eldest brother of Alan de Garavilla and his spouse Antonio DeAlmeida of Everett, Lawrence de Garavilla and his wife Donna of Downingtown, PA, Susan Chau and her husband Qui of Framingham, Barbara Orlowitz and her husband Benjamin of Wakefield, James de Garavilla and his wife Tammy of Silsbee, TX, Cynthia Saggar and her husband Sandeep of Rockville, MD, Richie de Garavilla of Peabody, and Paula Driscoll and her husband Timothy of Bedford. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
His Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Joseph Church, 173 Albion St., Wakefield on Thursday, December 22 at 10:00 a.m. Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Wednesday, December 21, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Interment, Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield.
Donations may be made to The Scholarship Foundation of Wakefield, PO Box 321, Wakefield, MA 01880 with "Coach Stephen de Garavilla Memorial Scholarship Fund” noted in the memo line or online at TSFofWakefield.org/Donate and include a note directing the donation to Stephen's fund.