In Our Care

Joseph Freni

August 10, 1927 - October 04, 2022


Obituary For Joseph Freni

Joseph Freni passed away peacefully Tuesday October 4th surrounded by his wife and children. He was blessed beyond measure during his 95 years of life. Born on August 10, 1927, in Scaletta Superiore, Sicily, Italy. Joseph was the eldest son of Josephine and Aurelio Freni and older brother of Santi, Santina and Maria.

In 1950, he met and married Carmela “Milly” Freni of Boston. He immigrated to the United States and settled in Cambridge Massachusetts. Together they had three children who they raised in Arlington, where he spent more than 50 years of his life. Milly passed away in 1981.

At a young age, Joseph learned to sew and was a skilled tailor who spent his career making suits in
Boston, including suits for many of the Boston Celtics. He was proud of his extensive suit collection and loved to share his finds of beautiful fabrics from Chinatown. He loved this country and was proud of his mastery of the English language. From his early days working in a lemon orchard in Sicily, Joseph’s other love was his garden, like his mother and father. He tended annually to his garden in Arlington through 2020.

In 1986, Joseph married Catena Carone of Acquedolci, Sicily, Italy, who shared his love of the gospel. He was a dedicated member of the Boston Christian Assembly Church and served his church and community in many volunteer roles throughout his life.

Joseph was steadfast and unwavering in his faith and his love for his family. He never forgot a birthday and there was never a question of how much he loved everyone. He believed in God, his family, and he believed in the Boston Red Sox. He was our biggest fan.

Joseph was predeceased by his wife Carmela “Milly” and his brother Santi. He is survived by his wife, Catena, daughter Esther Freni of Deerfield, his son Salvatore Freni and wife Luisa of Burlington, his daughter Janice McGarry and husband Richard of Tyngsboro. He is also survived by his sisters Maria Bombara of Waltham and Santina Marchese of Scaletta Zanclea, Sicily, Italy. Joseph’s greatest joy was
being called Nonno by his eight grandchildren Danielle Loos and husband Ralph of Sunderland, Rachel Marshall and husband Kenneth of Woodstock, CT, Joel Borgesano and wife Denise of Melrose, Joseph Freni and wife Silvana of Burlington, Carmelina Rakiec and husband Daniel of Woburn, Salvatore Freni Jr., of Geneva, Switzerland, Marissa Stanvick and husband Stephen of Wilmington, and Devon McGarry and
wife Shelby of Milton, VT. He also leaves his 16 great-grandchildren: Grayson, Rayner, Sofia, Brook, Marco, Mary, Liliana, Ivy, Nathan, Gisella, Sabrina, Joel Jr., William, Alexis, Matthew and Callan as well as many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be Friday, October 7th from 4 - 7 pm at DeVito Funeral Home, 1145 Massachusetts
Avenue, Arlington. A funeral service will be held Saturday October 8th at 10:00 AM at the Mt. Hope Christian Center, 3 McGinnis Drive, Burlington. Please meet at church. Joseph will be laid to rest at Cambridge Cemetery in Cambridge, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Christian Assembly, 9 Cummings St., Somerville, MA 02145 or a charity of your choice.


7 Oct


04:00 PM - 07:00 PM

DeVito Funeral Home - Arlington 1145 Mass. Ave. Arlington, MA 02476 Get Directions »
8 Oct

Funeral Service

10:00 AM

Mount Hope Christian Center 3 McGinnis Dr. Burlington, MA 01803 Get Directions »
8 Oct


11:45 AM

Cambridge Cemetery 89 Coolidge Ave. Cambridge, MA 02138 Get Directions »
by FHW Solutions

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  • 10/07/2022

    My name is Keith Center and I've lived across the street from Joe on Harlow St for the last 30 years. Joe was like a 2nd father to me next to my grandfather. We talked all the time about his and my 2 favorite things Faith n Family, and dont forget about the tomatoes too. I would snow blow out his driveway and every time Id say Joe dont give me anything, then he would stuff money in my pocket and yell at me in Italian,jokingly of course he was saying respect your elders n i would say Yes Sir every time. To the family u have my deepest sympathies but i want u to know I last spoke to Joe about 3-4 weeks ago before it got bad n he told me God was calling him home soon n that he was ready. Joe I love you I will see you again, say hi 2 Pop 4me. God please take good care of my friend. Peace n Love Keith

  • 10/07/2022

    I love you all and am praying for Gods comfort in this season and so grateful He gets to be with Jesus! Xoxo I see his reflection in you! Love- Jeff, Joanne, Leila and Hannah (Driscoll) Murchie

  • 10/06/2022

    With deepest sympathies, my God hold Him in the palm of His hand. Rosemary Russo and Robert Babcock.

  • 10/05/2022

    Sending you our sincere sympathy , Hold your good memories close Floyd and Sharon Newbegin

  • 10/05/2022

    Joe was a wonderful man. My lar memory of him was seeing him two years ago at my cousin's funeral. I asked him if he remembered me and he said of course and recounted old times of over 70 years ago. It made me smile. RIP Joe. Emma Edmumds

  • 10/05/2022

    To The Freni Family, I wanted to extend my deepest sympathies on the loss of Joe.My family lived across the way and Joe always gave everyone a friendly wave.My Dad passed in 2017 and he was so kind to bring over a Sympathy Card.Wishing all of you comfort and peace... Debra Center

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