The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of July 22 to July 29, 2021


Bonita J. Wyson

October 20, 1942 ~ July 13, 2021 (Age 78)

Gardner - Bonita J. (Bizzotto) Wyson, 78, passed away at her residence surrounded by her family on Tuesday, July 13 after a long courageous battle with cancer.

Bonnie was born on October 30, 1942 in Fitchburg a daughter of the late John and Teresa (Capone) Bizzotto.

Bonnie was the wife of the late Barry Wyson who passed in 1995.

Bonnie is survived by her son, Eric Wyson and his wife Nancy of Westminster, daughter, Karin Wyson of Athol, grandchildren, Zachary, Meagan and Grace Wyson; her brothers, John Bizzotto and his wife, Nancy of Fitchburg and Brian Bizzotto of Fitchburg as well as several nieces and nephews.

Bonnie was a longtime nurse at Burbank Hospital where she contributed her many talents to multiple departments and helped countless patients. She later worked at The Winchendon School as the school nurse, retiring in 2010.

Her biggest joy was cooking for and spending time with her family especially her grandchildren. She was an avid Patriots fan also.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00am on Friday July 23rd at St. Anthony di Padua Church, 84 Salem St., Fitchburg. Calling hours will be held from 9:00-10:30 prior to the Mass at the Brandon Funeral Home, 305 Wanoosnoc Rd., Fitchburg. Burial will be in St. Bernard's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please make donations in her name online or by mail to the St. Anthony's building and maintenance fund, 84 Salem Street Fitchburg, MA 01420.

Ronald J.U. LeBlanc

April 28, 1955 ~ July 18, 2021 (Age 66)

WINCHENDON - Ronald J.U. LeBlanc, 66, of 10 Kemp Street, died unexpectedly at home Sunday morning, July 18, 2021.

He was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 28, 1955, son of Ulysse LeBlanc of Bradenton, FL and the late Dorothy (Babineau) LeBlanc. He came to this country at the age of five and was a 1973 graduate of Fitchburg High School. Ron had lived in Winchendon 43 years.

Ron had worked as a carpenter and drywall man for Local #33 Carpenters Union until his retirement nine years ago. He was an avid hockey fan and once coached in in the Winchendon Youth Hockey League. Ron was also a Boston Bruins fan.

He leaves his wife of 46 years to the day, Melody (Brann) LeBlanc; three children, Jeremy James LeBlanc and his wife Carla of Cincinnati, OH, Christy Marie LeBlanc-Kantor and her husband Justin of Winchendon and Adam Jonathan LeBlanc and his wife Jenn of Winchendon; seven grandchildren, Gage and his partner Camay, Aria, Cross, Dublin, Alex, Rachel and Sophia; five sisters, Linda Hakala of Gardner, Gail Marie Pascal of AZ, Claudette LeBlanc of Fitchburg, Eunice LeBlanc of AZ and Lori Ann Aldrich of No. Haverhill, NH and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his mother, Ron was preceded in death by a sister in law, Doris Stone, and a brother in law, Todd LeBlanc.

A memorial service will be held Friday, July 23, 2021 at 3 P.M. in Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home, 343 Central Street, Winchendon. The Rev. F. Calvin Miller will officiate.

A calling hour will precede the funeral Friday from 2 to 3 P.M. in the funeral home.

July 10, 2021 (Age 95)

Albert M. Bratica, 95, of Ashland passed away July 10, 2021, after a period of declining health.

He was the son of the late Attilio and Josephine (Costella) Bratica, and the beloved husband of Margaret (Feccia) Bratica who died in 1997. He grew up in Framingham, and was a graduate of Framingham High School. He was a member of the United States Army from 1944 to 1946, serving oversees during active combat in World War II. He was later employed as a laborer for Local 609 and Guigli Construction for many years.

In his free time, Albert loved spending time in his garden.

Albert was a loving father to his two sons, Albert Bratica, Jr. and David Bratica, who both predeceased him. He was also predeceased by his siblings, Raymond Bratica, Charles Bratica, Louise Croci, Florence Croci, Olivia Lee Bratica, and Attilio Bratica, Jr. Albert is survived by Susan Bratica, wife of the late Albert Jr. and six grandchildren, Robyn Bratica of Milford, Garret Bratica of Ashland, Andrew Bratica of Somerville, Shauna Bratica of Ashland, Michael Laverdure of Milford, and Scott Laverdure of Winchendon, and five great grandchildren, Juliet Sullivan of Milford, Montanna Laverdure of Miami, FL, Evan Laverdure of Washington D.C., Scott Donald Laverdure of Winchendon, and Joslynn Laverdure of Winchendon.

The funeral mass will be held Friday, July 23, at 10 a.m. in St. Tarcisius Church, 562 Waverly St. Framingham. Burial will follow at the St. Tarcisius Cemetery on Winthrop St. in Framingham. Calling hours will be held Thursday, July 22, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Matarese Funeral Home, 325 Main St. Ashland.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Veteran's Association of America, Inc., P.O. Box 309 Audubon Station, New York, New York 10032-0309.

October 9, 1947 ~ July 18, 2021 (Age 73)

ORANGE, MA - Victoria L. "Vickie" (Shepardson) Shaw, 73, of Tully Road, died on Sunday, July 18, 2021 at home following an illness.

Born in Holden on October 9, 1947, she was the daughter of Earl Shepardson Sr. and Victoria (Winters).

Vickei was married to Walter F. Shaw for 36 years until his death on December 11, 2000. They started their home in Tully in 1964 where they raised t heir family.

A certified home health aide, Vickie took care of many people for years and loved her clients as if they were family.

Vickie loved her family, especially time with the grandchildren. She also enjoyed gardening and crocheting, as well as scratch tickets, the Hallmark channel, baking and Sudoku.

Vickie is survived by her sons, David Shaw and his wife, Carol, of Orange and Richard Shaw and his fiancée, Sheila Lafortune, of Phillipston; a daughter, Christine Card of Wendell; grandchildren, David Shaw Jr., Ashley Shaw, Michael Shaw, Timothy Shaw, Andrew Shaw, Amanda Card, Savannah Card, and Madison Card; nine great grandchildren; brothers, Earl Shepardson Jr., of Hardwick and Joseph Shepardson, of Athol and, John Shepardson of Winchendon.

Besides her parents and husband, Vicki was predeceased by a grandson, Joshua Nawotny on August 17, 2019, as well as a brother, Lawrence Shepardson.

Calling hour will be held on July 26, 2021 from 9:30-10:30 a.m., at Witty's Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange.

A funeral service will follow on July 26th , at 10:30 a.m., at Witty's Funeral Home in Orange, with Fr. Shaun O'Connor of St. Mary's Church in Orange officiating.

Interment will follow in Gethsemane Cemetery, Athol.

Witty's Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is assisting the family.

Onnie A. Herk Jr.

May 10, 1934 ~ July 18, 2021 (Age 87)

FITZWILLIAM, NH - Onnie A. Herk Jr., 87, of 461 Fullam Hill Road, died peacefully Tuesday afternoon, July 20th in UMASS Memorial Medical Center, University Campus, Worcester.

He was born in Gardner, Ma on May 10, 1934, son of the late Onnie Herk Sr. and Leslie (Brown) Herk Skidd and lived in Fitzwilliam for many years. For over twenty years, he and his wife had wintered in Florida.

Onnie worked as a machinist and tool and die maker at NH Ball Bearings in Peterborough for many years until his retirement. He proudly served his country as a member of the United States Navy during the Korean War. His hobbies included golfing and gardening. His greatest enjoyment was spending time with his family.

Onnie was a member of Eugene M. Connor Post 193 American Legion, Winchendon and the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.

He leaves his wife of 53 years, Norma (Menard) Herk; a daughter, Trudi Ackerman and her husband Andrew of Northfield, MA; two grandchildren, Jared Ackerman and Julianna Ackerman; a brother, Lee Herk and his partner Brenda of Mesa, AZ.; his close niece, Doreen Potter as well as other nieces and nephews. A sister, Beverly Vigland, predeceased him.

Military funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at 1 P.M. in Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery, 111 Glenallen Street, Winchendon.

Memorial donations may be made to the charity of one's choice.

Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home, 343 Central Street, Winchendon is directing arrangements.

Levi John Flannery

July 18, 2020 ~ July 13, 2021

Alton Bay, NH - Levi John Flannery, 11 months, passed away on July 13, 2021, after a short and unexpected battle with cancer. He was born on July 18, 2020, to parents, Amber and Dalton Flannery. Levi was a happy child with a contagious laugh and smile that could brighten any room. He brought great joy to all those who knew him. Though his life was brief, his memory lives on in his family and friends.

Levi is survived by his parents, Dalton, Amber, and his big brother Raylan Flannery of Alton Bay NH; his paternal grandparents, Robert & Sandra L Flannery of Alton Bay NH; his maternal grandparents, Cathleen Calawa & Robert McGuire of Winchendon MA; his maternal grandfather William Calawa; his paternal grandmother Sandra G Flannery of Merrimack NH; his maternal great-grandparents Cathy and Scott Rankin of Pepperell MA; Aunts and Uncles, Vanessa Bartholomew and cousin Gavin Falcon of Elkridge MD; Mary & David Ladwig and cousin Liam of Sanford ME; Bryon Calawa & AJ Luca of Philadelphia PA; and David Duda of Merrimack NH, Godparents Rachel Mershon & Michael Rodd and many more extended family members.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, July 24, 2021, at 11:00 am at St. Katharine Drexel Parish, 40 Hidden Springs Rd, Alton NH.

Childhood cancer research receives just 4% of the annual budget from the National Institutes of Health. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in loving memory of Levi to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer:

Cremation care by Peaslee Alton Funeral Home. To express condolences, please visit:

Leslie A. Pierce

June 25, 1951 ~ July 13, 2021 (Age 70)

Leslie Anne Pierce, 70, of Concord NH passed away unexpectedly on July 13, 2021, after a two-year battle against cancer.

Leslie was born in Worcester MA on June 25, 1951, to the late John and Mabel (Savin) Keese of Ayer MA. Leslie graduated Ayer High School in 1969. Her greatest joy in life was being a stay-at-home mom for twenty years, where she dedicated her life to enriching every day of her daughter's life with love, knowledge, and laughter. She graduated from NH Technical Institute in 2003, where she was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and received her Associates Degree in Mental Health.

Leslie served in the AmeriCorps and then worked at Merrimack County Visitation Center as a Family Access Specialist until she retired in 2013.

Leslie is survived by her loving husband of 49 years, Michael Pierce of Concord NH, her daughter April Bryant, and her husband Jeremy, of Somerville MA, her sister Catherine Marion and her husband David, of Winchendon MA, her brother John Keese and his wife Billie of Fitchburg MA, her brother David Keese and his wife Liz of Fitchburg MA, her brother Brian Keese and his wife Cathy of Davenport FL, as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her siblings Rita Kuhns, Gayle Keese, Paul Keese, and Larry Keese.

Leslie loved a good book, a strong cup of coffee, and the ocean breeze. Leslie had the biggest heart and loved to help others whenever she could. Over the years she took in family and friends, providing support and love to anyone who needed it, as well as spending her career working to help victims and children of domestic abuse.

Donations in her memory can be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a charity she supported herself for many years. Calling hours will be held at Bennett Funeral Home 209 N. Main Street Concord, NH 03301 on Thursday, July 22, 2021 from 1:00pm - 4:00pm. Burial will be held on Friday, July 23, 2021 at Blossom Hill Cemetery 207 North State Street Concord, NH 03301 at 10:00am.