Every once in a while someone comes along and impacts the lives of many, not through any specific action, but just by being a loving and caring soul. Some are just born without a mean bone in their body and have the uncanny ability to make people smile simply by being present.
If anyone on earth ever possessed such a rare quality it was Jerry Moretti of the North End.
Gerald “Jerry” Moretti, who was loved by all who knew him and a mentor to dozens of kids who grew up in the North End, died Tuesday, February 23 surrounded by his family. He was 69 years old.
At his funeral mass Saturday at St. Leonard Church on Hanover Street, Jerry’s son, Jeffrey, delivered an inspirational eulogy remembering his late father
“I can only hope that the lessons that he has taught us will be reflected to our own children,” said Jeffrey. “And not to only our children but to our friends as well. My uncle Steven said it best; “Gerald was his blessing”. But I also take it that all of you, were blessed to have known and loved him as well. Dad was the hardest working, faithful, compassionate person that I have known. And by the amount of people that are here today, and by the number of texts, calls, FB messages, flowers, food that we have received over the last few days were overwhelming with beautiful and heartfelt messages, which is a testament to him.”
Jeffery said his dad did not have an easy life and lost his parents by the time he was 18.
“So basically, it was him and his sister from then on,” said Jeffrey. “He had a large family, but
most of them were absent from his life, then and now. With no other support except for my aunt, who recently passed, and without the financial security to attend college, Dad went to work.”
Jerry got a job with Boston Edison and became an underground lineman where he worked in the worst asbestos filled steam tunnels in Boston.
“Dad ended up working at Boston Edison for over 40 years,” said Jeffrey. “He met my mother at 16 years old and the greatest love story developed. They fell in love and were married a few years later. Everyone here knows the unbreakable bond that they shared. They showed what a true marriage is…the love, compassion, sacrifices, struggles, good and bad, and sickness and health. They shared it all and they were stronger because of it.”
Jerry was a longtime member of St. Anthony’s Society and organizer of the annual St. Anthony’s Feast in the North End.
“His love for the church and Saint Anthony was astounding,” said Jeffrey. “Dad was his happiest during Saint Anthony’s Feast. And it wasn’t because of all the hype that comes from it, it was
the excitement of him being with his family and friends at one place. Although dad didn’t have any brothers, the membership were his brothers, and the bond that was created through Saint Anthony is a miracle. Dad did have two special guys in his life that he sincerely loved. Joe Mantone and Stephen Scapicchio. These two men were like brothers to him that shared an unbreakable brotherly bond. Even from childhood they did everything for each other.”
Jeffrey ended his touching eulogy saying, “Dad, as you lie there, I can’t begin to explain the pain that I have of you not being here, but we just want to take a moment and sincerely thank you for what you have done for our family, your love, your faith, your support, your sacrifices and for just being you. We are better men because of you may God grant you the peace you so rightfully deserve. I hope that St. Anthony was there to welcome you into paradise and that you are finally together again with family. Until I see you again, we will continue to celebrate your life for all our years to come. Good bye for now. We love you.”
Longtime friend of the Moretti family, North End Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, who considered Jerry a mentor also eulogized Mr. Moretti.
“When asked to say a few words about Jerry Moretti, I started to think back to my first memories of him which are hard to pin down when you grow up here and everyone is just part of your life,” said Michlewitz. “As a teenager whether it was weekend night at the CC Center or summer nights at the Gassy, Jerry became someone who looked over us, mentored us and sometimes scolded us when necessary. I think our friend Paul Scapicchio summed it up to me yesterday when he said, “Jerry never seeked out the spotlight, people just flocked to him by instinct”. My friendship with Jerry became extra special during my first campaign, when I asked him to be my campaign treasurer and watch over the finances. I would end the night sitting with Jerry at his kitchen table going over what bills had to be paid and how much money we had left in the bank account. Those nights, in a way, became therapy sessions as we talked about the stresses of a campaign, the neighborhood, politics, and his son Gennaro’s upcoming wedding. As I look back on those nights, they were some of the best moments. He wasn’t seeking out the limelight, he just quietly did all he could do to help because he just wanted to see one of his guys reach their dream. That was Jerry in a nutshell.”
Jerry is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Sheila A. (Petrigno) Moretti. Beloved father of Jeffrey Moretti and his wife, Krisinda, of Saugus and Gennaro Moretti and his wife, Cara, of Lynnfield. Adored grandfather of Isabella, Vittoria, Giulia and William. Dear brother of the late Joanna Rossetti.