Topsfield - William DiPaolo, 88, husband of Geraldine “Gigi” (Vitale) Dipaolo, passed away Sunday, May 13, 2018, at his home in Topsfield with his loving family by his side.
Born in Niles, Ohio, he was the son of the late Thomas and Gilda (Nenna) DiPaolo. Raised in Niles until the age of 14, with his family, he moved to Beverly in 1944. He attended Beverly Trade School and graduated in the class of 1948. While at Beverly High School he played football, starting in the 9th grade through his senior year and was co-captain of the varsity team. Bill won every award, trophy and scholarship for his outstanding football playing. He played under coach Charlie Walsh for over four years.
Bill spent 10 years serving his country in the United States Naval Reserves and the Seabees. He met the love of his life Gigi, and they married in 1951, being together for over 70 years. Billy was a master mechanic, working on cars, trucks and every kind of machinery. He worked for various construction companies, traveling to Florida, instrumental in the expansion of Daytona Beach as we know it today. After returning to the North Shore, he helped create Route 128, as well as other major highways in the Northeast. For many years he worked for Miles River Sand and Gravel in Ipswich, running the hot top plant, graders, bulldozers and sand pit. While there, he discovered the oldest Paleo-Indian site in North America, known as the Bull Brook Project, becoming an archeologist. The Bull Brook group and the site were featured in National Geographic in 1968. With five friends, he dug up many rare artifacts, forming the Archeology Club of Beverly. Those artifacts are now in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, and at the University of Maine. Being brought up on a farm and having a talent for growing things, he always dreamed of owning his own flower shop and greenhouse and realized that dream in 1971. With his wife Gigi, and his two children, they purchased Hamilton Gardens in Hamilton, which he owned for the next 25 years. Bill was a natural horticulturist, being able to grow anything from just a twig. In essence, he was a man who could accomplish anything he put his mind to. A self-taught electrical engineer and an inventor, at the time of his passing, he was working on a project to revolutionize the auto industry. In 1996 he retired from the flower business and moved to Topsfield, after living in Beverly for 52 years. After retirement he continued to work various odd jobs, always staying busy. While visiting his brother Tom in Falmouth on Cape Cod he fell in love with the Surf Drive beach area and purchased a home there. He loved spending summers there with his friends and family, especially his grandchildren. His gardens and property were a showpiece right out of Fine Gardening. Bill was a member of the Italian Community Center in Beverly and enjoyed playing cards and playing his number on a daily basis. He will always be remembered for his quiet and kind demeanor, his compassion for the underdog and his quick, dry wit. A devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, family was everything. A friend to many, he will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.
In addition to his loving wife Gigi, he is survived by his children, Joseph T. DiPaolo and his wife Tina (Kaplan) of Beverly; Deborah J. Weaver and her husband Kevin of Rowley; brother Thomas D. DiPaolo and his wife Carol of Peabody; three cherished grandchildren, Christina E. Cannistraro and her husband Michael of Kingsland, GA; Stephanie R. Leclair and her husband Dustin of Somerville; Kasey H. DiPaolo of Beverly; two great-grandchildren, Blake T. LeClair and Ava Rose Cannistraro; brother-in-law Paul Vitale and his wife Jean of Port St. Lucy, Fla.; sisters-in-law, Doris Vitale of Hamilton, Sandra Vitale of Hamilton; and many nieces and nephews. Billy was predeceased by his sister Johanna Manzi and brother Eli DiPaolo.
Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend a memorial service on Saturday, May 19, at 12 p.m. at the Danversport Yacht Club, Elliot Street, Danvers. Burial will be private. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the William DiPaolo Scholarship Fund, c/o Beverly High School, 100 Sohier Road, ATTN: Niles Flanders or Eileen Perry, Beverly, MA 01915. Checks may be made to Beverly Dollars for Scholars. Please visit Comeau Funeral Home on Facebook, or www.comeaufuneral.com.
Published on  May 16, 2018