Updated: Virginia “Ginnie” (Sawyer) Carbone, 86, Worked at Skateland, EZ-Way Cleaners

Virginia Ruth (Sawyer) Carbone, 86, passed away peacefully last Sunday surrounded by Atillio, her husband of 66 years, her seven children and spouses, and many of her grandchildren.

She was born in Haverhill, Nov. 7, 1930, to Charles F. and Virginia (Gindorff) Sawyer. Ginnie, as she was known, was educated in Haverhill Public Schools, attending both Walnut Square and Fox Schools before graduating from Haverhill High in 1948. After graduation, Carbone began secretarial office work for Cranton Oil in Bradford. After her marriage to Atillio Carbone (Till), she worked with him in the family businesses of Skateland and EZ- Way Cleaners, and later worked at Howland's Department Store in the Children's Department.

She was present for many events in Haverhill's history, witnessing the destruction of her father's shoe business in the flood of 1936. As a young girl, she rode the last trolley in Haverhill, driven by her grandfather. Living through the Great Depression and the Second World War, her life was influenced in a way that caused her to treat others with compassion and to value all of her blessings. She was a proud member of the Greatest Generation, and enjoyed a lifelong friendship with a pen pal from Northern Ireland.

Carbone participated in many of the activities her children were involved in, including serving as a Cub Scout Den Mother, assisting with Brownie and Girl Scout activities, Youth NECARC (supporting individuals with developmental disabilities), Sacred Hearts Interested Parents, and teaching sewing classes at Sacred Hearts School. She was active with the Haverhill High School Band Parents' Association. In the 1970s, she was an advocate for incorporating Chapter 766 Services into parochial schools.

A devout Catholic, she was active in many roles at Sacred Hearts Parish. She served on the Sacred Hearts School Board, and was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America, Court Sacred Hearts. She served as an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister, and held a great devotion to the Blessed Mother.

She was active in organizing the reunions of the Haverhill High School class of 1948, and in later years participated in the Coachman RV Club of America, traveling extensively in retirement with Till, eventually visiting all 50 States. The two enjoyed nightly Manhattan cocktails together.

Her interests included sewing, reading, cooking, gardening and camping in the White Mountains with her family. She and Till took several cruises, two trips to Italy, and trips throughout New England with close friends. One of her favorite places to be was Camp Comei in Ossipee, N.H., where family gathers often. She was a devoted Red Sox fan.

She was proud to raise seven children, and treated their spouses as her own. She was the original member of the "Carbone Outlaws Club," joyfully welcoming new members as each child and grandchild married. She was an avid fan of her 16 grandchildren, delighting in every sporting event and musical performance she could witness. Meeting each of her four great grandchildren brought a smile to her face, and joy to her heart.

Besides Atillio, she is survived by her seven children and their families: Peter and his wife Donna of Haverhill and their family Carolyn, Jason, Landon, and Parker Leverett, and Andrea Carbone and her significant other Matthew Horrigan of Fort Washington, Maryland; Joseph and his wife Laura of Alexandria, Virg., and their children Katie and Emily Carbone; Mary and her husband David Harbison of Houlton, Maine, and their family Jonathan, Kaylea, and Malon Harbison, and Sarah, Timothy, and Paisley Williams; Kathleen and her husband Daniel Daley of Haverhill, and their family Caitlin and David Sianissian, and Elizabeth Daley; Cynthia and her husband Daniel Comei of Haverhill and their children Angelina and Nicholas Comei; Thomas and his wife Joan of Haverhill, and their children Michael, Anna , and Timothy Carbone; and Matthew and his wife Marie of Exeter, NH, and their children Justin and Alex Carbone. She was predeceased by a granddaughter, Megan Daley.

Carbone is also survived by her sister, Mary MacLeod of Raleigh, N.C.; brother-in-law Robert Carbone and his wife Jeanne of Andover; and many nieces and nephews. She was also predeceased by her brother, Willard Sawyer and his wife Ellen; her brother-in-law William MacLeod; and best friend Barbara Kimball.

Visiting hours are Friday, Oct. 6, at Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 S. Main St., Bradford, from 4 to 7 p.m. Services begin Saturday in the funeral home at 9 a.m. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial is in Sacred Hearts Church, 165 S. Main St., Bradford, at 10 a.m. Burial in Elmwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family suggests donations to the Megan S. Daley Scholarship Fund, c/o Maureen Fitzgerald, College of SBS, University of MA, Draper Hall, 40 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9274; and Catholic Daughters of America, Court Sacred Hearts, 31 So. Chestnut St., Bradford, MA 01835.