Former state Rep. Frank A. “Boose” Emilio, who represented Haverhill from 1981 to 1991, died Friday at High Pointe Hospice House surrounded by his family. He was 88.
Emilio was born Aug. 31, 1935 to Francesco and Ida (Perrozzi) Emilio both from Pescina, Italy. He attended Haverhill Public Schools, was a three-letter athlete and graduated from Haverhill High. He worked most of his life for the service of others first as a private in the Army, then as a Haverhill city councilor and, finally, as a Massachusetts state representative. Retiring from public service, he worked until 2022 at Norwood Insurance.
His greatest joy was family, especially that of his beloved wife Sheila (MacLeod) Emilio whom he shared 59 years of marriage, his loving daughters, sons in-law and grandchildren.
Emilio truly understood the meaning of life. Family and friends were his greatest riches. He enjoyed large gatherings where laughter, singing and reminiscing of the good old days were a necessity. He loved to sing along with his children and grandchildren to songs on his iPad such as “Sweet Caroline,” “American Pie,” “Piano Man,” “Delicious” and of course “My Way,” to name a few. He especially enjoyed sitting under the grapevine in the summer watching his family enjoy the pool, creating beautiful memories at Gram and Pa’s house.
He loved to be outside doing yard work and puttering around in his garden especially with his loyal companions, Reggie and then Lafta. He was a sports connoisseur and avid follower of the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. You could always count on him watching each game, remembering each play as well as past games and statistics! Friends knew his card prowess. From his days at Moody School to the Club or in his basement, you would see Frank with friends playing an intense game of 45’s or poker.
Picking up his grandchildren from school, going out to eat, watching reruns of “Raymond” and going to the races were some of the ways he showed how much he loved us. He savored each holiday and birthday when all would gather under his roof. Coloring the Easter eggs and hiding eggs in the yard (always with one lost until summer) filled his heart with joy. One of his favorite times of the year was Christmas. For his grandchildren, he would dress up as Santa and deliver a special gift on Christmas Eve. Even as they grew, they would clamor for Santa Pa and he would happily deliver to the very end.
He leaves behind his loving family including daughters Rachel (Emilio) Callahan and husband David Callahan, Sarah Emilio and husband Hector Resillas; four grandchildren, Samantha Callahan, Christopher Resillas, Meaghan Callahan and Michael Resillas; and many nieces, nephews and close family friends. He is predeceased by his cherished wife Sheila (MacLeod) Emilio; his sisters Clotilda DeCristofaro, Eva Camuso, Louisa Emilio and Anna Accardi along with brothers Bernardo, Romeo, Orazio (Pee Wee) and Alfredo.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 4-6 p.m., at Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 S. Main St., Haverhill. Services with Catholic Funeral Rites will take place on Wednesday morning in the funeral home at 10:30. Internment with U.S. Army Honors will follow in Linwood Cemetery, Haverhill. The family wishes memorial contributions be made to New England Equine Rescue 52 Ash Street, West Newbury, MA 01985.