January 7 2019

Obituary: Beloved Family Man and BHS Community Member John Harbour, 79


The following is based on an obituary from Sullivan Funeral Home


A beloved family man and member of the Burlington High School community passed away last week.

John R. Harbour, a retired Senior Custodian at Burlington High School, passed away after a brief illness on Thursday evening, January 3, 2019. The beloved husband of 54 years of Matilda “Tilly” (Vozzella) he was 79 years old.

John was born, raised and educated in Chelsea. He was the son of the late Raymond and Dorothy Harbour.  After high school he enlisted in the United States Navy serving his country in the Navy for three years and the Reserves for three years.

After the service John met his future wife Tilly Vozzella, from Winchester, on a blind date in 1963. A year later they married at the Immaculate Conception Church in Winchester in 1964. In 1965 they moved to Burlington.

John worked as a Senior Custodian at Burlington High School for over 37 years. He took pride in his job and loved his daily interaction with the students and the faculty.  He was even blessed to work side by side with his son Raymond for a number of years prior to his retirement. John also volunteered his time working many of the sporting events at the school whether it was working at the gates or collecting tickets. In his early years in Burlington, following in the tradition of his dad, he was an “on call” firefighter for the Burlington Fire Dept.

John was an avid sports fan. He followed all the pro-sports teams as well as the local Burlington high school teams. He had a passion for golf and played at different courses throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He shared his love of sports with his son Raymond. They were the best of friends. John shared a bond with his daughter Ann over books. They both were avid readers and nothing gave them more pleasure then browsing through the shelves at Barnes and Noble together.

John and Tilly had a wonderful 54 year marriage. In the summers they enjoyed family vacations at Lake Winnipesaukee and York Beach. They also took trips together to Italy to visit Tilly’s family.  John had a great love for his wife and his two children and they were the most important part of this life. Nothing brought him more peace and contentment in life than simply being a good husband and father.   John will be remembered for his big heart, his welcoming personality and for always have a huge smile on his face.

John was the beloved husband of Matilda “Tilly” (Vozzella).  Proud and loving father of Raymond and Ann both of Burlington.  Brother of the late Barbara Barden. John is also survived by many nieces & nephews.  A visitation will be held at the Edward V Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt. 128/95 Woburn side) on Monday, Jan. 7 from 4 – 7 p.m.  Concluding with Funeral Services at 7 p.m. Relatives & friends respectfully invited to attend. Burial will be private. Memorials in John’s name may be made to the American Lung Association, 1661 Worcester Rd., Suite 301, Framingham, MA 01701 www.lung.org


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