Obituaries Notices
Kathleen (Martin) Whittaker Print E-mail

Kathleen (Martin) Whittaker

a member of a well-known Lowell family

Kathleen Whittaker (Martin), adored family matriarch, died peacefully on February 2 at age 73. Loved dearly and defined by her generosity, sense of humor and deep commitment to her family, Kathy was a role model and woman to admire.

A native of Lowell, Massachusetts, Kathy was the second of seven children born to Katherine and Rodger Martin in 1949.  The eldest daughter, Kathy spent her early years cultivating a lifelong love of learning and helping to care for her siblings, a boisterous and fun-loving bunch. Her success as a student and Girl Officer at Lowell High School defined those years, until one night in 1966, as a junior, Kathy walked into the Howard Johnson’s in Chelmsford, Mass and met the love of her life, Forrest Whittaker.  In an uncharacteristically bold move, Kathy called Forrest several days later, inviting him to a turnabout dance at Lowell High.  Forrest and Kathy would go on to date long distance while Kathy obtained her BA at Lowell State Teacher’s College and Forrest attended the U.S. Naval Academy. They married shortly after their graduations in 1971, spending their honeymoon driving across country to Huntington Beach, California, where Forrest was to report for his first assignment as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

The roots of their new life quickly took hold.  Together, Kathy and Forrest welcomed three children, Kate, Mike and Susan, moving yearly as Forrest’s military and corporate career developed. Kathy was adept at creating warm and loving homes for her husband and children, wherever the family lived.  Simple pleasures—new friends, homecooked meals around the kitchen table, trips back east and to Sanibel, Florida—made for an idyllic family life.

As a mother, Kathy taught the importance of structure, kindness, hard work, and a healthy dose of mischief.  She loved to tease and be teased and delighted in the telling of a good story.

Moving to Lake Forest, Illinois in the early 1980s, Kathy and Forrest found a forever home.  The many friendships they forged with neighbors, colleagues, Cherokee School parents and her pals from Deerpath Golf Course endure to this day. The homes she created in Lake Forest and most recently in Naples, Florida were joyful and welcoming, always with a door swinging open for guests.

Self-disciplined and a self-starter, Kathy developed many hobbies and interests throughout her life.  Each day began with exercise, often including her famous four-mile walk down Waukegan Road, a perilous route her family strongly discouraged. Golfing, cooking, baking, knitting, and needlepoint kept her hands and mind busy. She believed in learning new skills and about the world, her wisdom and curiosity fueled by thousands of books she devoured throughout her life.

No role was more fitting and enjoyable for Kathy than being “Grammy” to her nine grandchildren. She delighted in the simple joys of holiday fun, talent shows, ice cream runs and lazy days by the pool. Kathy and Forrest took each of their grandchildren on a trip for their eighth birthdays, a favorite family tradition. She took great care in getting to know her grandchildren as individuals, holding them to high standards, encouraging their many interests, and loving them beyond measure.

Kathy will be missed and remembered. She is preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Rodger, James and Peter Martin. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Forrest, children: Katherine (Daniel) Walsh, Michael (Karoline) Whittaker, and Susan (Michael) Loiacano; nine grandchildren: Caroline, Patrick, Brendan and Rodger Walsh, Forrest, Henry and Thomas Whittaker, and Sophie and Nina Loiacano; siblings: Brian (Elise) Martin, Liz (Kerry) McNamara, and David (Melissa) Martin; sisters-in-law: Linda Martin and Lainey Martin; brother-in-law, Kenneth (Margaret) Whittaker, as well as many godchildren, nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends.

A celebration of Kathy’s life is planned for Saturday, February 11 at 10:00 a.m. at the Church of St. Mary in Lake Forest. In keeping with her request there be no hoopla, Kathy’s family encourages loved ones to remember her by enjoying a long walk, a great meal, a good laugh, or an extra-large Dunkin’s decaf with cream. Local e-condolences may be made at



Philip E. O’Brien, Jr. Print E-mail

Philip E. O’Brien, Jr.

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law;

Philip E. O’Brien, Jr. 81, of Lowell, Massachusetts, and a member of a well-known Greater Lowell family passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday February 1, 2023, surrounded by his loving family.

He was the loving husband for over 58 years of Brenda A. (Blazonis) O’Brien of Lowell, MA, who survives him.

Born in New York City, November 7, 1941, the son of the late Philip E. and the late Lillian T. (Tomasulo) O’Brien, he attended Lowell schools and was a graduate of Lowell High School in the Class of 1959 where he was awarded the Carney Medal. Phil went on to attend Boston College where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1963.

A veteran of the Vietnam War, Phil proudly served his country as a Lieutenant with the U.S. Navy.

Prior to his retirement, Phil enjoyed a second career as an antique dealer operating Arbor Antiques in Lowell. Previously, he was well-known as a stockbroker in Greater Lowell for many years.

Active in his community, he was a past President of the Lowell Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Lowell Redevelopment Council, and Lowell Flicks Film club.

In addition, he loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He was also a Lowell Youth hockey coach and enjoyed antiquing, sports, historical artifacts, and traveling to 49 of the 50 states and all 10 Canadian Provinces.

Besides his wife, Philip is survived by a son David O’Brien and his wife Stephanie of Hanover, MA; a daughter Elizabeth (O’Brien) Feury and her husband Matthew of Lynnfield, MA; four grandchildren Harry and Griffin O’Brien and Ella and Anna Feury; three siblings Joanne (O’Brien) Reilly of Boston, MA, Kevin O’Brien of Lowell, MA, and Mary Elizabeth “DeeDee” O’Brien of Quincy, MA; a sister-in-law Hedy Colburn of Tyngsboro, MA; He is also survived by a niece and four nephews.

Relatives and friends will be received at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST.  in Lowell on Monday February 6, 2023, from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. All other services will be held at a later date. E-condolences/directions at Those wishing to, may make contributions in his memory to the American Cancer Society, 3 Speen St., Suite 250, Framingham, MA 01701. Arrangements by Funeral Director James F. O’Donnell, Jr. (978) 458-8768.

Francis R. "Frank" Diaz Print E-mail

Francis R. "Frank" Diaz

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, in-law, and friend.

Francis R. "Frank" Diaz, 83, of Chelmsford, MA passed away peacefully on Friday January 27, 2023, at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA surrounded by his loving family.

He was the loving husband for 55 “wonderful” years to Maureen (Mullen) Diaz, who survives him. Frank and Maureen also enjoyed spending their winter months at their home in Clearwater, FL.

Born on October 24, 1939, in Billerica, Massachusetts, the son of the late Anthony R. and the late Helen (Story) Diaz, he attended Billerica schools and was a graduate of Billerica High School.

Frank was a longtime member of St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Lowell.

Prior to his retirement, Frank held the position of New England Manager for LaFarge North America Cement and Construction Materials, where he worked for many years.

A member of the Country Club of Billerica, he enjoyed playing with his golf buddies, not to mention his “hole in one”.

Besides his wife, Frank is survived by his daughter Theresa and her husband Don Roche of Southborough, MA; his grandsons Keenan Roche of West Newton, Ma and Nolan Roche of Somerville, MA; his nephews Stephen and his wife Dianne Diaz of Billerica, MA and Anthony and his wife Susan Diaz of Northford, CT, a dear cousin Doris Joncas of No, Billerica, MA; a very dear life-long friend Bob Sullivan of Billerica, MA.

Frank is also survived by his favorite in-laws Barbara and Bob MacNicholl of Chelmsford, MA, James Mullen of Clearwater, FL, Richard and Kathy Mullen of Chelmsford, MA, Ray Jurewicz of Pelham, NH and also many nieces, nephews and friends too numerous to mention but never forgotten.

He was the brother of the late Anthony R. Diaz.

Frank will always be remembered as one of the good guys by all who knew and loved him.

Friends may call at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST. in LOWELL on Thursday evening February 2, 2023, from 4 to 7 P.M.. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday morning at ST. MARGARET OF SCOTLAND CHURCH in LOWELL at 10 o'clock followed by his burial at St. Patrick Cemetery. E-condolences/directions at those wishing may make contributions in his memory to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101. Arrangements by Funeral Director James F. O'Donnell, Jr. (978) 458-8768.

Shirley M. Huard Print E-mail

Shirley M. Huard

Beloved mother, grandmother, great and great-great grandmothe


Shirley M. (Anderson) Huard, 91, of Lowell, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully on Thursday January 19, 2023, at Lowell General Hospital with her family by her side.

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, April 11, 1931, the daughter of the late Herbert and the late Eva R. (Willette) Anderson, she was the last survivor of the Anderson’s twelve children. She received her education in the Lowell School system.

Prior to her retirement she worked as a crimper at the Bard Corp in Billerica for many years.

A devoted mother, Shirley enjoyed spending time with her family especially her grandchildren.

Shirley is survived by three children Dana L. Huard, of Dracut, Diane L. Tanguay of Lowell, and David A. Huard of Sandia Park, NM; nine grandchildren Randy Huard, Kevin J. Tanguay and his wife April, Keith L. Tanguay, Shannon Capen, Shannon Harris and her husband Mike, David J. Huard and Michelle R. Huard, Chelsea Tousley and her husband Garrett, Brooke Duda and her husband Garrett; twelve great grandchildren; one great great grandchild.

She was the mother of the late Dennis C. Huard, who past way in 2020.

Relatives and friends may attend her Visitation on Friday morning January 27, 2023, at the O'DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST., LOWELL, MA, from 9 to 10:45 A.M. followed by her Funeral Service in the Funeral Home at 11:00 o’clock. Burial to follow at Westlawn Cemetery in Lowell, MA. E-condolences/directions at Those wishing may make contributions in her memory to Arrangements by the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME – LOWELL – MA - (978) 458-8768.

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