John “Head” Rielly, 1958 – 2015

John Rielly

 John Francis Francis Rielly, 56, died in his Florida home on October 27, 2015. He was predeceased by his father, James L Rielly and is survived by his daughter, Samantha Rielly of Wakefield, his wife, Nancy Rielly of Coral Springs, FL, his mother, Agnes Hughes Rielly, his brothers, Edward and his wife Lorraine of Waltham, James of San Francisco, CA, Michael and his wife Erica of Pepperell, Paul and his wife Donna of Belmont, Thomas and his wife Suzette of Burlington, Terry and his wife Christina of Groton, Kevin and his wife Kara of Marshfield, and his nieces and nephews, Alek Rielly, Korynn Kirchwey, Kevin Rielly, Paul Rielly, Andrea Donahue, Patrick Rielly, Brendan Rielly, Amanda Rielly, Erin Rielly, Rosaria Rielly, and Isabella Rielly, his lifelong friend, Gerard Purciello, and a multitude of family and friends. John loved his daughter, wife, and his family. He lived in an open, empathetic, and generous way, and he devoted himself to the care of others, most recently to his mother-in-law, Dottie. His definitive way of thinking and living became the stuff of myth, with “Head,” his nickname, acquired in high school, enhancing the legend. John engaged easily no matter the subject, whether called upon to listen or express his own (absolute) opinions. He befriended people wherever he went, drawing everyone in with his booming laugh. John’s spirit, mythology, and smile will return to us whenever we hear a Beatles song or read a Tolkien novel. He will be missed. A memorial service will be held at St. Joseph’s Church, Belmont, on Friday, November 27, 2015. A reception will follow in St. Joseph’s Hall. Our family sends our sincere thanks to each of you for keeping John and us in your prayers and thoughts.


The class of ’77 has lost one of the most unique and funniest guys. John Rielly passed away in his sleep from a heart attack. We will truly miss you “Head!” So many memories of great times together ! Rest in Peace. “Never would have made it without the Beatles.” My Thoughts and sympathy to Suzette and Tom and the whole Rielly family. God Bless.


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