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John William Deiana, 93, of Hopedale, loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, friend, and respected furniture restorer passed away peacefully on August 19, 2023, at Countryside Healthcare of Milford after a brief illness with his family at his side.
Born in Milford, John was the eldest child of Sadie (Mader) and John Deiana. He grew up in Hopedale and attended high school at what was then Worcester Boy’s Trade where he studied Pattern Making. Graduating in 1948, he was hired by Draper Corporation. In 1951, wanting to serve his country during the Korean War, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and worked as a diesel engine mechanic, traveling the seas on the U.S.S. Revenge. Four years later, he returned to Hopedale and to Draper’s, driving to work in his brand new blue convertible Pontiac Star Chief that he purchased with his military savings.
There was never any question he would settle down in his hometown, where he brought his Milford bride, Arlene (Pillarella), to live 67 years ago. John sweetened her move south with a house he designed and then built with help from his father and future father-in-law. Their home became the gathering place for extended family, and in the workshop that he crafted in the basement, John honed the skills that he would parlay into a furniture restoration business in 1973—Deiana’s Country Workshop. Fifty years later, he could still be found on occasion working alongside his son, who took over the business in 1999. While they changed the business name to Deiana’s Furniture Refinishing & Repair, it was always referenced as “the shop,” and its reputation was built based on the guidance and results John provided, whether it was preserving treasured family heirlooms or salvaging tag sale finds.
An avid golfer, John was a member of the Missile League at the Hopedale Country Club. He was a lifelong parishioner of The Catholic Community of Sacred Heart of Hopedale, active in the preservation of The Little Red Shop Museum, and taught Furniture Restoration through the Adult Education Program at Milford High School.
John enjoyed vacationing in the summer at the beach in Wells, Maine, and winter vacations in Naples, Florida.
During his time at Countryside, John charmed staff and fellow residents as he had done when meeting new people all his life with his gentle manner, kind heart, quick wit, and keen awareness of those around him.
John is survived by his beloved wife, Arlene, two children: his son, Jeff, and his wife, Maureen, of Whitinsville; his daughter, Holly Murphy, of Lincoln, RI; four grandchildren: Amanda (Murphy) Martens and her husband Anthony, Emily Murphy, and Shannon and Nathan Deiana; and a great grandson, Theodore John Martens; also his sister-in-law & brother-in-law: Lynda and Tom Keenan; his sister-in-law Joanne Deiana; and many nieces & nephews..
He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Burton Deiana.
The family is grateful for the care he received at Countryside and touched by the outpouring of affection from staff and fellow residents. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Friends of GAM, Inc., 1 Countryside Drive, Milford MA 01757 Attention: Resident Activities Fund or to The Catholic Community @ Sacred Heart Church, 187 Hopedale Street, Hopedale MA 01747.
His funeral will be held Thursday (August 24th) from the Edwards Memorial Funeral Home, 44 Congress Street, Milford MA, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11am at Sacred Heart Church, 187 Hopedale Street, Hopedale MA. Burial, with Military Honors, will follow in Hopedale Village Cemetery. A visiting hour will be held Thursday (August 24th) from 9:30am to 10:30am, prior to his Funeral Mass.