4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home
43 Winn Street
Burlington, Massachusetts, United States
Thursday, February 27, 2020
St. Margaret's Church
111 Winn St.
Burlington, Massachusetts, United States
Obituary of Timothy J Santry Jr
Timothy J. Santry, passed away peacefully in his home with his daughter, holding his hand at his bedside, on Sunday night, February 23, 2020. He was 92 years old. Born in Boston, the son of Timothy and Marion Santry, he spent his first 12 years in Burlington. He was fascinated with anything mechanical. At 8 years old while tinkering under a Model A Ford, it ran over him. At the age of 10, he built his own tractor. Just after the Great Depression, his family moved to Dorchester . In order to help his family, he went to work for a tow truck company. A quick learner, he was soon driving the tow truck and towing cars---he was only 12 years old. At 18, he enlisted in the Navy to fight in WW II. He held the rank of Motor Machinist Mate Third Class and was a member of the Seabees (Naval Construction Battalions), building and repairing runways, bridges, landing areas, and many other construction projects. He with the 52nd Naval Construction Battalion, Naval Construction Units 502 and 593, Naval Advance Base in Guam. His time in the service, like his life, was full of adventures and a few near-death experiences. In the war, his jeep flipped over and he was presumed dead. His parents were notified of his death, but miraculously he survived. Tim was discharged in July 1946 and was awarded the World War II Victory Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Area Ribbon. He continued his service to the military as a member of the Seabees Veterans of America, Island X-6 in Wilmington and was an active member. He loved to include his family in all the parades and parties they had. After the war, he returned to Dorchester. It was at a dance in the Lithuania Club in Cambridge where he met his true love, Florence Pryszmont. They married in 1949 and settled in the family home in Burlington. They were married for 50 yrs. Tim was one of the hardest working and knowledgeable mechanics in the area, and one of the best in Burlington. He started his business when he leased the CALSO gas station on the corner of Winn Street and Mountain Road. Moving across the street, he then built his own gas station, Winn Street Service, (now a Dunkin Donuts) with gas pumps, a tow truck, and service bays. He really preferred the mechanic work, so he built another much larger building next door, moved the Winn Street Service over and rented the gas station to Mobil. He loved mechanics and could fix any type of engine; cars, trucks, and construction equipment. It was during those years he narrowly escaped death (again) when a large motor home fell down on him, almost crushing him. With his fleet of tow trucks, he was always on the scene for car accidents and sometimes even helped rescue passengers. In the 1950’s, he witnessed a car drive off the Massachusetts Turnpike and into a pond. He quickly pulled a mother and daughter out of their car saving them from drowning . He was an incredible mechanic who could fix, modify, and even re-build municipal trucks, and fire tankers. Tim retired in the 1970’s, sold his business and worked as a freelance mechanic wherever needed. Tim loved farming. In 1970, he purchased a hay farm in Ferrisburgh Vermont . There started his extensive collection of farm tractors. He was never afraid of hard work or a challenge. During his retirement, Tim spent winters in Burlington, MA and summers in Northfield, Vermont. Tim loved to work on vehicles in his garage, restoring his antique cars and helping his friends. He loved to entertain in his garage. He constantly liked to collect heavy equipment for his property in VT with an assortment of 16 farm tractors, 4 bulldozers, a front-end loader, dump trucks, a jeep, Model A rat rods, 4 wheelers, and basically anything with an engine. In 1996, while clearing his land in Vermont, he escaped death for a fourth time when a tree crashed down on him puncturing his lung, breaking bones, and pinning him for 5 hours on the tractor, unconscious. With no one around, he awoke and extricated himself and called for an ambulance. He believes that he evaded death so many times because in his younger years, he had saved several people from drowning--a boy off Plum Island, and two people from a capsized sailboat in Boston Harbor. Tim and his family have a long history with St. Margaret’s Church. His family attended mass in a barn on Lowell Street and Peach Orchard Rd. His father was among a group of residents who met with Cardinal Francis Spellman to establish a formal church in Burlington. They were granted permission, and Tim helped his dad and others to build the first St. Margaret’s Church on the corner of Winn and Center Street. At the current St. Margaret’s Church, his wife Florence sang in the choir, worked as the secretary for many years, and decorated the altar with flowers. For over 30 years, Tim donated his time and equipment to snowplow around the church. His daughter, Janet, has continued the tradition where she tended to the flowers for 7 yrs, and also is a member of the choir. Tim was a bit of a folk legend in Burlington. The Burlington Retro published an article about him. His life was full of stories, memories, and experiences that include bits of sorrow, courage, history, and typically some humor. Tim will be remembered as a humble and unpretentious man, who would help anyone in need. He was a kind soul and someone who truly made a difference in the lives of others. Tim was the beloved husband of the late Florence (Pryszmont). Loving father of Janet Atkinson & her husband Walter Olihovik of Burlington. Brother of the late Mildred Valley and Richard Santry. Loving brother-in-law of Carol Santry of Billerica. Proud grandfather of Lauren Heath & her husband Chris of Northfield, VT and Stacey DiStefano of Quincy & her late husband Skip. Great grandfather of Abby Zuppe, Timothy “TJ” Driscoll, Autumn O’Grady, Dylan, Lyla, Dominic, and Julia DiStefano. Honorary father of Michael Maguire & his wife Kim and sons Joe, Sean, and Timmy, and Mark Murphy all of Burlington. 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 Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 4-8 p.m. Funeral from the Sullivan Funeral Home on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 9 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Services will conclude with a burial in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington. Memorials in Tim’s name may be made to the MSPCA-Angell, Attn: Donations, 350 South Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02130 or www.mspca.org.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050