Stephen Modica
July 10, 2013

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  Stephen C. Modica passed away at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center on Wednesday, July 10, 2013. The beloved husband of Maureen (Leavitt) he was 63 years old.

Stephen was born in Boston. He was the son of the late Carmelo “Jim” & Mildred Modica. Stephen was raised and educated in Burlington and was a 1968 graduate of Burlington High School. After graduation he went to work at Polaroid. He had a 32 year career at Polaroid working as a Lab Technician. Working at Polaroid was a very important part of his life and he kept in touch with his fellow co-workers through the Polaroid Retirees Club. Stephen was a collector of toy trains. He also bought and sold trains and was a member of the Train Collectors Association. He would also attend the York train show, a very large show on the York fairgrounds in Pennsylvania twice a year. Stephen also liked to feed and watch the birds . He watched old movies and old television shows and enjoyed sharing his knowledge of movie trivia with others. Stephen suffered from Crohn's disease for many years. He shared his knowledge of the disease to help others understand how to cope and live with this difficult disease by being a Spokesperson at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington.

Stephen was the beloved husband of Maureen (Leavitt). Beloved son of the late Carmelo “Jim” and Mildred Modica. Brother of Susan Gallant & her husband Richard of Billerica, Ellen Boyle of Richmond, RI, and the late James Modica. Brother-in-law of Loretta Leavitt. Uncle of Dr. Jennifer Boyle, Julie Boyle, Jacqueline Ambrose, Nicholas & Douglas Gallant, Patrick & Kelly McEwen, and Laura Draayer. Retired Polaroid employee.

Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128/95, Woburn side) on Monday, July 15 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours Sunday from 4-7 p.m. Interment will be private. Memorials in Stephen’s name may be made to Mass Audubon, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA 01773

Words of Remembrance of my brother, Stephen Modica

By Ellen Modica Boyle

When I first began to compose words of remembrance of my brother Steve, my first thoughts were of his hobbies and passions, facts of which his friends and family are familiar. But as I searched deeper into my heart, I felt that what I should share with all of you today is my unique perspective as Steve’s sister and what I have observed throughout the years of him and of the people who have surrounded him.

Steve was a devoted husband. That phrase sounds cliché, but it was so true of Steve. He always had his lovely wife Maureen’s comfort and well-being in the forefront of his priorities. When we were young kids, Steve would often say to me “someday I’ll marry a nice girl and I’ll give her everything” He always imagined himself in the role of a perfect husband.

Steve absolutely loved being an uncle, even naming his little train business, Uncle Steve’s Model Trains. He was very proud of his nieces and nephews, carried pictures of them in his wallet and bragged about them all around town. He opened his house and heart for countless birthday parties, holiday gatherings (and as health permitted) attended christenings, school events, graduations, you name it, he was there.

Steve had a fabulous sense of humor and was quick-witted. He relished being able make someone smile or laugh; and what I always found fascinating was that it did not matter who he was talking with, it could be man, woman, young, old, group of children or group of retirees, he would leave them laughing every time.

Most of us know, Steve was nostalgic. He enjoyed all kinds of movies and music (much of which was before his time) and had an uncanny ability to quote excerpts of dialogue verbatim from his favorite films. What you may not know was that he was deeply patriotic. He held a vast knowledge of American history, and was ever cognizant of the sacrifices for our country offered particularly by the WWII generation.

As a son, he was one of the best. He wanted nothing more than to please my parents and do what was right. He never wavered, he was never a disappointment, and he never gave Mom and Dad a day of worry. How many of us can say the same? My hat’s off to you Steve for that one.

As a brother, (I think I can speak for my sister Sue) we may be a little biased, but we think he WAS the best. We actually used to call him “bestist brother.” So often, he was just there, unassuming, we never doubted for one second his love for us. The best way I can describe it is like an unspoken comfort, especially after Dad passed.

Above all, Steve was loyal; as evidenced by his friendships and his long career at Polaroid. He had a great appreciation for being a part of the Burlington community and had so many fond childhood memories thanks to the friends and neighbors that embraced him and our family all these years.

There are stages of mourning that we all know too well. This time is no different. There was denial at the initial shock of his passing, and I found myself advancing into the anger stage, conversing with God saying, “He’s starting retirement! Why did you take him?” But I quickly corrected myself and like a bolt of lightning, understood just how many gifts we had been given. I now know that all of his life, God had given him what he truly needed at the time. We all want “things”, but God knows what we “need”.

When his only brother was taken early in life, God gave him several brothers, the Anderson brothers, Harry Anderson, there always day or night, through thick and thin, sickness and in health, held bedside vigils more than once through Steve’s many hospital visits. What more could you have ever asked of a brother? He also had the staunch support of his brothers-in-law Kipp McKeon and Rick Gallant. Steve even had a second mother in Terry McNutt, whom he loved to the depths of his soul. I should also mention each member of our immediate family was given an opportunity to have a quality, memorable, loving visit with Steve hours before he passed and we all realized afterwards that each final visit had UNDENIABLY been a divine gift from God; and that is what WE as a family truly needed.

Finally, I’ll share with you the gift that was given to me and has given me comfort. It happened when I was sorting through the pictures for the remembrance video. I found picture after picture of our family and friends through the years, a multitude of happy times, smiling faces. The radio was on as I sorted, and a song came on, but oddly it played TWICE, back to back, and that’s what drew my attention to it; and the lyrics were: “all that I’m after, is a life full of laughter” and just then, a veil of peace washed over me as I realized, that’s exactly what my brother had.

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