Obituary: James J. Sablone, Jr. of Winthrop and Boston’s North End

James J. Sablone, Jr of Winthrop died on Sunday, August 30. Born and raised in Boston’s North End, he was the son of James J. Sablone Sr. and the late Barbara R. (Onorato) Sablone.

James was the beloved husband of Susan (Weeks) Sablone, and the devoted father of Jamie, David and Zach. He was the loving brother of Barbara Carey of Belmont, Vincent Sablone and his wife Denise of Boston, uncle of Regina Carey, Jesse Sablone, and many more loving nieces and nephews.

Funeral from the Dello Russo Funeral Home, 306 Main St., Medford, on Friday, September 4 at 8:45 AM followed by a funeral mass celebrated in St. Leonard Church, Hanover St., Boston, at 9:45 AM. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Visiting hours Thursday, September 3 from 4 through 8 PM. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be sent in James’ name to the Saint Francis House, 39 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02116.

2 Replies to “Obituary: James J. Sablone, Jr. of Winthrop and Boston’s North End

  1. Jackie Sablone was the older brother everyone in the North End wished for.

    I remember him first as an athlete and all around tough man. Jackie Sab was my best friend Mark’s cousin, and my hockey teammate Vinnie’s older brother, and Barbie’s as well.

    At the North End pool, when the “sixteen” was still 16’ deep with high diving boards, you would often see Jackie doing 1 ½ spring dives, ending in a perfect vertical line. He taught Vinnie to do these as well. I’d, as many others would, watch in pure admiration.

    He was legendary in his physique and boxing prowess, and the North End really had its own “Rocky” long before the movie appeared. Others may better tell the stories of how, with Jackie on their side, ruled Summer camp.

    As a basketball coach, he turned the most unlikely bunch of hangabouts (me, Angelo, Richard and Robert, Stephen, and several others I won’t remember) from North Square in 1974 into a championship team, earning us (The North Square Bombers) the first trophy we had ever seen. Yes, Coach, Jackie Sablone.

    We chipped in money that Summer to take him to dinner as a reward, and if my memory serves me well, I can remember a tear of gratitude in his eye as we sat down to a big noisy meal at Joseph’s Aquarium with our appointed guest of honor, Coach Jack. He was sentimental, full of humanity and full of heart.

    Jackie was a provider and facilitator. As years rolled by Jackie learned the ropes of Chelsea Piers, expert at finding good deals on fruit shipments, allowing us to set up a stand at Saint Anthony’s Feast in the late seventies. He fueled a joint temporary venture selling fruit cups (Mark Petrigno, Regnetta, and I, Angelo and others). He showed us how to make money, but perhaps more importantly how to more quickly spend it.

    Jackie was a protector, whose presence alone cast an impenetrable shield around anyone who was his family or friend. He defended fiercely those close to him. I remember how proud he was of his wife Diane and his son. I cannot imagine the pressure and responsibility of all this – mentor, friend, hero, defender, brother, and husband and father- but he carried it as best that he could and knew how. I don’t think any human being could be all of these without something giving way.

    My words are massively overshadowed by what I have left out. I ask everyone to remember the countless stories and positive experiences that they had with Jackie, share them with us and to be kind in his memory.

    His greatest present to me was to be the first to call me “Sange”, a name that caught on with all my friends, one I loved to hear and for which I will forever be indebted to him. But most of all, I remember Jackie as the older brother I wish I had, the one that Vinny and Barbie will forever treasure, the older brother EVERYBODY would want.

    Rest In Peace,
    Love, forever, Sandro

  2. My sincerest sympathies go out to the Sablone family. May God be with you in your time of sorrow.
    Love, Donna

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