Hugh John Kiritsy, of Upton, was 88 when he died on Sunday, May 1, 2022. He was born in Providence, RI into a vibrant family of Irish and Greek immigrants. George and Mary Kiritsy were his parents who owned and operated George’s Fruit Store on Millbury and Chandler Streets in Worcester. His older brothers; Paul, Francis, George and Theodore all departed this earth in the order they arrived. They are survived by their younger sister Rosemary who still resides in Worcester, MA with her husband.
Hugh toured the country with the American Male Chorus and later served in the army during the Korean War. He had a successful sales career, with Volkswagen and designing kitchens for Sears and Roebuck where his signature element was a corner sink.
Hugh lived in Upton for over 50 years with his wife, Elizabeth M. (Shaughnessy) Kiritsy, and his three children, Gerald, Karen and Teresa. He was “Papa” to his cherished grandchildren, Kaylin McAllister and Declan Broberg who emulate his spirit in kindness and generosity. Hugh was a do-it-yourself Jack of all trades. He was a peaceful, patient man who discovered the gifts in any situation. He enjoyed and was adept at conversing about current events, poetry, politics, religion, and especially history. Hugh was a great teller of stories and jokes, too! Perhaps known most for his voice, Hugh moved auditoriums of people to tears and often complied with requests to sing Danny Boy.
Hugh also had a deep appreciation for classic novels and poetry, from Rudyard Kipling’s “If” to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese (43). He understood Shakespear, baked the best dinner rolls, built a beautiful stone wall, grew bountiful flowers, and fed the crows in his driveway. He was like an iceberg, what we saw was a practical, humble man who knew how to give, love, and teach. If you spent time with Hugh, you would have begun to realize how far and wide his knowledge spread. Perhaps that is what made him so funny and able to have a unique relationship with everyone he knew.
Hugh’s family wholeheartedly thanks the caring people at the Blackstone Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center (formerly St. Camillus) for their kind, professional, devoted attention and treatment of Hugh during his final weeks of life.
A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson in memoriam:
To laugh often and much: To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.
His funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 7, in St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish, 151 Mendon St. Upton. Burial, with military honors, will follow in Lakeview Cemetery, Upton. A period of visitation will precede the funeral Mass from 9:45 AM to 10:15 AM in the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be sent to Dana-Farber Boston via www.dana-farber.org or to the Upton Fire & EMS Association Ambulance Fund, PO Box 1012, Upton, MA 01568.