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Obituary: Michael R. Pilato, 83

Jun 17, 2019 03:46AM ● By Theresa Gilman

Michael R. Pilato

TEWKSBURY: Michael R. Pilato, age 83, a resident of Tewksbury for 55 years, passed away with his family by his side, on Thursday, June 13, 2019. He was the beloved husband of Cecelia M. (Hurley) Pilato, with whom he celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary on June 12, 2019, the day prior to his passing. 

Born in East Boston on April 29, 1936, he was the son of the late Michael J. Pilato and the late Louise (Livolsi) Pilato. 
Michael was raised in East Boston and Jamaica Plain and graduated from Boston Trade High School as a woodworker. 
Though skilled at woodworking, he always had a passion for cars and started building his first hot rod at the age of 15. 

After acquiring a job as a car mover at Cadillac-Olds, they quickly learned that he was a talented body man and thus began his never-ending career. He founded Perfection Autobody in Watertown, later selling the shop and starting Michael R. Pilato Restorations, where he custom built high-end hot rods and restored classic cars. Since building his very first hot rod, Michael’s cars have garnered top awards and best-of-shows across the country. He was inducted into the Indianapolis Hot Rod Hall of Fame and the Ty-Rods Hot Rod Hall of Fame. Michael loved his work and never retired. The only thing he loved more was his family and friends. 

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Lisa L. Pilato-Fuller and her husband William of Dracut, Michelle M. Chausse and her husband Robert of Dracut, and Michael R. Pilato, Jr. and his wife Brooke Holgerson of Needham; eight grandchildren, Krista McManus, William Fuller, Jr., Rory and O’Lyvia Fuller, Vanessa and Cameron Chausse, Dashiell and Bennett Pilato; a great granddaughter, Evelyn McManus; a sister, Gerrie L. Mohr and her husband Stewart of Bozeman, MT; many nieces, nephews, and extended family members. Mike was the brother of the late Marie Mullen and Robert Pilato. 


Calling hours are Monday, June 17, from 4-8 p.m. at the Farmer & Dee Funeral Home, 16 Lee St., Tewksbury. His funeral procession will begin at the funeral home on Tuesday, June 18, at 10:30 a.m., followed by his Funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. at St. William’s Church, 1351 Main St., Rte. 38, Tewksbury. Services will conclude at St. Mary Cemetery, Tewksbury. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation at www.clfoundation.org 

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