Born and raised on Davis Street, Woburn, MA, Art Colachico went on to a full life of 98 years before peacefully passing away surrounded by family on Saturday, December 10, 2022.
Art was proud of his heritage as a second-generation immigrant from Italy. He was also proud of his hometown of Woburn. To his last day, in his bedroom wall hung a symbolic black and orange wooden "W", showing his loyalty. He loved Woburn. That is where he was born, went to war, raised a family, and is buried.
At a young nineteen years-old, Art joined the Army to represent in the European theatre. Even far from home, the affable Colachico ran into two good friends from Woburn and shipped off together across the English Channel. The Woburn Times even wrote an article about the chance meeting. Young medic-trained Art and his Woburn buddies landed on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France four days after D-Day. He and his platoon chased Germans across northern France, finally ending up in Paris during the liberation. After an honorable discharge he returned home, trained as a barber, got married to the love of his life Irene Jean from Salem, started a barber shop (Tricon) in Lexington, MA, and raised a family of three daughters: Nancy, Susan, and Carole.
Business at the barber shop was good to grow. Art was a social guy, so making friends was easy. His circle grew. His daughters married and had kids of their own, and their kids had kids. Three daughters gave Art six grandkids, and six great grandkids. Everybody knew and like Art. Family would joke that it didn't matter where he was, somebody would always recognize him.
In 2013, Irene would pass away after 64 years of marriage. While sad, Art found a way to adapt. Adaptation was Art's lifeforce. He leaned into his ability to make friends and embrace family. Art enjoyed going out to eat, going to family functions, and meeting up with friends, for any reason what-so-ever. In one adventure, his son-in-law met with Art every Tuesday for three hours over breakfast. They did breakfasts at 104 different restaurants every Tuesday over a three-year period. Art drove a car until he was 98 years old. How he got his license until 100 years old was a funny story-but for another time. At 90 years-old, Art could finally talk comfortably about his war experience seventy years earlier. PTSD is real. In his nineties, he barely acknowledged, not accepted, that he did hero's work in France. The accolades could now be accepted…field applause at a Pawtucket Red Sox game, grand marshal at a Memorial Day parade, a Woburn proclamation, celebrity on a Veteran's Honor Flight to DC, several newspaper articles, and the pièce de résistance, the Knight of the Legion Honour medal awarded by the President of France.
Art passed as a legend. He lived life long and full. What more can one ask for?
Services will be private. Condolences and/or donations to a Woburn High Scholarship fund can be sent to Susan Davis, 99 Thayer Farm Rd., Attleboro, MA 02703. Arrangements by the McLaughlin – Dello Russo Family Funeral Service of Woburn.