John J. Carroll Jr., who served 39 years as town manager of Norwood and was a former commissioner for the state Department of Public Works during the Blizzard of 1978, died Feb. 25, 2023, at the age of 95.
John was noted for his work ethic – he retired from Norwood at the age of 89. He was also known his gift of storytelling: On annual six-hour trips to Maine, the first thing he would say was, “Turn off the radio.” And then he would delight his truly captive audience with stories of his 18 children or his work exploits.
Besides his longtime career in Norwood and his work for the state, where he served under former Gov. Michael Dukakis, John was a longtime member of the Massachusetts Municipal Association; and an original board member to the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, where he was vice chair. He was also a former elder at Park Street Church, the former head of the Massachusetts chapter of Multiple Sclerosis, a former member of the board for YoungLife, and a former member of the Dedham School Committee.
He had the distinction of having two buildings named after him – an MWRA water treatment plant in Marlborough and the Norwood DPW administration building. Born in Hyde Park, he lived for decades in Dedham and Milton.
He also served in the US Army during the Korean War, graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in civil engineering, was a former editor and writer for New England Construction magazine, and ran the Department of Public Works in Lexington. Up until a few years ago, he was a fixture on Sundays in the Park Street Church upper balcony and also outside after services handing out sandwiches to the unhoused.
His life revolved around God and his faith, his family, Norwood, and either the Red Sox or the Patriots, depending on the season.
He is survived by his second wife, Penelope (Martin) Carroll. John was predeceased by his first wife, Marilyn (McGrann) Carroll, who died of cancer, and his parents, John J. Carroll Sr. and Elizabeth (Kelly) Carroll, and his sister, Sister Elizabeth M. Carroll, CSJ.
John is survived by his children: Matt Carroll (Elaine), Denise Martin Hines (Michael), Judithe Carroll Mason (Joseph), Michelle Martin, Cathleen Carroll Sinnott (John), Kevin Martin (Rose, deceased), Keith Martin (Deana), Peter Carroll, B. Brian Martin (Rosanna), Chris Carroll (Janine), Darren Martin, Ted Carroll (Kate), Chris Martin (Joanie), Shannon Martin Jordan (Derek), Ivan Carroll, Shawn Carroll, Charlotte Vilches and Angela Najera.
He is also survived by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Visiting hours will be held at Norwood Town Hall, Memorial Hall, 566 Washington St., Norwood, on Wednesday, March 1, 4-8 p.m. A funeral service will be held at Trinity Community Church, 234 Walpole St., Norwood on Thursday, March 2, at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. Interment will be in Norwood Cemetery, Norwood.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 465 Waverley Oaks Rd., Ste 202, Waltham, MA 02452.