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Salvatore Joseph Arria Veteran
December 29, 2023


Salvatore Joseph Arria, lifelong resident of Medford, passed away on Friday, December 29th. Sal truly lived life for 73 years; he lived life to the fullest with no regrets; lived for the moment with a “why not” attitude. Sal was a dedicated father, grandfather and great grandfather. He enjoyed dining out with family and friends, and loved family and holiday dinners as well as social gatherings.

Sal was the son of the late Frank and Elena “Ellie” Arria. He was the father of Sherry Arria, and Renee Arruda and her husband Steven. Sal was the loving grandfather of Briana Viveiros, and Alana and Luca Arruda, and the great grandfather of Monroe and Sylus Viveiros. He was the dear brother of the late Joseph Arria, his family, Nance, Angela and their children, and Maryellen Sampson and her family. Sal is survived by his former wife and lifelong friend, Patricia Arria. He was anxiously awaiting the arrival of his name-sake and third great grandchild, Lennon Salvatore. Sal was the longtime companion and friend of Arlene Holley, her sons Christopher Holley, his wife Stephanie and their children Desmond, Marcella and Watson, Matthew Holley, his wife Noelle, their children Evangeline, Emmalyn and Emilia, and Andrew Holley, his wife Jessica, and their children Liam and Hazel.

Sal started working at the young age of 11 years old with his father Frank at their fruit stand in Haymarket. He held various endeavors and careers dear to his heart, and if you knew Sal, you know there were many, including becoming one of the first certified EMT’s in Massachusetts, working for Bay State Ambulance, and also as an EMT instructor. Sal was a proud member the United States Coast Guard, serving in the capacity of Damage Control 1st class, and Search and Rescue.

After his service, Sal and his brother Joey embarked on an auto body business, “JS Auto Body” on Eastern Ave in Malden. One of his proudest moments and accomplishments was opening his successful shop, “Balloonytunes” in Haines Sq., Medford. It was a thriving Balloon delivery and DJ service. He was the go to guy for every party, wedding, special occasion, school dance for Medford and Malden, and birthdays. Valentine’s Day was Sal’s biggest day of the year. His mother Ellie worked the register and answered phones and longtime family friend, Jimmy “Jimbo the Clown” Collings, helping with deliveries and DJ gigs. Sal was a Master Barber, becoming an instructor at New England Hair Academy where he mentored many students for years after their graduations. He also ran an old fashioned Barber Shop in Winchester for over a decade with one of his former students, Marc.

Of course, there was Sal’s lifelong passion for music! Working on a variety of radio stations, he was known in his circle as Sal “the Hitman” Pacino, including on WMEX 1150 AM, “All Oldies All the Time”, WCGY 93.7 (classic rock), and WLYT 92.5 (soft rock), some local stations and, of course, his long running show on WMEX 105.9 FM in Rochester, NH, once again playing all the oldies. Sal and his colleagues were recently awarded Best Oldies Station at the NHAB Granite Mike Awards in Concord, NH (October 4, 2023) taking 1st place. Sal served as Master of Ceremonies, opening for many famous musical artists including Paul McCartney. He had extensive knowledge and stories of most musical artists’ of his era. There wasn’t a moment or life event that Sal couldn’t relate lyrics to in seconds, and with a song!

Sal loved to teach his kids lessons at every opportunity. In doing so he started a landscaping business with Arlene, Chris, Matty and Andrew to teach them about hard work, commitment and the value of a dollar. He supported his daughter Sherry in her quests for the right opportunities and was wholeheartedly proud of his daughter Renee’s accomplishments as a nurse (RN / BSN). Sal’s interests, aside from being on the radio, were many, including Ham radio operator (N1FEV), connecting with and making friends all over the country and the globe. He obtained his student pilot’s license and enjoyed flying Cessna’s out of Laconia, NH. Sal also loved traveling to Las Vegas, Florida and to Lake Winnipesaukee.

Sal always believed in helping those in need. He was proud to be a long-time contributor to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the Joslin Diabetes Center. He practiced and taught humility, compassion and empathy for others. Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, January 18th, from 2 through 6 PM in the Dello Russo Funeral Home, 306 Main St., Medford. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Interment will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent in Sal’s memory to a yearly scholarship to be established in his name.

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Dello Russo Funeral Service
306 Main Street
Medford, MA 02155