In 1909, under the savvy ownership of Edwin Grozier, the Boston Post engaged in its
    most famous publicity stunt. The paper had several hundred ornate, gold-tipped canes
    made and contacted the selectmen in New England's largest towns. The Boston Post
    Canes were given to the selectmen and presented in a ceremony to the town's oldest
    living man. The custom was expanded to include a community's oldest women in
    1930. Many towns in New England still carry on the Boston Post cane tradition with the
    original canes they were awarded in 1909. Wikipedia, The Boston Post   


                                                          Alice C. Dalton

    Mrs. Alice C. (Daly) Dalton, 105, of Hopedale MA and formerly Milford MA, died early Sunday morning
    (November 16, 2014) at Genesis Healthcare of Milford after a period of declining health. She was
    the beloved wife of William J. Dalton, who died in 1998. Mrs. Dalton was born in Leicester MA, the
    daughter of the late John H. and the late Rose Anne (Trainor) Daly. She was a graduate of
    Commerce High School in Worcester MA and also attended Becker Junior College. Mrs. Dalton was
    a devoted housewife and mother for most of her adult life, and after raising her family she was first
    employed at the former Cahills Store and finally at Commonwealth Gas Company, from which she
    retired. Mrs. Dalton was a longtime communicant of St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Milford for
    most of her adult life. During her retirement years in West Yarmouth MA, she attended St. Pius X
    Church and most recently had been attending Sacred Heart Church in Hopedale, while residing in
    Hopedale MA. Mrs. Dalton is survived by her 3 Children: Carol M. Tomaso and her husband Biagio
    of Milford MA, William J. Dalton and his wife Judy of Georgetown TX and John C. Dalton and his wife
    Colleen of Lutherville MD; 8 Grandchildren: 13 Great Grandchildren; 1 Great Great Grandchild; also
    several nieces and nephews. Her funeral wil l be held Saturday (November 22nd) at 9AM from the
    Edwards Memorial Funeral Home, 44 Congress Street, Milford MA followed by a Mass of Christian
    Burial at 10AM in St. Mary of the Assumption Church, 19 Winter Street, Milford MA. Burial will follow in
    St. Marys Cemetery in Milford MA. A visiting hour will be held Saturday morning (November 22nd)
    from 8:30am to 9:30am, prior to her Funeral Mass.

                                                         Rita T. Sullivan

    Rita T. (Paradiso) Sullivan, 100, of Hopedale MA, died Saturday (October 4, 2014) at Beaumont
    Nursing & Skilled Rehabilitation in Northbridge, MA after a period of declining health. She was the
    beloved wife of the late John L. Sullivan, who died in 1978. Mrs. Sullivan was born in Milford MA,
    the daughter of the late Luigi and the late Cecelia (Carpentieri) Paradiso. She attended Milford
    public schools as a young girl. She had been employed for many years as a cafeteria worker at
    the former Draper Corporation in Hopedale MA. Mrs. Sullivan was a longtime communicant of
    Sacred Heart Church in Hopedale and had been very active in the church's Rosary Sodality for
    many years. Upon the death of her late husband, she would spend various times of the year with
    her daughter and son-in-law in various parts of the country, most recently in North Carolina. She
    would donate her time serving as a volunteer for many worthy causes, including helping out
    military families. Mrs. Sullivan was an incredible Red Sox fan and was the proud owner of an
    autographed baseball from David Ortiz. Mrs. Sullivan is survived by her Daughter: Maureen, wife of
    Gus Moran of Hayesville NC; her Son: Atty. Dennis Sullivan and his wife Joanne of Hopkinton MA;
    5 Grandchildren; 5 Great Grandchildren; 2 Great Great Grandchildren; and many nieces and
    nephews. Her funeral will be held Tuesday (October 7th) from the Edwards Memorial Funeral
    Home, 44 Congress Street, Milford MA followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11am in Sacred
    Heart Church, 187 Hopedale Street, Hopedale MA. Burial will follow in Sacred Heart Cemetery in
    Milford MA. A visiting hour will be held Tuesday morning (October 7th) from 9:30am to 10:30am,
    prior to her Funeral Mass. Visit for condolence book. In
    lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sacred Heart Church, 187 Hopedale Street,
    Hopedale MA 01747.

                        Hopedale resident, nearly 100, receives Post Cane

  By Zachary Comeau/Daily News Staff

    HOPEDALE - Mar. 1, 2015  According to Doreene Nizzari, the keys to living a long life are simple:
    don't drink or smoke, get plenty of exercise and have fun.

    Her parents gave the Independence Day baby the nickname “firecracker” when she was born in
    1915, but she concedes that she was actually born on July 3. Nizzari, who will turn 100 this
    summer, received the Boston Post Cane last week at her home for being the oldest living person
    in Hopedale.

    The former Post newspaper began giving gold-tipped canes to selectmen in the largest New
    England towns in 1909 - six years before Nizzari was born. Those canes were then given to the
    town’s oldest living man, but in 1930, women became eligible to receive the cane as well.

    According to Carole Mullen, Hopedale’s Council on Aging director, the town hadn’t awarded a
    citizen with the cane in “a million years” before the tradition was revived in 2012. Although the cane
    remains at the Hopedale Senior Center, where the ceremony was held last year, Nizzari was
    presented with an official proclamation from the Statehouse, and a commemorative plaque.
    Nizzari was also given a pin modeled after the cane.

    Selectwoman Sandra Biagetti, reading from the proclamation, highlighted Nizzari’s life, which
    includes four children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

    Nizzari credits her long life with good health, good decisions and having a busy social life.

    “I was never quiet,” said the Hopedale resident of 29 years.

    Nizzari was also an athlete in her younger years, competing as a dancer and swimmer.

    “I loved all sports,” she said.

    Nizzari becomes the third Hopedale resident to receive the cane in nearly three years. Tradition
    states the cane is passed to each community's oldest living resident.

    The clippings above refer to the original cane given to the town by the
    Boston Post. Those below are from 2012 and after when the custom
    was revived by the Hopedale Council on Aging.

    There's no mention of Manda Sears
    receiving the cane, although women
    were eligible for it since 1930, and
    she was more than a decade older
    than Henry Needham.

    While there's no mention of the
    cane in the obituary for Mr. White, it
    appears that he was eligible for it.
    His death is listed in the Hopedale
    town report for 1938, so he must
    have still been a resident.

    There's no mention found so far of Mr. Draper receiving
    the cane, but according to the news article, he should
    have. He was one of the "other Drapers."

                              Hopedale resident, 98, receives Boston Post Cane
                                                 By Corin Cook/Daily News Staff

    HOPEDALE - Joe Leoncini, 98, credits his status as the town's oldest resident to being born into a family
    with longevity in its genes, but those who know him credit it to his positive attitude.

    An attitude that Council on Aging Director Carole Mullen says is like “sunshine from the inside that radiates

    People with a positive attitude tend to live the longest, according to Mullen, which is why she is not surprised
    that Leoncini is the new recipient of Hopedale’s Boston Post Cane - one of the 700 canes made by the
    former Boston Post Newspaper in 1909 for selectmen in New England towns to give to the town’s oldest

    Hopedale’s original cane has been “lost in someone’s attic” for many years, according to Mullen, so
    Leoncini is only the fourth to receive it since 2012, when a duplicate cane was made and the tradition was

    The replica cane remains in a glass box in the Council On Aging to avoid being lost again, but Leoncini did
    receive a pin of the cane and several citations from officials including Hopedale selectmen, Sen. Ryan
    Fattman, R-Webster, former Sen. Richard T. Moore and State Rep. John Fernandes, D-Milford, at a
    ceremony Thursday.

    Family and friends gathered to celebrate Leoncini’s life, one that Mullen says she is “jealous of,” because
    “he has accomplished everything in life that really matters,” including finding the love of his life, having
    children (daughter, Susan and son, Steven), fighting for his country and surviving.

    In fact, Leoncini was lucky to make it to 30, let alone 98, as he was the only one in his unit in WWII to survive,
    fighting in significant battles such as the Normandy Landings (D-Day) and Battle of the Bulge.

    According to a proclamation read by Selectman Robert Burns “On D-Day he crossed the Chanel in a landing
    ship holding twelve tanks and was hit by sporadic fire over the next few days.”

    “I was happy I got out alive,” said Leoncini.

    He was able to do so, according to Leoncini’s daughter-in-law, Renee Leoncini, again, because of his
    positive attitude.

    “He told me every single day he’d tell himself that he’d be coming home to his wife Anita, and he did,” she

    Neighbor and friend Bob Moore said he once took Leoncini to the Museum of World War II in Natick, which is
    home to the tank that belonged to Leoncini’s unit and “his eyes lit up.”

    For 42 years, Leoncini worked for the Draper Mill in Hopedale, where he began as a machine operator,
    eventually becoming the assistant superintendent in charge of all cast-iron manufacturing.

    “I was running the place,” said Leoncini.

    In the early 1950s, he became one of the founding members of Hopedale Country Club, a place where he
    still golfs today. It is also where he celebrates his birthday (July 20) every year, and where he plans to
    celebrate several more.

    Which means that Hopedale’s next recipient of the Boston Post Cane may have a while to wait. Leoncini
    says he plans to live to at least 104. Milford Daily News, September 25, 2015.

                                               Photos from the event   


    Was Stimpson the oldest, or "one of the oldest?"
    This obit leaves the matter unclear.

                             Viens awarded Hopedale’s Boston Post Cane

    HOPEDALE – Three days before his 99th birthday, Hopedale resident Elmer Viens symbolically received the town’s
    Boston Post Cane.

    “I knew I was getting to be the last one in Hopedale,” he said Thursday, during a party in his honor at the Council on
    Aging. “Time flies.”

    The Cane, in long-standing tradition for communities across the state, is given to the town’s oldest resident.

    Board of Selectmen Chairman Louis Arcudi III presented Viens a proclamation from his board, and said he
    remembered seeing the 98-year-old World War II veteran walking around town, often on either one of his many trips to
    pick up books, or on one of his famous cookie mail deliveries.

    “When my daughter Jessica was going to school, I sent the cookies once,” Viens said. “Then (I became) the cookie

    He kept doing it for years, sending the sweet treats to his children throughout college, to his friends, and eventually to
    his grandchildren.

    “I’ve never seen Elmer with anything other than a smile on his face,” Council on Aging Director Carole Mullen said.

    Viens has been a resident of Hopedale for 65 years, having moved to Hopedale to work at the Draper Mill after serving in
    World War II as a medic. He has three children, 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

    “I think it’s exciting,” Viens’ daughter, Jessica, said. “It’s neat to be the oldest person in town.”

    Viens recommended consistent activity in order to happily reach the late 90s. He still does a lot of walking, he said, and
    motion is a habit he kept from his service in the military.

    “Keep moving,” he said. “Never stay still.”

    The 98-year-old was a model in marital health Thursday, too. His wife of 69 years, Peg, 94, grinned by his side at the

    “I’m his chauffeur,” she half-joked.

    She does drive him around, the pair said. Viens still has a license, but stopped driving about three years ago.

    What’s the secret to a long marriage?

    “Her,” Viens said, pointing to his wife and laughing.

    Boston Post Cane honorees in Hopedale don’t actually receive the Cane itself, which was on display at the Council on
    Aging Thursday. Viens took home a pin instead, as well as a proclamation from selectmen, and Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018
    – his birthday – was named in his honor.

    His name was also added to a plaque listing the town’s Boston Post Cane awardees.

    Viens takes the Cane from its previous holder, Joe Leoncini, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 101. He
    picked up the cane in 2015, also at 98.

    “I grew up next to him,” Council on Aging Chairman Cheryl Moreci said. “He was such an interesting and wonderful guy.”

    A founding member of the Hopedale Golf Club, he played the sport until he was at least 98.

    Hopedale’s bylaws require the Cane recipient to be a resident for at least 10 years. That means Viens gets the honor
    instead of 100-year-old Joe Manella, who moved to the assisted living facility in town more recently.

    Selectmen will honor Manella with a day of his own – today.

            Milford Daily News, August 16, 2018


    Hopedale Boston Post cane recipient Elmer Viens hugs his granddaughter, Danielle
    Sullivan of Melrose, as he arrives Thursday at the Hopedale Community House
    Senior Center for a presentation ceremony. Viens, who turns 99 of Sunday, worked as
    a draftsman at Draper Corporation. Milford Daily News photo - Ken McGagh