Paul W. Tonelli, 71, of Hopedale

Paul W. Tonelli, 71, of Hopedale, MA, died peacefully at home on September 19, 2022, surrounded by his loved ones. He had fought a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer for the past nine months.

Paul was born in Worcester, the son of the late Donald and M. Janet (Boyle) Tonelli, and grew up in Grafton. He was a 1968 graduate of Grafton High School, then went on to attend the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. It was at UMass, as a member of the TEP fraternity, that Paul met the love of his life, Justine. Paul and Justine lived in both Boxborough and Worcester before starting their first home in Westborough, and later moved to Hopedale, where they raised their two children.

Paul had a decades-long career in sales, focusing mainly on foodservice. He worked for companies including Armour-Dial, S.S. Pierce, Kraft, Sysco, and Perkins, amongst others. Paul had a work ethic to be admired and was beloved by his colleagues and customers alike, many of whom became his dear friends. Upon his retirement from the food service business, he worked part time for Imperial Cars of Mendon.

Paul was an avid golfer and member of the Missile League at the Hopedale Country Club. He served as a Eucharistic Minister at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Hopedale, often administering communion to residents of local nursing homes. Paul enjoyed watching and listening to Boston sports and sports radio. He had an eclectic taste in music and could often be found blasting jazz from his stereo system. Paul loved visiting the National Seashore and the Maine sea coast, especially York and Ogunquit. Above all, Paul adored his wife and children and time spent with his family and friends. In recent years, his greatest joy was playing with his grandsons. They will forever cherish their memories of times with Grandpa.

Paul leaves his wife of 48 years, Justine (Jackson) Tonelli of Hopedale; daughter, Stephanie Bacon, and her husband, Christopher, of North Attleborough; son, Andrew Tonelli, of Hopedale; two grandsons, Matthew and Evan Bacon of North Attleborough; brothers, Peter, and his wife, Noelle, of Norfolk and John and his wife, Suzanne of Worcester; and sister, Karen, and her partner, David Singer, of South Windsor, CT. He was predeceased by his parents, as well as his mother-in-law, Betty Jackson, whom he adored, and father-in-law Albert Jackson. Paul also leaves many cousins, nieces and nephews, friends, neighbors and colleagues. He will be dearly missed by his labrador retriever, Zoe.
Funeral Services will be held Friday (September 23rd) at 11am at the Edwards Memorial Funeral Home, 44 Congress Street, Milford MA. Burial will follow in Hopedale Village Cemetery. A visiting hour will be held Friday (September 23rd) from 10am to 11am at the Edwards Memorial Funeral Home, prior to his Funeral Service.    Please visit for complete obituary & condolence book.

Paul's family wishes to thank his care team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Faith & Family Hospice of Marlborough. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dana-Farber Cancer Center, P O Box #849168, Boston MA 02284-9168 with Funds Directed towards the Gastrointestinal Cancer Fund        or to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Care Network, 1500 Rosencrans Avenue, Suite #200, Manhattan Beach CA 90266  or @


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