Dante J.'s Story

Text size

Dante J. Ippolito, age 94, of 204 Linden Ponds Way, Hingham, Mass., beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, and teacher and well-known New England-area musician, passed away peacefully on February 14, 2017.

Born on May 26, 1922, to Albina Aurora (Lucchesi) Ippolito and Frank Ippolito, Mr. Ippolito grew up on Avon St. in Lawrence, Mass.

He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Eleanor M. (LaSpina) Ippolito; and four children, Jane Aitken of Bedofrd, N.H., widow of Douglas F. of Quincy, Daniel Ippolito of Salem, N.H., Ellen Nesbitt, wife of William Nesbitt, of Sunset, S.C., and John Ippolito of Cohassett, Mass.; many nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The eldest of five children, he was predeceased by his sisters, Yolanda Ippolito and Josephine R. Carbone of Princeton, Mass.; brother, Joseph A. of Andover, Mass., and Florida; and brother, Raymond F. of Los Angeles, Calif.

After marrying, he and Eleanor settled in Lawrence, Mass., on High Street and then moved to a new home on Beacon Hill Blvd. in North Andover, Mass., in 1957. In later years, the family lived in Kennebunk, Maine, Salem, N.H., Norwell, Mass., and finally, Linden Ponds Retirement Community in Hingham, Mass.

He graduated from Lawrence High School and served in the U.S. Army, where he was a clarinetist in the Army band. After marrying, he obtained degrees in Music and Education at Boston University.

A saxophone and clarinet "prodigy," by the age of 15 he was working as a professional musician, and after high school, traveled with some of the big bands of the 1940s. He worked with many famous names in Hollywood such as the Dorseys, Frank Sinatra, the Andrews and McGuire Sisters, etc., and at age 21 appeared in music videos with the Al Donahue Band which were filmed in the early 1940s at Radio City Music Hall N.Y. These first eight videos called "Soundies" were originally slated for the early juke boxes with screens, called "Panorams."

After graduation from Boston University with a Masters Degree, and subsequently earning 60 credits beyond, he worked as a music teacher in Littleton, Mass., and Newton, Mass., where he managed the high school band. Later he worked in Haverhill, Mass., at the Moody School, the John Greenleaf Whittier, Jr. High School, where he taught History and English to the "accelerated" class, and the St. James Public School. Before retiring, he worked as an Assistant Principal at the Hunking school in Haverhill, Mass. A favorite, many of his students have kept in touch with him over the years. He was featured in Boston Globe’s Perspectives Magazine in October of 2011 in an article, "What makes a great teacher?" written by a former student. (http://goo.gl/dqgn3x).

While working as a teacher and afterward, he continued to work as a local musician in many venues in New England with such notables as New Hampshire's Ted Herbert, and often was called up to work with signature bands such as Dorsey's when they came to Boston. He once had his own combo called the "Four Sharps" and played at the original Hampton Shell in summer.

In his 80s he mastered the use of a computer and enjoyed collecting classics and jazz favorites to his iPod. He was also interested in commentary on current affairs and was a frequent writer of letters-to-the editor to the EagleTribune and other area newspapers. He often corresponded by email with the people who read his writings.

Donations in his memory may be sent to ARC of South Shore, 371 River St., Weymouth, MA 02191 or online at https://arcsouthshore.org/support-the-arc/donate-2/.
Services were private.
Published on  February 16, 2017
Send flowers
in memory of Dante J.
See more

Obituary published in

Arrangements by