Nickerson-Bourne Funeral Home

40 MacArthur Blvd, Bourne, MA


John Dias Jr.

March 7, 1933March 25, 2020
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John Dias Jr. “Junior”, 87 years old of Falmouth, MA, was born on March 7, 1933. He passed away on March 25, 2020, of natural causes. He is survived by his wife Cynthia (Barrows) Dias, his daughters Elizabeth C. Rackley of Los Angeles and Dorene R. (Terry) Dias Pesta of San Diego, and his sons John Dias lll and Jose E. Dias of FL. He was preceded in death by his sons, Ralph D. Pina of Brockton, and Thomas C. Dias of Falmouth.

He leaves behind his grandchildren Lalicia C. Rackley of Los Angeles, Omar Rackley of Oakland, Brian J. Dias of Falmouth, Tiara L. Dias of San Diego, Ashley Dias of Centerville, Andre Pina of Taunton, Chelsea Dias of Falmouth, Seth Pina of Hyde Park and John Dias IV of Centerville, 14 great grandchildren, his siblings Christian Dias of Plymouth, Anita J. Dias of Seattle, Gilbert Pires of San Bernardino, Anna Porter of Pittsburgh, Franklin D. Dias of FL, Eugene C. Dias (Mary) of Halifax, Alan J. Dias and Arlene M. Dias of Hanson, Nadine Dias of WA, and Donna “Carole” Dias of Taunton, and dozens of other relatives that he enjoyed spending time with at family gatherings.

He was born the oldest child during the first marriage for both his father John Dias Sr. and his mother Ida (Fernandes) Dias, (Ida Araujo, Ida Skinner) who preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his step mother Georgina (Santos) Dias, and siblings Arthur D. Dias of Hanson, Rudolph E. Araujo in the Vietnam War, Catherine D. Mitchell and Robert E. Dias of Hanson, Jose F. Cesar of Fort Meyers, David A. Dias of Brockton and Teddy.

John was an honorable and humble man with a great sense of humor. His smile could light up a room. He was a dedicated hard worker all his life. As a husband, he was a good provider and was in love with his wife Cynthia and was often told that she was an angel for putting up with him. He would laugh, and shake his head, at that comment every time. He will be remembered as a loving father, son, brother, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, cousin, and friend.

After his parents separated, he lived with his father. He spent time with his mother in the summers while she resided in MA and visited his Fernandes family. He always said, “I love spending time with all my family,” which to him meant everyone, wife though cousins. He especially appreciated the relatives who took the time to visit him in Falmouth.

Being the oldest of his siblings, he had the most responsibilities, and the house was overcrowded. When questioned about his childhood, he replied “Oh boy, I liked spending a few days to help over at my Uncle Peter Fernandes, because he didn’t have any kids! So, I got to be the only one. I never minded doing any extra work. But those goats, he let his goats live right inside his house! I didn’t like that, but it was his roof so that was that.”

While in Ohio he stayed with his mother in East Liverpool and in Canton with his Uncle Arthur M Fernandes and Dolly. When the Korean War started, he went to the Canton office to enlist into the U.S. Army at the age of 17. The recruiter told him that he was too young and to go home. But, being as stubborn as he was, he got the required form for his mother’s signature and talked her into signing it. After enlisting on October 20, 1950, he was assigned to an all-white unit at Fort McClellan, Anniston, Alabama. He went to Japan but still had to wait until he was 18 years old to be shipped off to Korea.

In Korea, as a former altar boy, and the only non-white man, he was assigned to drive the car for a priest. Since he knew how to drive a large truck, he was assigned to a different unit #179, Search and Recovery, with four other men to search for soldiers not heard from and assumed dead in the freezing cold, and to recover them. He said, “I was given a grid map, a compass, and directions, to search the jungle and carry out any fallen soldiers and load them onto the truck.” He drove them back to the base for identification and a dignified burial back home. Can you imagine this job for a 17-year-old kid?

When he returned from Korea he was stationed in Anniston, Alabama during the Jim Crow racist era. He was mistreated so bad and was forced to sit in the back of the bus, which he hated, unless it was a military bus. He said, “Those racist people insulting and treating me so bad in Alabama, was worse than the Korean Jungle, risking the sniper shots and picking up the bodies, and that smelly truck in Korea. Oh, boy!”

After discharge, in his 20s, he was a singer in a singing group. They had entered a contest and won to go to the next step of a final audition. They all arrived at the motel the night before, to be there early in the morning. He said, “We went to a bar “danced” with some pretty girls and got so drunk that we woke up in the afternoon and missed our audition appointment.” Then he started laughing. (If anyone knows more about his group please post on his memorial wall.)

He was a strong man who persevered through many challenges but, kept on smiling and never let anything get him down. Yet, he still promoted the military and was excited when hearing that a relative or friend enlisted. He was a proud Korean War Veteran. He always wore his Korean War Veterans hat and had a special Korean War Veterans license plate on his car.

The Town of Falmouth honored him and other Veterans with a parade and a free yearly dinner on Veterans Day. Students from a Falmouth High School art class made paintings and pencil drawings of John and other Korean War Veterans. He liked to think that since he was the very first veteran in our Dias family that others followed him. When the replica of the Vietnam War Memorial came to Falmouth, he became a volunteer, to honor his brother Rudy, who had died in the war at 29 years of age.

John was immensely proud of his Cape Verdean heritage and he cooked many traditional dishes and celebrated customs and traditions. He learned to speak Kriolu, the official language of Cabo Verde. He previously had been a member of the Cape Verdean Club in Falmouth. He visited Cabo Verde three times and loved it there. The first trip was in 1979, with his cousin Leroy Gonsalves, and his best friend Ronny Martin. He made two more trips in 2009, and 2012, with Cynthia and other family members. He was able to spend time on Fogo and visit his Tia Irene and Tia Joanne in Cabeça de Monte, along with many cousins and other family members in different areas of Fogo. In Cisterno, Fogo, he got to see the family home where both his father and grandmother Dominga Pina were born.

John was a hard worker and very handy. He always had a job or even more than one, simultaneously. As a young man in Liverpool, Ohio, he worked in a steel mill with his uncle Arthur M. Fernandes and drove a Greyhound Bus. While working in the restaurant of the Hotel Ernesto, he once had to tape the ankle of the NFL star Rosie Grier, when delivering food to his room.

On Cape Cod, he had a union laborer job with a company that went on strike. While working there, he was assigned to do various construction projects. He did the masonry work on the Teaticket Elementary School on Marvista Ave, built the piers for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Center, worked on the Cape Cod Community College in Barnstable, and the telephone company building in West Yarmouth. He worked for the CEDA program, delivering payroll all over the Cape and was required to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun, which he didn’t like.

For 21 years he worked at the Falmouth Police Department as a custodian/maintenance worker. This was his favorite job, working with the policemen and clerks. Everyone enjoyed his humor, smiles and friendliness. In the 90s, Chief David Cursalito found him on the ground unconscious after a stroke and saved his life! The department could not take a donated trained German Shepard puppy into their canine program. John loved dogs and brought him home, and Max became a beloved part of the family for 14 years.

After he officially “retired” from the Police Department he kept working. He drove a bus, transporting adults with mental challenges for a rehabilitation center in Bourne. For two summers, he really enjoyed relaxing in his chair while working as a parking lot attendant at Surf Drive Beach in Falmouth and seeing all those women in bikinis and eating the baked goods that the ladies would bring him.

John was a very devout Catholic. While growing up in Hanson, MA, he served as an altar boy when Masses were said in Latin. He was involved in the Cursillo Movement. He attended a three-day retreat at La Salette Retreat Center in Attleboro, MA, in 1972, where he joined the movement and learned their motto “Christ is counting on you.” He tried to follow this motto by doing good deeds for the rest of his life. As an adult, he served as a lector for many years at St. Anthony’s Church in Falmouth. After the steps to the podium became difficult to climb, he became an usher.

Since 1971, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 813, in Falmouth. He achieved the rank of Grand Knight and was a 4th degree Honor Guard, with privilege to travel with the Bishop. For many years, he cooked the annual fundraiser St Patrick’s Day Corn Beef and Cabbage Dinner for the Cape Cod ARC program. Being such a good cook, he catered many weddings at the Knights of Columbus Hall, where he was the building manager for many years.

John always loved to travel by land, air, and sea, and he sure didn’t let using a wheelchair stop him. For many years, he, Cynthia, Tommy, and Jose spent two weeks at their time share in Kissimmee, Florida. They were often joined by siblings, other family members, and friends which he treasured. He took trips to California, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Hampshire, New York, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, and the Cape Verde Islands. In the Poconos, he got laughs out of riding mules with Cynthia, his brother Christy, and Joan.

Cynthia and John went on cruises to the Caribbean, Canada, and Hawaii. On one Caribbean cruise they took Tommy, and their taxicab driver was looking for a nice husband to marry his daughter, so John tried to convince Tommy to get married. He always did like to tease and play pranks for laughs. On the Hawaiian cruise, the driver stopped at his friend’s house to let Junior use the bathroom and his friend mistook him for Fred Sanford! He started taking pictures with him. He sure got a kick out of that!

One of his hobbies was fishing. He went most frequently with his cousin Leroy Gonsalves. One time he broke the record for catching the biggest bass and was so proud to be in the Falmouth Enterprise. The family would go herring fishing in the cranberry bogs. Then he would trade them to his friend who paid him in lobsters. His wife and kids were crazy about lobsters, but he wasn’t and just ate one with his jag.

John was extremely interested and knowledgeable about NASA and space exploration. Almost every trip to Florida included a visit to Cape Canaveral. While there, he was always so excited, and he had the opportunity to meet many of the astronauts. On their first trip to Florida, his father came with them, and from their condo they were able to see the shuttle take off. At home, he would watch the NASA tv channel hours at a time to stay up to date on any discoveries.

Among other hobbies, he was a big boxing fan. His favorite boxer was Marvelous Marvin Hagler from Brockton. In addition, he liked the New England Patriots.

He didn’t like to go to the movie theatres, but loved to watch westerns on tv, especially the old cowboy movies, and tv shows like Gunsmoke and Bonanza.

John was a kindhearted, generous, wonderful person who will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

His Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, June 15, 2020 at St. Anthony Church 167 E Falmouth Hwy East Falmouth, MA. Visitation prior to mass at 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. at the Nickerson-Bourne-Bourne Funeral Home 40 MacArthur Blvd., Bourne. Burial at the Massachusetts National Cemetery is Private.



  • Visitation

    Monday, June 15, 2020

  • Funeral Mass

    Monday, June 15, 2020


  • Burial is private.


John Dias Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Deborah Aguiar

June 5, 2020

Cynthia and family:

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. God rest his soul. I'll miss seeing him with you in church. May the Holy Spirit comfort you at this time.

Debbie Aguiar

Sam Mitchell

April 29, 2020

What can I say about John that hasn't already been said. I knew him over 60 years and I can honestly say he was one helluva of a Brother-in-Law, he had a heart that was filled with so much love and compassion and always willing to go out of his way to help anyone. As everyone have said he loved his family and if you have read the messages posted by two of my sons, you can appreciate how important he was to our family. Years ago when he did function dinners for the KofC and weddings I would quite often go down to Falmouth and be his assistance. I always enjoyed helping him out plus it helped me with my cooking skills. I also remember when ever we went to the vineyard, he insisted that we come to his house and he would drive you to the boat, there would be no auguring about it, so you might as well agree. Although I moved away some 20 years ago we talked pretty often, he would always asked me how the boys were doing and then sports and politic. I always teased him what a sweetheart of a wife you have and beside that you robed the cradle. He would always talk a lot smack, but would acknowledge what a wonderful supportive wife she is. He indeed was a special man and I know we all will miss him dearly. R.I.P. my dear faithful brother.

Roberta Vincent

April 23, 2020

A beautiful photo of Tommy, Cynthia and Jr. at the Cape Verdean Festival in Onset, MA

Roberta J. Delgado

April 15, 2020

Dias Family:

Another great photo when visiting our Mom, Mary (Santos) Delgado at Harrington Court Nursing Home in Colchester.
We had some wonderful visits.

Cousin Berta

Roberta J Vincent

April 15, 2020

John Dias Jr. Family:

What great memories our photos hold; I am so glad I have these to share!!

Cousin Berta

Tonya Clements

April 14, 2020

Rest in peace John, I will always remember how funny you were. Fly high with the angels. Xoxo

Roberta J Vincent

April 13, 2020

Each year we would meet with Cousin Jr. and Cynthia in Onset for the Festival. Cousin Debbie lived close by so there were times we drove down from CT the night before to beat the traffic. We all treasured our time together and have wonderful memories to carry in our heart. We will miss Jr.; but have been blessed by your presence.
Love, Cousins Debbie, Laura and Berta

Paul Rodriques

April 13, 2020

I remember when jr and myself were going to lowell to watch the state police fights we were drinking the whole way there .we got so juiced we ended up in providence Rhode island. By the time we got back on track we walked in and heard and for the last fight of the evening....we laughed for years. Took us 6 hours to get to lowell I love jr. My dad and family love jr .the whole world loves jr. Say hi to my dad. I bet hes busting your chops. Right now. Lol. Xxoo

Bob Mitchell

April 12, 2020

The Monponsett Inn, Oct 2001

Bob Mitchell

April 11, 2020

Uncle Jr and Dorene from the Archives


Korean War Veteran

He was only 17yrs old when he enlisted, so his mother's signature was required.


John's Search and rescue unit in Korea


John in Korea near the Army truck he drove


Dad, Christy, Arlene, Papa,


San Diego Halloween 2010, finally put dad in a cage. He's scaring kids and passing out candy.


Diane brought her kids over for a visit and into the haunted garage


Halloween in CA with Dorene and Ralph


Michelle sure made him smile, no comment


Wedding 2/14/2004 Dad and Terry


Wedding 2/14/2014 entering Chapel