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Malden High School mourns passing of longtime educator Charlie Bowers

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Two other retired MHS teachers and former Malden High Principal John E. Wright also passed recently


By Steve Freker


The Malden High School community is mourning the passing of longtime educator Charlie Bowers, who died Tuesday after a lingering illness.

Mr. Bowers was a business education teacher, in the 10th year of his second stretch as a member of the Malden High School faculty, having taught before in the Malden Public Schools for a number of years, beginning in 2001. He had also formerly taught at the Salemwood K-8 middle school.

Mr. Bowers had recently officially retired at the conclusion of the recently completed academic year two weeks ago on June 16. He had missed most of this past year battling health issues.

Mr. Bowers was a Northeastern University graduate who went on to attend and receive a degree from Suffolk University Law School. After a number of years working as a tax attorney, he decided to change professional careers and join the academic life.

According to a story in a past MHS edition of the school newspaper, The Blue and Gold, Mr. Bowers enjoyed reading, cooking and travel. For a number of years, Mr. Bowers spent a lot of time in the summer months in Italy with his wife and daughters and their families, having owned a home in Milan.

Malden High School Principal Chris Mastrangelo, who had worked alongside Mr. Bowers for nearly 20 years at MHS, recalled him in announcing his passing to the staff via an email on Wednesday. “Charlie will always be remembered for his great stories, infectious laugh, love for his family, and the great pride he took in Malden High School,” he stated. “He loved the kids and the kids loved him, he will be missed.”

Funeral arrangements, which are being handled by the Mackey Funeral Home in Middleton, were incomplete as of Thursday.


Two other retired MHS teachers, Lee Johnson and John Deveney, former Malden High Principal John E. Wright also passed recently

Along with Mr. Bowers, two other former well-known retired Malden High School educators, Lee Johnson and John Deveney also passed away recently. Also, former longtime Malden High School and Browne Junior High School Principal John E. Wright Jr. died on March 13, 2023, at his home in Dover, N.H. He was just over a week before his 86th birthday on March 23.

Mr. Wright was born on March 23, 1937, and raised in Springfield, Mass. He was a graduate of Springfield College and earned an advanced degree at Boston College. He was a U.S. Marine Corps and USMC Reserves veteran and the father of two. His family called him “Jack.” Most recently he had made his home in New Hampshire.

Mr. Wright was an educator and administrator in the Malden Public Schools from 1971 through his retirement in 1998. He served as Principal and teacher at Browne Junior High School, Vice Principal at Malden High School, and after the death of his dear friend and colleague, Arthur P. Boyle, as Principal of Malden High School from 1984 through his retirement in 1998.

John W. Deveney, 83, of Wakefield, Mass. and Kennebunk, Maine, passed away on April 24 after a brief illness, leaving his wife of 56 years, Dorothy-Ann Giardino Deveney.

John retired in 2007 after 40 years as a Physics teacher, teaching in Brockton, Woburn, Weston and Malden High Schools. He graduated from Boston State College in 1961 and continued his graduate work in Astro-Nuclear Physics at MIT, BU, Rensselaer and Yale. He received an award as Outstanding Physics Teacher in the state and before entering the academic field, was a candidate for NASA’s Astronaut in Space program as well as a military veteran, receiving an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, and participated in Wakefield’s Citizen Police Academy.

Long known as “Mr. Dev” to his students and educator peers, he loved teaching and eating out, especially at Wakefield’s North Ave. Diner and Malden’s 621 Restaurant.

Lee C. Johnson, 90, of Saugus, who was active in many capacities in that town, died peacefully on Saturday, June 24, 2023, after a brief illness. He was the husband of Phyllis (Lindsey) Johnson, with whom he shared more than 60 years of marriage.

Born in, raised and a lifelong resident of Saugus, he was a graduate of Saugus High School; he later earned his degree in education after working for many years in carpentry as well as being a Carpenters Union member. Mr. Johnson then taught shop at Malden High School for over 30 years. During his teaching career he become president of his local teachers’ union. Prior to teaching Lee served in the Army during the Korean Conflict; one would see him most of the time still sporting his U.S. Army cap.

While raising his family in his family home he served the Saugus community in many ways: former Saugus Town Meeting Precinct 5 member, the Lynnhurst Men’s Club, the Saugus Playground Commission, being instrumental in the creation of the Dana B. Johnson Memorial Park.

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