By John Lynds
Edward “Eddie C” Contilli, the boisterous owner of Eddie C’s bar in Maverick Square who was a much a part of the fabric of the community as the square itself, has died.
Mr. Contilli passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Friday, June 16 after a courageous battle with ALS. He was 69 years old.
“Eddie Contilli was a good son of East Boston,” said friend, City Councilor Sal LaMattina. He served us well on the Boston Police Department and never forgot where he came from. We will miss him in Maverick Square.”
Mr. Contilli was born in Boston on February 25, 1948 to the late Michael and Santa (Gaeta) Contilli. He was raised East Boston and as a youth he became one of the best athlete’s in East Boston history and excelled in all the sports he was involved in.
“Eddie was one of the best Athletes to ever come out of East Boston,” said East Boston resident Joseph LoConte. “He along with guys like Anthony Albano and Paul Pingaro were my first sports heroes and watching them play was special. Eddie was not just a great athlete but was a great guy.”
Mr. Contilli served his country with dignity and honor during the Vietnam War and when he returned back to East Boston he began a 26-year career with the Boston Police Department as a motorcycle patrol officer.
“I’ll never forget that infectious laugh when we were in the BPD Academy,” said former colleague Frank Dewan. “You were full of fun and like a big teddy bear. You were a great and fearless Police Officer and those of us that had the pleasure to know you will never forget you.”
After retiring from the BPD he bought the former Vincent’s Bar-B-Que in Maverick Square, a popular hang out for neighborhood locals. He renamed the bar Eddie C’s and after a few years the popular hangout started to attract not only old-time locals but a new crop of young professionals that fell in love with the no-frills atmosphere and cheap drinks.
They also fell in love with Mr. Contilli who was always the big hearted kind gentleman.
“Eddie was one of the best people I’ve known in my entire life. Generous, loving, authentic, funny, sympathetic and most of all a good friend,” said Nancy Santaniello. “You could be in the worst mood and Eddie would bring you out of it simply by stating a one liner that made you burst into laughter. Everyone was happy around Eddie. Everyone loved him. He will be sorely missed as he was truly one of a kind.”
Mr. Contilli was the beloved husband of over 42 years to Karen (Marsilia) Contilli; devoted father of Edward Contilli Jr. and his wife Megan of East Boston, and Michael Contilli and his wife Ashley of Beverly; dear brother of Pamela (Contilli) Ashman and husband Paul Sr. of Saugus, and the late Virginia Pallotta and Richard Contilli; and the adored grandfather of Mia, Ava, Anthony and Lorenzo. He is also survived by his many loving nieces, nephews and many cherished friends.
“Eddie was one of the kindest, most generous people; a true East Bostonian with a heart of gold,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro. “My thoughts are with his family and he will be deeply missed by all.”