Leonel "Leo" Manuel Espinola
LOWELL Leonel "Leo" Manuel Espinola, 56, of North Billerica, died unexpectedly after a long illness Saturday, May 3, 2008, at his home with his family by his side.
Born December 1, 1951, in Graciosa, Azores he was a son of the late Manuel J., and the late Estefina G. (Silva) Espinola. He came to the United States with his family in 1958. He was educated in the Lowell area. He was a resident of Lowell for 30 years before moving to North Billerica where he has resided for the past 20 years.
Leo will be remembered as a championship caliber race car driver, winning several races in New Hampshire. A veteran racer, he was the proud owner of his car “Street Sweeper”. He was an avid Boston Bruins fan, as well as a coach for the Tewksbury PeeWee Hockey League for several years.
Leo worked as an automotive mechanic, operating Dave and Leo’s Autobody Shop on Ames Street in Lowell, with his partner Dave Freitas for 28 years. More recently, he also worked in roofing and siding in the Lowell area.
He is survived by his beloved longtime girlfriend of over 20 years, Deborah Bernard, and her son Sean Bernard of North Billerica; his 5 children, Manuel Espinola of Haverhill, Jonathan Espinola and his wife, Maria, of Florida, Angelina Espinola of Lowell, Stephanie Gaynor of Tyngsboro, and Catherine “C-C” Gaynor of Tyngsboro, 2 grandchildren; Vanessa Espinola and Joey Bonaccolto, a brother, Arlindo Espinola and his wife, Denise, of Lowell, 2 sisters; Kalminda Levesque and her husband, Norman, and Urbina ‘Mary’ Champagne and her fiance, Gary Walkup, of Lowell. He is also survived by 6 God children; Maryanne Champagne, Kurt Freitas. Mellissa Danielson, Linda Uricchio, Dean Demetropoulos, and Miranda Tobar, as well as many nieces, and nephews. HIS CALLING HOURS WERE AT THE MCDONOUGH FUNERAL HOME, 14 HIGHLAND STREET, LOWELL (978 OR 800) 458-6816. HIS FUNERAL MASS WAS OFFERED AT ST. ANTHONY’S CHURCH. BURIAL IN ST. PATRICK CEMETERY. E-CONDOLENCE SITE WWW.MCDONOUGHFUNERALHOME.COM