Ares Family Collection [1937-1949]
The Ares family was a large and well-known family in the Lowell area. They lived at 7 Court Avenue in Back Central and the family included twelve children.
The head of the household, Ricardo Ares, was born around 1888-1891 in Ferrol, Spain. His parents were Joseph Ares and Carmen Carballeira Ares (born around 1872). He immigrated to the United States in 1909. In 1917, he was working as a machinist at the Saco Lowell Machine Shop.
Rose Santos, Ricardo’s wife, was born on May 12, 1898 in Lowell, MA. Her parents were Manuel Santos and Anna Cunha Santos, both immigrants from Portugal who married in Lowell on November 1, 1896.
Ricardo and Rose met in Lowell and married on September 1, 1918 at Saint Anthony’s Church. They were married by Rev. John Perry. Both Ricardo and Rose were operatives in mills at the time. They went on to have twelve children, most of whom were talented musicians. The Ares family quickly became known for their musical talents, especially in 1941 when some of the Ares children performed on the City Library Hour radio program. Their band name was the “Ares Hillbilly Orchestra” and they performed at many events under this name.
What follows is a brief overview of the lives of the twelve Ares children:
- Victor Ares (June 18, 1919-July 29, 1988) - After graduating from high school, Victor completed his basic training at Camp Croft in South Carolina and was a proud veteran for his entire life. As a sousaphone player, he served in the 179th infantry band in the 45th Division of the United States Army. He was awarded many medals and was a life member of the Earl Harvey chapter of Disabled Americans. Victor worked at the American Hide and Leather Company but eventually was employed with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections for 20 years before his retirement.
- Frances Ares Weldon (December 17, 1920-January 21, 2011) - Frances was the oldest daughter in the Ares family. She eventually married Frank Weldon and moved to California, where she remained for the rest of her life.
- Mary Rose Ares Wilkins (May 5, 1922-April 16, 1993) - Mary Rose married Francis P. Wilkins at Saint Anthony’s Church on April 29, 1956. Rev. John Silva officiated. At the time, she was employed at the Megowan Educator Food Company and took part in the church choir.
- Richard “Richie” Ares (March 17, 1924-August 11, 1966) - Richard was a WWII veteran. He served with the U.S. Army in Europe. Working at Reiss Associates during the day, he continued his musical interests throughout his life. He was part of bands such as The Versatiles and Saint Anthony’s Players. He married Kathleen Carter and had five children.
- Joseph “Joey” Ares (October 13, 1925-June 6, 1987) - Joseph was another WWII veteran but, conversely to his older brothers, he served in the U.S. Navy. He married Beverlyn B. Bessette in New Bedford on September 5, 1948. Joey and Beverlyn moved to California, where they remained until his death in 1987.
- Francis “Frankie” Ares (January 25, 1927-January 15, 2014) - Frankie Ares was an accomplished guitarist and found his way into many musical groups and radio programs in Lowell. He is featured in the 1954 radio program, Melodies of Portugal, which you can listen to on this site. He worked as a mechanical technician. He married Lorrain A. LeBrun and they had three children.
- Theresa Ares Machado (October 2, 1928-October 6, 2011) - Theresa was a dedicated member of Saint Anthony’s Church in Lowell. She got married there on November 27, 1955 to Daniel Machado (son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Machado of 9 Elm Street). The marriage was performed by Rev. John Silva. Theresa worked at the Educator Bisquit Company for 30 years before joining the Canteen Corporation. She also worked as a cafeteria worked in Lowell schools.
- Albert Ares (May 5, 1930-August 13, 2007) - Similarly to his brother Joey, Albert served with the U.S. Navy for four years after graduating from high school. After his service, he held various jobs at the McGowen Educator Food Company and Lowell Wiper Supply Company. He served as a delegate for TWUA-CIO in 1949. He married Phyllis Vallee on April 8, 1956 and they eventually moved out to California.
- Henry “Hank” Ares (March 20, 1933-February 22, 2007) - Hank was another very accomplished musician in the Ares family. He was a member of bands such as the Come Back Kids and the Tri Tones. After graduating from high school (where he was a member of the LHS Band for four years), he served in the Air Force and attained the rank of staff sergeant. He was stationed overseas during the Korean War. Later in life, after retirement, he was sworn in to the State Police as a special agent in Lowell, specializing in animal cruelty and abuse cases.
- Rosemary Ares Foote (September 10, 1935-October 10, 2017) - Rosemary continued the musical tradition by being part of the Saint Anthony’s church choir. She married Harry Foote around 1957.
- George Ares (born October 15, 1937) - As many of his siblings before him, George played in the Lowell High School band. He was part of the Boy Scouts and eventually married his wife, Judy.
- Carmen Ares Nickerson (born in 1940) - Carmen was the youngest child in the Ares family. She married Ralph Nickerson and continued the family musical tradition by performing in local theater in Chelmsford, MA. She is the donor of this collection and currently resides in Hampton Beach, NH.
Rosa Santos Ares, the matriarch of this family, died in Lowell on May 6, 1956 after a brief illness. Her husband, Ricardo, married Juanna Martinez in 1959 and they eventually moved back to Spain. He died in Spain on September 17, 1974.