July 5 2016

Obituary: Beloved Burlington Educator Eleanor McCarthy, 83

A few weeks ago a beloved retired Burlington educator passed away after battling cancer. 


Eleanor J. McCarthy, a retired Burlington Public School Teacher, passed away on June 15. She was 83 years old. 


Here is her full obituary from Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home:

Eleanor was born in Boston, the daughter of Dominick and Delia DePalma. Her family made their home in Haverhill until she was 10 years old when they moved to Belmont. She was a graduate of Belmont High School, Class of 1950, Lasell Junior College in 1952 with an Associate’s Degree in Arts, and finally Boston University, Class of 1955 where she earned Bachelor of Arts in Art Education. It was at Boston University, that she truly found her niche. She was a member of the Sigma Delta Phi Sorority and served as the President of her graduating class. She started her teaching career as an art teacher for 3 years at the Willard B. Atwell Junior High School in Wakefield. After taking several years off to raise her children, she returned to Francis Wyman Middle School, Burlington as an art teacher from 1972-1980. She spent the last 21 years of her 35 years as an educator as a fifth grade teacher at Burlington’s Wildwood and Francis Wyman Schools. She was a longtime member of the MA Teacher’s Association. She was respected and loved by her students and colleagues. They would wonder how someone so small in stature could be such a big ball of energy, passion, and kindness. 

Eleanor had been a contributing member of the Burlington community for the past 57 years. She was an active member of the Burlington Country Club during her children’s school years. She was a member of the Jayceettes and served as their President. She was an avid reader and a longtime patron of the Burlington Public Library. She was a talented knitter and would spend all year knitting hats, mittens, and scarfs to donate to Burlington People Helping People’s Wish Tree. For years, many children would receive one of her gifts under their Christmas tree. She also had many circles of friends, with whom she regularly shared lunch. Eleanor loved being on the go, experiencing new things, and seeing the world. She loved to travel with family and friends. It started with childhood summers spent at her family’s cottage at Arlington Pond in North Salem, New Hampshire. Then it was family vacations to Cape Cod. Over the years, she has visited Ireland, England, Holland, Alaska, Hawaii, Switzerland, and all the American National Parks. With her artistic background, she appreciated nature, history, art, architecture, and culture. She brought so much more to these trips for her fellow travelers. She especially loved going on cruises. On several of those trips, her entourage reached 30 people. She was a ray of sunshine; because there have been countless memories shared with Eleanor, her spirit will live on for years to come in the hearts and minds of all her family and friends.

Eleanor devoted much her life to her family. She was there to encourage, support, advise, and motivate her children to become free thinkers and embrace all that life has to offer. She was their biggest fan and so proud of how they have become responsible and contributing adults. She was always in the stands for their hockey, soccer, track, swim, and cheerleading events. She was that fun, creative, and entertaining mother whom her children and their friends enjoyed as children and appreciated as adults. She had a great connection with her daughter-in-law whom she thought of as a daughter. And then there was the apple of her eye, her one and only granddaughter, Kaitlin, of whom she was so proud. She gave her family the greatest gift she had: her never-ending love.

Eleanor was the loving mother of Kevin McCarthy & his wife Kim of Tyngsboro and Kathleen Czizik of Lincroft, NJ. She was the proud grandmother of Kaitlin McCarthy of VT. She was predeceased by her only sister; Jane Rogers. She also leaves behind many dear friends.

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