Eugene I. "Gene" Prior

  • Born: June 23, 1930
  • Died: January 28, 2020
  • Location: Melrose, Massachusetts

Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176

Tel. (781) 665-1949

Tribute & Message From The Family

Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Gene by adding your memories.

Eugene I. "Gene" Prior, of Melrose, died surrounded by family, at the Sawtelle Hospice House in Reading on January 28, 2020. He was 89 years of age. Gene was born in South Boston and raised in Somerville, a graduate of Malden Catholic High School Class of 1947. He went to work out of high school and then served in the Army in the early 1950s before attending college. He earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Boston College in 1959/1960. Gene began his career in education as a French teacher at Stoughton High School, he moved to the Winchester public schools in 1968 and worked as a Guidance Counselor, first at Winchester High School, then Lynch Junior High School and McCall Middle School before his retirement in 1994.

He was a former member of Massachusetts School Counselors Association, St. Mary's Parish Council, and former member and President of the North Shore Irish Association. Gene resided in Melrose for 45 years, then after selling the family home, lived in Reading for 7 years and finally returned to Melrose in 2018 where he lived at Melrose Station. Gene was happy to reconnect with old friends, return to his home parish and share a song or lead a sing-a-long with his new neighbors. His final days were filled with family, Irish music, jokes, laughter and compassionate care.

Beloved husband of the late Margaret E. "Marge" (McCarthy) Prior. Caring son of the late Thomas & Alice (Heaney) Prior. Loving father of Thomas J. Prior & his wife Barbara and their daughter Sarena of Orlando, FL, Jean M. Woodman & her husband George of Billerica, Barry M. Prior of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Michelle I. Prior & her husband Greg Kurr of Winchester. Cherished grandfather of Kelly, Ryan, Sean, T.J., Matthew, Erin, Ellen, Katie & Colin. He was predeceased by his siblings Thomas, James, John, Mary Delisle and A. Patricia Reilly. Also survived by his brother-in-law James Reilly, dear friends Ann Costanza of Reading, Jack Walsh of Reading, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visitation will be held at the Gately Funeral Home 79. W. Foster St. Melrose on Monday, February 3, 2020 from 4:00-7:30PM. Funeral procession from Gately Funeral Home on Tuesday morning February 4th at 9:00AM, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary's Church, 9 Herbert St. Melrose at 10:00AM. Interment with military honors at Wyoming Cemetery in Melrose. Relatives & friends are respectfully invited to attend. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.


Condolence & Memory Journal

We were saddened to hear of Gene's passing but delighted to frequently see him back at Mass at St. Marys recently. We were involved in many programs at St. Mary's will. Both Gene and Marge and loved being in their company.

Our heartfelt wishes to all his wonderful children, some of whom were friends,classmates and teammates to some of our children. You were blessed to have had such caring parents. We will keep all of you in our prayers.

Jim and Sheila McArdle

Posted by Jim and Sheila McArdle - Melrose, MA - Friend   February 05, 2020

Our prayers and heartfelt sympathy is with the Prior family during this time of their loss. My wife (Terry) and I are both friends of Eugene's wonderful son, Barry.

Posted by Dr. Johnny Porter - Metairie, LA - Coworker   February 04, 2020

Our thoughts and prayers go out to each of the Prior family. Gene was a gentleman in the true sense of the word. My life was richer because Gene and Marge were in it even for a short while.

Posted by Maureen Vasily - Naples, FL   February 04, 2020

Mr. Prior was such a gentleman and so very faith filled. I enjoyed studying with Gene at one of the group bible studies at St. Mary's. His love and care for his wife and family were beautiful to witness. He always had the kindest words, and was truly a delight. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Posted by Patti Peterson - Melrose, MA - Acquaintance   February 03, 2020

My thoughts and prayers go out to Gene's family over their loss. I got to know Gene when he moved to Reading. He was a regular at weekend Mass at St. Agnes Church and was a man of deep faith. He was always quick with a story and a laugh and he made many friends. I am sorry that because of parish commitments I will be unable to attend either the wake or the funeral.

Posted by Fr. Steve Rock - Reading, MA - Friend   February 03, 2020

So nice to have worked with Gene at McCall. He was always smiling
and upbeat about the students. Fun to talk to and work with each
day. We could all benefit from Gene's outlook on life; always
positive!!! Nothing but fond memories of Gene and his
kindness towards all.

Posted by Claudia McCarthy - Winchester, MA - Coworker   February 02, 2020

What a legend of a man! He had a heart as big as all of Ireland! I will miss his wisdom and compassion. Most of all, I will miss having a waltz with him at the North Shore Irish Association dances, his bear hugs and "Margene" having us over for Christmas Eve many years ago.

You are back with your beloved wife in Heaven, Gene. May you rest in peace but always have a waltz with Marge when the Irish Music is playing.

Posted by Susie Daly - Melrose, MA - Family Friend   February 01, 2020

What a blessing it has been for me to know Gene these past few years while at the Residence at Melrose Station. I will miss his songs, laughter and sharing orange slices (the candy ones!) with him! Love to all, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Meehan - Melrose, MA - Friend   January 31, 2020

My Condolences to the family, especially to Tom Prior who played basketball with and took me to many Celtics games. From Stephen Williams (Willie)

Posted by Stephen Williams    January 30, 2020

I wish to offer the Prior Family my sincere sympathy. Paul and I knew your parents .they were lovely people. I am so sorry for your loss. Respectfully, Mrs. Paul Tighe

Posted by Sheila Tighe - Melrose, MA - Acquaintance   January 30, 2020

Gene was a great man and a great neighbor. So sorry to hear of his passing.

Posted by Linda Burns - Reading, MA   January 30, 2020

Gene and I met at the residence at Melrose Station. I worked as a receptionist.
Gene was a wonderful man. He came over every time I was working, singing Irish songs for me. He really loved his family and he was so proud of his children.
Rest in peace my friend.
I will keep the wonderful memories.

Posted by Vanessa Romeike-Kurz - Germany - Friend   January 30, 2020

I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. He was such a nice man. I'm sure he's doing a jig in heaven with your beautiful Mom. You'll all be in my heart and prayers in these difficult days ahead.

Posted by Diane Turner - Melrose, MA - Friend   January 29, 2020

The Gately Family and Staff wish to express our sincere sympathy to you. It is our hope that we may be able to make a difficult time more bearable. Please feel free to call on us at anytime as we are always available to you.

Posted by John W Gately, John H. Gately & Fred Sprague - Melrose, MA   January 29, 2020

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