Margaret Prishwalko

Funeral Service

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, November 25, 2023
St. Margaret's Church
111 Winn St.
Burlington, Massachusetts, United States


11:15 am
Saturday, November 25, 2023
Chestnut Hill Cemetery
52 Bedford St.
Burlington, Massachusetts, United States

Obituary of Margaret Theresa Prishwalko

LINK to livestream of memorial service

Click on the link (above) to connect to the funeral home's facebook page (sign in is NOT required).  A livestream of the memorial mass will begin a few minutes before 10am on Saturday, November 25th.

Mrs. Margaret Theresa Prishwalko, 99, of Burlington, MA passed away peacefully November 9, 2023 at Beth Israel Lahey Hospital.

Margaret was the beloved wife to the late Arkady J. Prishwalko.

Born in Boston, MA on October 24, 1924 the daughter of George William Swales and Alice Gertrude (Carney) Swales. She was a graduate of Girls High School in Boston, the first public high school for young women in the United States. It was founded in 1852 as a Normal School for girls to be trained as primary school teachers.

Following graduation, Margaret worked at Sub Signal in Boston helping to build our nation's arms during WWll. She was one of the many Rosie the Riveters helping to keep America strong. Margaret then worked at I.J.Fox in Boston where she was offered a position in advertising. But Margaret met Arkady and it was love at first sight for them. She put career on hold to marry and raise a family. Margaret later worked locally at Almy's Department Store in Burlington for several years until retiring to enjoy her family and home.

In Burlington, Margaret was very active in her community. She was a member of St. Veronica Parish in Burlington and was an original member of St. Margaret Church Catholic Daughters of America. Margaret was also a member of the Burlington Council on Aging.

Margaret loved to travel and visited San Diego, CA, Naples, FL, Washington, D.C., the U.S.V.I., Barbados, Honduras, Bermuda, and Thailand. She also loved knitting and crocheting many beautiful afghans that she gifted to family and friends. She loved the game of BINGO and frequented the Tewksbury Elks, the Burlington COA, and especially looked forward to the monthly BINGO bus to Foxwoods. She cherished the many wonderful friends she made playing BINGO. 

Margaret was the loving mother to her son Arkady J. Prishwalko Jr of Burlington, MA and his life partner Katherine Albertian of Tewksbury, MA, and her daughters Margaret T. Prishwalko Fallon of Burlington, MA, Helen M. Prishwalko of North Haverhill, NH, and the late Lorna M. Prishwalko of North Haverhill, NH. Margaret was blessed with twelve grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren. Margaret was the sister of the late George W. Swales, Alice G. Copithorn, Mildred L. Joyce, and Irene B. Cooke.

Margaret left a legacy of unconditional love and great strength.

A memorial mass for Margaret will be held on Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 10 AM, at St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn Street, Burlington, followed by her burial at Chestnut Hill Cemetery, 52 Bedford Street, Burlington. 

For online guestbook, tribute video, and service information, please visit 



Marla L. Pasquerillo English Composition October 20, 1996
Every other weekend or so my mom, my dad, my two brothers, my sister and I would pile in the family car and travel to Burlington, Massachusetts. Many of the years we traveled as a family to Nana and Grampa's house we lived in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, so we were about one and a half hours away. The trip was uncomfortable for us kids and very trying as well for my parents. But when we pulled into our Grandparents driveway all the smiles returned and spirits were up once again.
They lived in a barn red ranch with white shutters on a road as steep as a ski slope. There were nicely trimmed bushes lined in front of the house and a lone pine tree in the middle of the front yard not more than three feet tall. All along the right side of the house was another line, but of tall bushy evergreens to partition one yard from the other. These made great hiding places. In Massachusetts, unlike New Hampshire, houses aren't spread out but are side by side so there are always neighbors to the right and left. Burlington isn't your typical, crowded, run down city instead it is filled with beautiful homes on well kept streets.
The backyard was enclosed with fence at least six feet high. Inside held summer fun that was only found at Nana and Grampa's house. The pool. An above ground, four and one half foot tub, of cold, clear, tropical blue water. We had all sorts of pool games one of which was basketball, pool basketball, and entailed retrieving the ball numerous times from outside of the pool. Down the ladder, and at times outside of the fence, and then before returning to the pool we had to dip our feet in a wash bucket so we wouldn't track sand or grass into the pool. This we were constantly reminded to do. I had a Donald the Duck float, before I could swim, and my cousins would pull me around the pool on it. One time I fell off and there I sat at the bottom of the pool until Grampa rescued me. I put quite a scare into my family that day.  Next thing I remember was looking up at everyone while lying on the picnic table. Oh well, this did not deter me from ever using the pool again.
The pool was the center of attention every summer and who could resist the cool refreshing water on a hot summer day.
Backyard barbecues were also frequent. Nana would always set out wicker paper plate holders and other outside cooking accessories, faithfully. She always made plenty of food and was never missing a food group even the ones we didn't care for.
The section of fence that faced the woods was made of wire mesh instead of wood. I
think this was because we didn't need privacy facing the woods. This is where the string green beans grew every year. I used to pick them for Nana, eating half of them raw along the way, (vegetables were much better uncooked). Grampa was proud of his vegetables, especially the tomatoes that grew inside the yard along the backside of the house with peppers, carrots and beets.
Outside the fence in the rear was a small hill that leveled off into the woods. It was as though Nana and Grampa's house sat on a giant ant mound. I would imagine that because the road was on such a steep hill that this was necessary to level each house. The dark, mystical woods created a whole other realm of fun. There were tons of places to hide and creatures to see. We caught toads, snakes and salamanders in the dampness, and above in the trees were birds all gathering to the milk carton feeders hung in various places. The squirrels would prance along the top of the fence with such speed and balance it hardly seemed possible and everybody would watch as they ate fallen acorns from the towering trees.
Grampa had a cart that held two metal garbage cans that he kept at the edge of the woods and at the foot of the hill. Heavy rocks held the lids securely in place and ensured that the local critters couldn't get at the contents. We kids would remove the garbage cans and use the cart to give each other rides and even rode it down the hill bravely enough.
Often I would spend a couple of weeks at Nana and Grampa's house by myself. I was Nana's little helper and Grampa's little student. Every day I'd wait for the mailman, then run out after he had left to get their mail. I would pick vegetables, watch television, bask in the sun or go shopping at the mall with Nana. The mall was another fantastic place full of beautiful shops and colorful fountains filled with coins promising wishes for all boys and
girls. Every year my Mom would take my sister and I school shopping here, just us girls, enjoying one of the things we do best.
Their house is the most warm and inviting place to be. There's plush wall to wall carpeting and a fireplace in the living room where everyone would sit after one of Nana's wonderful dinners. Nana loves clocks and has several in the house. My favorite, and hers, is the cuckoo clock in the dining room. Every half hour the cuckoo would peek out of its door and chime its little song. There's a grandfather clock, too, that would gong every half hour or so but never at precisely the same moment as the others and always reminded me of where I was. The clocks were always turned off or pendulums halted at night so everyone could sleep.
As interesting and comfortable as their house was it was no place for my brothers, sister and me to play without getting into trouble. There was no running through the hall and no hands on the walls. These were words to remember in order to keep Nana happy and Grampa sane. They had many beautiful things that were easily breakable. My aunt traveled the world with her husband who worked for the United States Embassy, and so sent Nana and Grampa treasures from all the places she had been.
On a rainy day, the only refuge from the rules above was the basement below. This was not a dreary place though. It was warm in the winter and cool in the summer. One large room was finished and the floor was tiled black and white. It was neat to imagine that this was once where my mom's sister taught ballet. It was dimly lit but this did not bother us because in this room was a pool table. The story told is that many years ago my uncle stored it here but never took it home. So all the grandchildren took advantage of this. And young or not we enjoyed ourselves and even kept some type of score with the line of beads that hung from the ceiling.
The adjacent room always carried the odor of freshly washed clothing for it was Nana's washroom and on the other side was Grandpa's workshop. The walls here were spray painted in black graffiti and told the story of my mom's childhood days in this house. My
uncle, my mother's only brother, used to hold band practice here. Unfamiliar names and pictures decorate the gray cement walls and one in particular always made a lasting
impression. At the foot of the stairs that led into the basement and on the wall right in front of you sat a peace sign, a large peace sign symbolic of the days in which my parents grew up. Nana and Grampa were not in the least happy about this vandalism but what was done,
was done and actually I think it gives them something to look back upon.
Nana and Grampa's house also served as a place where all of their children and grandchildren gathered for holidays or just a weekend get together. This meant that all the cousins were together at the same time. Different age groups of course were split but it enabled us to have others to play with besides our own siblings and games were much more fun in numbers.
As the years went by, and we grew, not much changed except the world around us.
Visits were less frequent, as we moved to New Hampshire, and so the trips were longer and the car had gotten tired. After I received my driver's license, my mom and I would make a trip to Burlington in the summer as she didn't drive. Nana and I became closer and closer, more like two friends but she still mothered me. She made sure I had a comfortable place to sleep and plenty of food in my belly. She would still take me shopping at the mall and treat my mother and me to Saturday night's at the Bingo hall.
Grampa loves to tell me stories of the "old days" especially those of when he was in the Air Corps or working at the Naval ship yard. He's very quiet most of the time and just goes about his daily routine. He wakes up early in the morning and drives down to the market to get the morning paper. Then he sits on the porch and reads in the sun while drinking a cup of coffee.
Now I am twenty three and still make special trips to see them and periodic phone calls to let them know I haven't forgotten. When I return, it is much quieter than before, Nana and Grampa's children and their children have all grown up along with the rest of the neighborhood. The little pine tree on the front lawn is much taller than the house now but
the front lawn now seems much smaller. The pool has been replaced this summer by a perfectly round circle of dirt and only one section of fence surrounds it. There are only two or three billiard balls left for the billiard table but not much has changed upstairs. Their home is just as neat and pleasant as always. New memories are being made all the time and visits to Nana and Grampa's will always be a weekend to look forward to.

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