Edith C. McGuinness died peacefully at Brooksby Village in Peabody on Nov. 17, 2022. She had struggled with Alzheimer’s disease, surrounded by loving family, for several years. She was 88.
Born in Boston on Dec. 2, 1933, Eadie was the only child of Vincenzo and Catherine (Crisafulli) Calcagno of Novara di Sicilia, Italy. She grew up in Nashua, N.H. in a large and adoring Italian family that embraced her with lifelong devotion. Eadie lived in the Cape-style house her father built for the family in Lexington until she moved into senior living in 2009.
A graduate of Somerville High School, Eadie prepared for a successful corporate career at the Katherine Gibbs School.
“Amid all the changes in women’s roles, Eadie was my inspiration when coming of age in the early ’70s,” said her stepdaughter Sheila McGuinness of Provincetown. “In a time before that midcentury rise of feminism, she trained as a legal secretary, later as a paralegal, then worked a path to success at iconic Boston institutions, including State Street Bank and Cabot Corporation, where she oversaw real estate matters.”
In her 30s, Eadie met her beloved husband, the late James McGuinness, and his six children, who welcomed her into their family. Through the vagaries of caring for aging parents and rearing children, their romance thrived for 15 years before they married in 1984. They remained together until his death three years later.
While continuing her professional achievements, Eadie showed great compassion in balancing the daily needs of her aging parents in hospitals and nursing homes. Her true colors shone when, during her husband’s last year, she left her job to care for him at home. After he died, she resumed her career as the corporate secretary of Cabot Carbon Ltd. U.K. before retiring in 1999.
Throughout, she was an avid traveler and supporter of the arts — passions she enjoyed with her family. A dedicated volunteer, she often read to Peabody’s elementary schoolchildren.
Faith was Eadie’s rock. She frequented Catholic women’s retreats and was an active communicant of St. Brigid Parish in Lexington as well as St. Agnes Church in Middleton. She is remembered for her profound kindness, easy laugh, limitless work ethic, big heart, and twinkling blue eyes.
Eadie is survived by many devoted cousins in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, and Florida. Six stepchildren also survive her: Maureen McGuinness of Charlton; Sharon McGuinness of Hazel Park, Mich.; Sheila McGuinness and partner Michael Wright of Provincetown; Shawn and wife Mary Louise McGuinness of Moultonboro, N.H.; Patricia McGuinness of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; and Theresa McGuinness of Swampscott. In addition, she is survived by six step-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Brigid Parish, 2001 Massachusetts Ave., in
Lexington at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 28 with entombment to follow at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. Messages of condolence may be left at Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home in Peabody, ccbfuneral.com. Memorial donations may be made in Edith’s name to the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center, 2095 Main St., Brewster 02631 or alzfamilysupport.org.