OBITUARY

Carolyn Purtell

December 22, 1937October 11, 2020
Play Tribute Movie

Carolyn (Swan) Purtell, age 82 of Dartmouth, MA, passed away Sunday, October 11, 2020 in St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford. She was the loving wife of Joseph W. Purtell to whom she had been married for 57 years.

Born in Cambridge, MA the daughter of the late Arthur F. and Genevieve A. (Steele) Swan, Carolyn was a graduate of Belmont High School. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Emmanuel College in Boston and later in her career, earned her Masters of Special Education from Framingham State College.

She was a communicant and member of the choir at St. Julie Billiart Parish in Dartmouth, MA, St. Joseph’s Parish in Stuart, FL, St. John Neumann Parish in Freetown, MA, St. Catherine’s Church in Little Compton, RI, and St. Bartholomew’s Parish and St. Joseph’s Parish in Needham, MA.

Mrs. Purtell worked as a Special Education teacher for over 45 years, teaching at the Charles River School, Dedham Country Day School and in the Newton, Lincoln, and Middleborough School systems. As a reading specialist, she loved teaching and tutoring learners of all ages. As an accomplished vocalist, Carolyn was a member of Chorus Pro Musica in Boston for over 30 years. She sang with the Boston Pops, summer concerts at Tanglewood, many operas in Boston, and had the honor of singing at the funeral mass of the late President John F. Kennedy. She played the violin as a member of the State Youth Orchestra and shared her love of music with her children.

Mrs. Purtell was an avid gardener and a member of the Sogkonate Garden Club. She also enjoyed coastal sailing with her husband and family who are all active boaters today.

Carolyn had a knack for piecing together a social group in any new environment and building community through a common purpose. From leading Girl Scouts to making sandwiches for the Pine Street Inn to rallying her garden club to help launch the Allens Pond Duck Derby, Carolyn loved to pitch in, get creative, and do whatever needed to be done while bringing along others in the process. She cherished and retained friends from every chapter of her life.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by three children, Joseph S. Purtell and his wife Gwen of Beverly, Regina Purtell of Dartmouth and Gregory M. Purtell and his wife Krista of Danvers; five grandchildren: Conor, Joey, Avery, Kiana, and Jenny Purtell, and many nieces and nephews. Mrs. Purtell was the devoted mother of the late Army Veteran Thomas A. Purtell and the only sibling of the late Genevieve Swan Benvenuto.

Her visitation will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 from 11:30am to 1:30pm in the Waring-Sullivan Funeral Home, 230 Russells Mills Rd., 02748 Dartmouth followed by her Mass of Christian Burial at 2pm in St. Julie Billiart Parish, 494 Slocum Rd., Dartmouth. Her burial will be private. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in her honor may be made to Mass Audubon’s Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Rd, Westport, MA 02790 or www.massaudubon.org/allenspond. For directions, full obituary or to send an online tribute, please visit: www.waring-sullivan.com.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation

    Saturday, October 24, 2020

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Saturday, October 24, 2020

    VIEW VIDEO

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Burial Private

Memories

Carolyn Purtell

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Ann Kuchling

October 23, 2020

Carolyn was a beautiful, supportive, caring friend. She was always so positive and had a beautiful glowing spirit. Her smile and her presence always brought joy and comfort to many lives that she touched. There are so many cherished times to remember her always. My condolences to all of her family.

Helen Sagan

October 23, 2020

Carolyn was one of my dearest friends. We first knew each other as young mothers in Needham. Carolyn was such a wonderful friend-caring, devoted, optimistic and unflappable. She had a beautiful voice and brought such joy to every musical occasion. Carolyn saw only the beauty in life, she tended her gardens and urged her friends and neighbors to love each other. We will sorely miss her but her spirit lives on!

Katherine Long

October 23, 2020

I remember Carolyn once telling me that I shouldn't just send photos of the kids with the Christmas cards, because I would want to remember the whole family. She was right. She was always kind and thoughtful, even when Gina and I were in our "we know everything" twenties. My late mother had fond memories of attending a Mozart Festival concert at Shelburne Farms with Carolyn, Gina, and myself. We picnicked, enjoyed a glass of wine, and we all lay on blankets under the stars listening to the music. Carolyn was someone who noticed and appreciated the beauty of life and art. She was generous with her time and her knowledge, always willing to share from her stash, whether that was perennials, fabric, or thule. I'm grateful to have known her.

Jean Player

October 23, 2020

We were very sad to learn that Carolyn passed away, and we send our deep condolences to Joe Sr., Joe, Gina, Gregory, and their entire family. We are thinking of you and sending love.

Sincerely,
Jean Player
- on behalf of Chorus pro Musica in Boston, MA.

Fred & Stephanie Cohen

October 20, 2020

At our Marriage Encounter meetings, Carolyn always had the most beautiful smile and kind words. We were so sorry to hear of her passing. May her memory be for a blessing for all.

Tony Van den Bout

October 19, 2020

My deepest condolences with the passing of Carolyn. First met her and Joe Sr when studying in San Diego. Joey and I became close friends during his exchange to our University’s London campus. I later moved to San Diego and continued my studies there. I know Carolyn loved the USIU “gang” and was a great supporter of the way a large group of international students from very different cultural backgrounds all got on so well and continued to stay in contact with each other. Rest In Peace Carolyn, you surely will be missed.

Tony van den Bout & Family - Cape Town, South Africa.

sue correira

October 18, 2020

A beautiful lady, inside and out, Heaven got an angel today!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Carolyn (Swan) Purtell, age 82 of Dartmouth, MA, passed away Sunday, October 11, 2020 in St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford. She was the loving wife of Joseph W. Purtell to whom she had been married for 57 years.

Born in Cambridge, MA the daughter of the late Arthur F. and Genevieve A. (Steele) Swan, Carolyn was a graduate of Belmont High School. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Emmanuel College in Boston and later in her career, earned her Masters of Special Education from Framingham State College.

She was a communicant and member of the choir at St. Julie Billiart Parish in Dartmouth, MA, St. Joseph’s Parish in Stuart, FL, St. John Neumann Parish in Freetown, MA, St. Catherine’s Church in Little Compton, RI, and St. Bartholomew’s Parish and St. Joseph’s Parish in Needham, MA.

Mrs. Purtell worked as a Special Education teacher for over 45 years, teaching at the Charles River School, Dedham Country Day School and in the Newton, Lincoln, and Middleborough School systems. As a reading specialist, she loved teaching and tutoring learners of all ages.
As an accomplished vocalist, Carolyn was a member of Chorus Pro Musica in Boston for over 30 years. She sang with the Boston Pops, summer concerts at Tanglewood, many operas in Boston, and had the honor of singing at the funeral mass of the late President John F. Kennedy. She played the violin as a member of the State Youth Orchestra and shared her love of music with her children.

Mrs. Purtell was an avid gardener and a member of the Sakonnet Garden Club. She also enjoyed coastal sailing with her husband and family who are all active boaters today.

Carolyn had a knack for piecing together a social group in any new environment and building community through a common purpose. From leading Girl Scouts to making sandwiches for the Pine Street Inn to rallying her garden club to help launch the Allens Pond Duck Derby, Carolyn loved to pitch in, get creative, and do whatever needed to be done while bringing along others in the process. She cherished and retained friends from every chapter of her life.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by three children, Joseph S. Purtell and his wife Gwen of Beverly, Regina Purtell of Dartmouth and Gregory M. Purtell and his wife Krista of Danvers; five grandchildren: Conor, Joey, Avery, Kiana, and Jenny Purtell, and many nieces and nephews. Mrs. Purtell was the devoted mother of the late Army Veteran Thomas A. Purtell and the only sibling of the late Genevieve Swan Benvenuto.

Her visitation will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 from 11:30am to 1:30pm in the Waring-Sullivan Funeral Home, 230 Russells Mills Rd., 02748 Dartmouth followed by her Mass of Christian Burial at 2pm in St. Julie Billiart Parish, 494 Slocum Rd., Dartmouth. Her burial will be private. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in her honor may be made to Mass Audubon’s Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Rd, Westport, MA 02790 or www.massaudubon.org/allenspond. For directions, full obituary or to send an online tribute, please visit: www.waring-sullivan.com.

Learn more about the Purtell name

VISIT ANCESTRY.COM