Chelsea teacher loved to travel, read

LYNNFIELD — Jacqueline A. Canali, 82, of Lynnfield and formerly of Chelsea, died on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at the Sawtelle Family Hospice House in Reading.

Born in Everett on March 1, 1941, Jacki was the daughter of the late George and Margaret (Kane) White. Jacki was raised in Chelsea and was a 1958 graduate of St. Rose High School in Chelsea.  She became the first person in her family to graduate college, earning her bachelor’s from Boston State College in 1962. She went on to complete her master’s degree as well.

Jacki was an elementary school teacher in Chelsea for almost 40 years, working as a reading specialist as well as a guidance counselor. She retired in 2002. She was a past president of the Chelsea Teachers’ Union, and was proud to have negotiated one of its first contracts. She continued her activism as the president of the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers from 1974-1976.  She was a member of the Hochflieger Ski Club of New Hampshire, where she met her husband, Charlie, and many dear friends. She was a member of the Ave Maria Parish in Lynnfield since moving there in 1975.

Upon retirement, Jacki became involved with the Catholic Charities North Companions to the Aging program, which pairs volunteers with the homebound. She was named one of the Volunteers of the Year by Catholic Charities of Boston in 2012. Jacki loved to travel, read and spend time with her grandchildren and grand dog. She was an expert bargain hunter and could track down the perfect special occasion outfit for family and friends. Most weekends, she could be found cheering on the sidelines at her grandsons’ games.

Jacki was preceded in death by her husband, Charles F. Canali. She is survived by her three children: Marais Canali Young and her husband Peter of Arlington; John Canali of Waltham; and Dr. Laura Canali of Washington. She also leaves behind her two grandchildren: Nathaniel and Brendan Young; and her sister Margaret Gregoire of Hamilton. She will be dearly missed by her niece Amanda DesRosiers and her husband, Brian, of Essex; her nephew Rick Gregoire and his husband, Sal, of Montana; her great-nephew Brayden; and her great-niece Bridget Jacqueline. She deeply loved her grand dog Panda too.

Her Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Maria Goretti Church, 112 Chestnut St., Lynnfield, on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023.  Burial was at Forest Hill Cemetery in Lynnfield. Arrangements were in the care of the McDonald Funeral Home, Wakefield.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Jacki’s name to Mission of Deeds, 6 Chapin Avenue, Reading, MA 01867 or to the Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., 47876. To sign the online guestbook, visit