Loved teaching and traveling

MELROSE — Margaret “Peg” Picardi passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, September 6. She was 74 years old.

Peg was born in Cambridge on June 17, 1949 to the late William and Evelyn Kelleher. She and her two younger sisters, Patricia and Teresa, were raised in Somerville and Medford where they learned the values of faith, family, education and strong work ethic. Peg graduated from Saint Joseph’s High School in Somerville. She went on to attend her undergraduate education in speech pathology at Tufts University and then Northeastern University for her graduate studies where she achieved her master’s degree in early childhood education.

Predeceased by her beloved husband of 30 earthly years, David Picardi. Fiercely devoted mother of son James Picardi of Melrose and daughter Kristen Vargas and her husband Erwing Vargas of Quincy. Loving nana to her first grandchild, Nolan Vargas. Caring sister to Patricia Adam and her late husband Robert Adam of Peabody and Teresa Reddy and her husband John Reddy of Medford. Loving aunt to nieces Kim Adam and Karen Reddy and nephews Jeff Adam, David Adam, Chris Adam, Alex Reddy and Joseph Reddy.

Peg started and ended her career at Head Start providing superb early childhood education services to underprivileged children under age 5 and their families. She wholeheartedly believed in the Head Start mission which ensures school readiness and helps break the cycle of poverty. In the years in-between, Peg ran a popular play group in the finished basement of her home in Assonet and she also lent her talents to the Early Intervention program.

Peg lived life on her own terms. Those who knew her well knew how impressively far she could stretch a penny. She placed value on working hard and saving well to provide a nice life for her family. She enjoyed many great family vacations around the world including the most memorable trip to China in 1993. Peg loved learning about other cultures and had a deep respect for diversity. She learned Spanish in her 40’s and was practically fluent.

Peg leaves behind a large void in her family, friend group and former co-worker circle. She will be sorely missed but remembered with a big smile.

A funeral Mass was held in honor of Peg’s life at Saint Mary of the Annunciation Church, 4 Herbert St., Melrose, MA 02176 on Monday, September 11 at 11 a.m. followed by interment at Assonet Burial Ground. Family and friends were welcome to join this celebration of life. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider sending a donation to the National Head Start Association’s Dollar per Child at