Published February 7, 2020

MELROSE — Eugene I. “Gene” Prior, 89, of Melrose, died surrounded by family, at the Sawtelle Hospice House in Reading on January 28, 2020.

Gene was born in South Boston and raised in Somerville, a graduate of Malden Catholic High School Class of 1947. He went to work out of high school and then served in the Army in the early 1950s before attending college. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees from Boston College in 1959/1960. Gene began his career in education as a French teacher at Stoughton High School, he moved to the Winchester public schools in 1968 and worked as a Guidance Counselor, first at Winchester High School, then Lynch Junior High School and McCall Middle School before his retirement in 1994.

He was a former member of Massachusetts School Counselors Association, St. Mary’s Parish Council, and former member and President of the North Shore Irish Association. Gene resided in Melrose for 45 years, then after selling the family home, lived in Reading for seven years and finally returned to Melrose in 2018 where he lived at Melrose Station. Gene was happy to reconnect with old friends, return to his home parish and share a song or lead a sing-a-long with his new neighbors. His final days were filled with family, Irish music, jokes, laughter and compassionate care.

Beloved husband of the late Margaret E. “Marge” (McCarthy) Prior. Caring son of the late Thomas and Alice (Heaney) Prior. Loving father of Thomas J. Prior and his wife Barbara and their daughter Sarena of Orlando, Fla., Jean M. Woodman and her husband George of Billerica, Barry M. Prior of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Michelle I. Prior and her husband Greg Kurr of Winchester. Cherished grandfather of Kelly, Ryan, Sean, T.J., Matthew, Erin, Ellen, Katie and Colin. He was predeceased by his siblings Thomas, James, John, Mary Delisle and A. Patricia Reilly. Also survived by his brother-in-law James Reilly, dear friends Ann Costanza of Reading, Jack Walsh of Reading, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visitation was held at the Gately Funeral Home 79. W. Foster St. Melrose on Monday, February 3. Funeral procession from Gately Funeral Home on Tuesday morning February 4, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Church, 9 Herbert St. Melrose. Interment with military honors was at Wyoming Cemetery in Melrose. Relatives and friends were respectfully invited to attend. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.