An extraordinary teacher with a loving soul

MELROSE — Ursula J. Daley (Sawicki), of Melrose, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on February 18, 2022. Loving mother of Alicia M. Hill and her husband, Tony, of Marysville, Ohio and Kimberly A. Theriault and her husband, Brian, of Andover. Cherished daughter of the late Walter and Halina Sawicki. Devoted grandmother “Babci” of Georgia, Delaney, Jack and Clara. Caring sister of Richard Sawicki, along with his wife Elizabeth of Tewksbury and their sons Jared, Jeremy, and the late Joshua and Stephen. Also survived by grandnieces, grandnephews, relatives and friends.

Ursula was born in Plonsk, Poland in 1944 during WWII. She came to America in 1948 when she was three years old and was raised in Chelsea where she attended St. Stanislaus Grade School. She graduated from Cardinal Cushing Girls High School in South Boston, and received her Bachelors and Masters education degrees through Boston State Teacher College.

Mrs. Daley, as her students fondly knew her, taught math at Melrose High School for 25 years. Her teaching career was much longer than this and the number of lives she touched through education is countless. She was a mentor to young people pursuing this field and continued to raise money for scholarships during her career and into retirement.

Ursula retired in 2006 and she quickly became a grandmother. She truly enjoyed every day of her retirement with her friends and family. She loved to travel… taking trips to Florida, Africa, The Panama Canal, our National Parks and The Mediterranean, including two trips to Italy. Day trips and adventures were filled with lunches with friends, visiting museums and going to the theatre or opera. She also loved the simple pleasures of life… talks on the phone (she was the best listener), writing to friends and family and reading a good book with a warm cup of tea. She took so much pride in her family and loved hearing about what the grandkids were learning. She even continued to help them with their math homework many years after retirement.

Ursula was an extraordinary person. She remembered every holiday, birthday and anniversary of those she loved and enjoyed sending “little packages” in the mail to her grandchildren, grandnephews and grandnieces. If you knew Ursula Daley you were truly blessed. Whether you knew her for a short time or your whole life she touched you with love and tenderness. It is so hard to let go of such an extraordinary, loving soul. Chuck Palahniuk once said “The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” Ursula leaves a legacy of educating young minds and teaching us all to love each other more every day. She truly made the world a better place.

Visiting hours will be held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St., Melrose on Sunday, February 27, 2022, from 12 – 3 p.m.. A funeral service will be held at the Gately Funeral Home on Monday, February 28, 2022, at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends respectfully invited to attend. Interment in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Melrose-Wakefield AAUW Scholarship Fund c/o Judith Clark 106 West Foster St. Melrose, MA 02176. For directions & to sign online condolence visit