Avid reader who enjoyed the piano and loved animals

MELROSE — Priscilla M. (Vadeboncoeur) “Sam” Swanson, a resident of Melrose, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 29 at D’Youville Senior Care in Lowell at age 84.

Priscilla was born in Haverhill on October 22, 1939, one of five children of the late Lucien and Marion (Dacey) Vadeboncoeur. A Haverhill native, she graduated from Haverhill High School and received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Lowell State College. Blessed with a near-savant musical mind, Sam began a lifelong love for music at age five when she started teaching herself piano by ear. Before long, she was performing all over Boston, met her future husband, Lawrence Swanson and they established a jazz trio as a young couple. Sam was a born musician and natural performer. She and Larry moved from Cambridge to Somerville to Watertown while they were raising their daughter Laurie and finally settled in Melrose.

After enjoying her younger years singing and playing piano in local Boston nightspots, she established a career as a Boston Public Schools Music Teacher. Her career included classroom music training for kindergarten through high school students with particular joy in the youthful enthusiasm of younger students. With a Master’s degree in Education, she also taught reading to kindergarten students. Sam’s love for music and passion for teaching made a lasting impact on many of her students through her almost 30 year career.

In her free time, Sam was an avid reader, enjoyed the newspaper daily and was a passionate supporter of the Red Sox and Patriots especially her favorite Patriot “St. Brady”. She also loved golf, especially Tiger Woods, “the son she never had”. She enjoyed collecting most anything, doing puzzles and was widely known for her love of animals, including her most recent beloved cats Sally Ali and Zak Black. She believed strongly in supporting animal organizations and entertained herself often by generously feeding the local squirrel population.

Sam possessed a natural sense of humor that often brought laughter to those around her. She was universally well loved by everyone she met and was remembered for her quick wit. She will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her family, friends and colleagues. May she rest in peace.

Sam was the beloved wife of the late Lawrence L. Swanson. Devoted mother of Laurie L. Vadeboncoeur and her partner Mark Matteson of Melrose. Dear sister of the late Lorna Antkowiak and her late husband Edward; the late Paula Vadeboncoeur; the late James Vadeboncoeur and his surviving wife Lois; and the late Diane Tremblay and her surviving husband Paul. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to gather during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose, on Saturday, June 1 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. followed by her funeral service celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Interment at Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. Gifts in Sam’s memory may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, 10 Anna’s Pl., Dedham, MA 02026 or arlboston.org. For online tribute, visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com.