Dracut, MA — Elaine Espindle (Manoogian), 65, of Dracut, formerly of Saugus, passed away on December 30, surrounded by her loving family, after a four-and-a-half-year, courageous battle with ovarian cancer. She was known for her devotion to family and education.
She was the loving wife of Leo J. Espindle, to whom she was married for 39 years. She was the daughter of the late Peter Z. and Anna L. (Jevelekian) Manoogian.
She was the adored mother of son, Leo of Providence, R.I.;daughter, Emily of Lincoln, R.I., Donna Espindle of Falmouth, and Leanne Espindle of West Roxbury; cherished mother-in-law to Robert and Erika; devoted grandmother to Anna, William, Leo, Mark, and Max; loving sister to David, Myron and Peter Manoogian; and aunt to many nephews and nieces.
A graduate of Saugus High School, Class of 1966, she later received a bachelor's degree from Salem State College and master’s degrees in teaching English and in administration. She served on the Saugus School Committee from 1973 to 1979, and was a two term Town Meeting Member from 1987 to 1991. A lifelong educator, she was a former English teacher and English department head at Peabody High School. She later became the principal of Higgins Middle School, assistant to the superintendent of schools, and then interim superintendent of schools, all in Peabody. From 1998 to 2008, she was the superintendent of schools in Dracut, Mass., and then again in 2010, after retiring in 2009. She was most recently honored with a dedication of the Dracut Junior High School Library. She received the Outstanding Educator Award in 1970 and 1979.
She was a former member of the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers, Superintendents' Harvard Roundtable, board member of the Merrimack Education Collaborative, and chairman of the Roundtable of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.
She enjoyed traveling, literature, attending and participating in plays and musicals, summering in New Hampshire, and spending time with her family.