Peabody, MA — John M. “Jack” Murtagh, of Peabody, retired principal of the Kiley Brothers Memorial School, passed away peacefully and comfortably on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at the Kaplan Family Hospice House, Danvers, surrounded by his loving family following a courageous and dignified battle with cancer. He was the beloved husband of Carol (Santangelo) Murtagh and the devoted father of Kim and Kara Murtagh of Peabody and Sean Murtagh and his wife, Colleen of East Greenbush, N.Y. He was the proud grandfather of Ashley, Michael and Jack Murtagh of East Greenbush, N.Y., the brother of Joan Hunt and her late husband, James Hunt of Peabody, and the treasured brother-in-law of Mary Marron and her husband, Joel, Jean Cook and Karen Mahoney.
Jack cherished his family, friends and life. He was born on April 23, 1937, son of the late John and Winifred (Walsh) Murtagh and was a lifelong resident of Peabody. He was a graduate of Peabody High School in 1954 and received his Bachelor’s degree from Boston University and his Master’s degree from Suffolk University. He had been a dedicated employee of the Peabody School System for 41 years until his retirement in 2002.
From the beginning, Jack knew that he had found his calling as an educator. He began his career as a 6th grade teacher at the South School Mem. School. He later went on to become a Vice Principal and then in 1967 became the Principal of Kiley Brothers Memorial School. He enjoyed every moment of the 37 years he spent at the helm of Kiley School, the teachers, the support personnel, the parents and most importantly, the children.
In his retirement years, he was very active in the City that he loved. He was the Vice Chair Person for the Peabody Council on Aging and also served on the Advisory Committee and Board of Directors at the Peabody Municipal Credit Union. As a humble man with strong faith, he was a devoted parishioner at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Lynnfield, and had been an active member and past grand knight of the Msgr. John J. Linnehan Council #3745 of the Knights of Columbus as well as the Our Lady of Assumption Fourth Degree Assembly #3387.