Age 89. Beloved wife for fifty-seven years of the late Carl A. Accardo, passed away of natural causes on Thursday, November 14, at her home in Winchester. She was born on November 17, 1929, in Jersey City, New Jersey, the daughter of Walter Ertle and his wife Anna. She affectionately referred to the years before meeting her husband as BC (before Carl). They were full of fond memories, happy times on the Jersey Shore, and loving relationships with her parents, four brothers - Walter, Eugene, Donald and Frank - aunts, uncles and cousins, with whom she is now reunited. She earned the nickname “Tootsie” after a Tootsie Roll factory her father helped to build. Edna attended local grammar schools and the Academy of Saint Aloysius, a private Catholic high school near Lincoln Park in Jersey City, before graduating from New Jersey State Teachers College in 1951. She began her professional career as a kindergarten teacher in Red Bank, New Jersey. On a summer night at Jack Sullivan’s Lodge in Spring Lake, New Jersey, two friends dared Carl to see if the pretty girl sitting with her mother at a nearby table was a nurse or a teacher. Having guessed nurse, he lost the wager but met his future wife for the first time. They married on July 1, 1956, and established themselves in a small house built by her brothers in Wall Township, New Jersey. The following year the first of their six children was born. With their growing family, Edna and Carl moved to Woburn in 1961 before settling in Winchester two years later. A devout Catholic, Edna was an active member of Saint Mary’s Parish. When her youngest child started kindergarten, she resumed her career as a primary school teacher. After two years of substitute teaching, she successfully completed master’s coursework at Tufts University qualifying her to teach full-time in the Winchester Public School system. For twenty-two years at the Ambrose, Mystic, and Lincoln Elementary Schools, she touched the lives of her colleagues and hundreds of students by her gentle manner, generous spirit, and deep commitment to learning. Her children recall the “family-style” meals and desserts she prepared each night, only to see the kitchen table become a desk for grading papers after the last dish was cleared. Upon her retirement in 1994, she realized a lifelong dream to visit “Erin’s Isle,” accompanied by her husband and Earl and Sheila Adams, close family friends from Kennebunk, Maine. She especially enjoyed hosting family gatherings at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, rising before the sun to get her incomparable feasts underway, and brought the same enthusiasm to epic backyard barbecues in summer. She was never happier than when new grandchildren entered the world and looked forward to holding and hugging them in her arms. Her sly smiles and belly laughs revealed a joyful sense of humor; she never met a piece of chocolate she didn’t like; and her Irish lullabies and piano medleys will forever resonate in our memories. Humble and selfless to a fault, Edna was single-minded in her devotion to family and friends, setting a high bar in her seemingly effortless ability to balance her career with family life, while bringing joy and comfort to all. She will never be forgotten by those her loved her.
She is survived by her four sons: Carl V. Accardo and his wife Sara of Derry, New Hampshire, and their children Max and his wife Elizabeth, Ben and his partner Emily Francis, and Julie; Thomas A. Accardo of Winchester; Peter X. Accardo and his wife Heidi of Lynnfield, and their son Peter; James Accardo of Winchester; and two daughters: Edna Accardo-Walls, wife of the late John Walls, of Winchester, and their sons Christian, Brandon, and Alec; and Laura (Accardo) Norquist and her husband Craig of Paradise Valley, Arizona. A visiting period will be held at the Costello Funeral Home, 177 Washington Street, Winchester on Friday, November 22, 2019 from 10:00 to 12:00, immediately followed by a funeral service next door at Saint Mary’s Parish, 155 Washington Street. Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Winchester.