Appreciation: Evelyn Morash, Longtime Eastie activist, Died Sunday

Evelyn Morash, the outspoken community activist, wife and mother, died Sunday surrounded by her family.

Longtime community activist Evelyn Morash passed away Sunday.

Morash, an outspoken woman on matters of education who formed the group ‘Parents and Teachers who Care’ in the 1970s, raised her five children in a modest home at 62 Putnam St.

It was from the perch upon Eagle Hill that Morash became one of the most visible figures when it came to quality education for all children in Eastie, Boston and the state.

A contemporary of activists like Mary Ellen Welch and Anna DeFronzo, Morash emerged as yet another strong woman advocating for change at a time when women were expected to stay home, raise children and cook dinner.

A trailblazer, Morash was appointed to the state’s Education Board by then Gov. Francis Sargent, where she advocated for vocational education for women.

“The present secretarial option is not enough,” said Morash in 1973 East Boston Community News article. “As long as there is sexism in vocations we’ll never beat it (sexism) down.”

As the founder of Parents and Teachers who Care, Morash elevated the group as the sole advisory committee for improving Eastie education. The group and Morash’s activities and advocacy became well known among educational leaders in and out of Boston.

“You only have to talk with her or attend one of the Parents and Teachers Who Care meetings to realize how much she knows about East Boston and its schools,” said one of the group’s members back in the 1970s.

Morash was known to impress most any teacher with her knowledge of schools, education, its shortcomings and what could be done to improve learning for all.

Over the years the purpose of the group was to bridge the communication gap between parents and school officials.

“It was necessary that community voices be heard in the schools,” she said in 1970. “The community had to be involved in more than baking cakes. Its purpose was to set up the needed communication between parents, teachers and school officials.”

Morash was appointed to the planning board for the construction of the new Barnes School along Eastie’s waterfront in the early 1980s. Under Morash’s leadership the school, now known as the Mario Umana Academy, would serve a dual purpose in the community for decades. Morash fought to have the new facility not only serve students, but also the community at large. At the time the school was a state of the art facility with a pool, science labs and other amenities and focused on science and math. However, Morash ensured that those amenities would reach the residents of Eastie through the Harborside Community Center. For years the center offered classes, events, recreation and summer camps for families and children across the neighborhood.

This partnership between the School Department, City and community continues today with the East Boston YMCA running several programs at the school after hours.

Morash also served a board member of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center during its expansion in the 1980s.

Morash also spent nearly a decade involved with the Girls Scouts here. As the Girls Scouts District Chairwoman the Eastie Girls Scouts Troop thrived under her leadership and empowered hundreds of local girls. In the 1970s several Eastie girls were selected to attend the National Girl Scout Jamboree for the first time in Eastie’s history.

Morash was the wife of the late Arthur Morash. She was the mother of Stephen Morash and his wife, Donna, of South Dartmouth, Paul Morash, Eric Morash and his companion, Kristin Pisco, all of East Boston, the late Donna M. Rauseo and her surviving husband, John Rauseo, of East Boston, and the late Patricia Morash Paglia.

She was the grandmother of Emily, Amanda and Leah Morash, Rocco Rauseo, Nicole Pappasso and Robert Paglia and great-grandmother of Jake and Gianna Pappasso.

Morash was the sister of the late Angelina Dorso, Irene Picariello and William Caucci. She is also survived by nieces and nephews.

A funeral from the Magrath Funeral Home, 325 Chelsea St. will be held on Wednesday, May 15, at 9 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in the Sacred Heart Church, 45 Brooks St. East Boston, at 10 a.m. She will be interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett.

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