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Official Obituary of

Ellen Marie Swirsky

July 11, 1957 ~ August 24, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old

Ellen Swirsky Obituary

Ellen Marie (McNamara) Swirsky 

The world said goodbye to the beautiful soul of Ellen Marie Swirsky on August 24, 2023, as she was welcomed into eternity by God’s loving arms.

Ellen was born on July 11, 1957. After graduating from Boston College, she moved out to California where she met her husband Brian. They spent several years in California together, returned to the east coast to raise their three children in Connecticut, moved on to spend a fun decade in Louisiana, and then recently retired, very much enjoying their time between Boston and Florida.

Ellen was a beacon of light to every person she met. She was inspired to share kindness, live generously, laugh often, and make her corner of the world a better place. In turn, she was a devoted wife and mother, selfless sister and friend, and absolutely loved the honor of being “Amie” to her two grandchildren. She centered her energy on family, friends and faith, living each day to its greatest.

Perhaps most special about Ellen was her perspective and her strength. Despite many challenging medical diagnoses, she opted to find the positives rather than take pity. Upon her first diagnosis of advanced breast cancer at 35, she had a 20% chance to live more than five years. She made it her mission to come home to her young family, and then founded a holistic cancer patient education and wellness program, Looking Forward, to help make the path easier for other people living with cancer. The program still exists today, and has helped thousands of patients and their families to-date. Moreover, despite ongoing health issues, she vehemently believed the past 30 years to be the ultimate gift of time: she got to be there to raise her children, plan birthday and holiday parties, attend graduations and weddings, launch an invitation business, and make countless memories in between with friends and family. She had many lovely hobbies, but most importantly valued time spent together. While her finish line was moved up to earlier than desired, she deeply believed that she had the best life ever. 

Ellen is predeceased by her beloved mother and father, Joseph and Nancy McNamara, and sister-in-law Mary McNamara. She leaves her husband and love-of-her-life Brian; daughter and son-in-law Rachel and Will Pearce, two precious grandchildren Beckett and Josephine Pearce; son Eric Swirsky and fiance Ashley Garner; and daughter and new son-in-law Laura and Bobby Schneck. She also leaves her brother Robert McNamara, sister Patricia Kasierski and husband Carl, sister Kathy Lawrence and husband Steve, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, September 5, at the Howard Street Cemetery, in Northborough, MA (Kaiser St. section) at 1:00 p.m. This will be followed by a celebration of life at the New England Botanical Garden at Tower Hill, located at 11 French Dr., Boylston, MA. As we celebrate Ellen’s vibrant life, the family has requested attendees wear color at the services.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of the following charitable funds, one in honor of her beloved parents, and the other in honor of a dear family friend’s son: Joe Mac Toolship, offered through the Cape Cod Tech Foundation, which helps young adults start off their career in the trades with necessary tools and supplies. Please enter “Joe Mac Toolship” for the name of the memorial/honor field.

The Jack Viele Scholarship Fund at the Eli Whitney Museum underwrites scholarships for children whose families have been burdened with exceptional medical expenses or underwrites the training and time of young apprentices who support students with exceptional needs. Checks written out to EWM / Jack Viele scholarship in note line

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” (Dr. Seuss)


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Graveside Service
September 5, 2023

1:00 PM
Howard Street Cemetery
Howard Street
Northborough, MA 01532

Celebration of Life
September 5, 2023

2:00 PM
New England Botanical Garden at Tower Hill
11 French Drive
Boylston, MA 01505


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