Pearl Priestley Obituary, Death – The 98-year-old Woonsocket resident Pearl C. (Hughes) Delaney Priestley passed away on June 28, 2023, at The Friendly Home. The late Norman Priestley’s widow. She was the daughter of Arthur E. Hughes Sr. and Bertha (Fricker) Hughes and was born in Johnston, Rhode Island.
Mrs. Priestley began her illustrious career in nursing during World War II as an Army cadet nurse after graduating from Woonsocket High School in 1942 and Newport Hospital School of Nursing in 1946. She took great pride in the fact that she was a nurse long before penicillin was commonly used. Prior to her retirement in June 1986, Pearl worked as the head nurse in the labor and delivery department at the former Woonsocket Hospital, where she was key in developing regulations allowing dads in the birth rooms.
Pearl was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star #3 in Woonsocket and a communicant of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Millville, Massachusetts, where she also served as president of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW). She also participated in the governance of the Greater Woonsocket Visiting Nurse Service and was the secretary of the Colonial Village Association. When she first moved to the Friendly Home, she was an active member of St. Mark’s Senior Citizens and the Golden Hearts (previously Sacred Heart Seniors), where she called bingo for many years.
Son Norman A. Priestley and his wife Diane of Mapleville; daughters Kim E. Haggerty of Maryland Heights, Missouri, and Carol A. Mowry and her husband Stephen of Woonsocket; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren survive her. Sister to the late Arthur E. Hughes Jr., Lawrence W. Hughes, and June A. Grover, she was also the mother of the late John T. (Jack) Delaney.
Bingo, puzzles, card games, and board games can all be played in Pearl’s honor as a way to celebrate her life and her legacy. There was no viewing, and the burial was kept secret out of respect. If you like to honor Pearl’s memory without sending flowers, you may do so by making a donation in her honor to The Friendly Home Activity Department, 303 Rhodes Ave, Woonsocket, RI 02895.