Cara E. Murtagh
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Peabody - Cara E. Murtagh, 44, of Peabody, died unexpectedly on Friday morning at Salem Hospital. Born in Salem, she was the daughter of Carol (Santangelo) Murtagh of Peabody and the late John M. "Jack" Murtagh.
Cara was a lifelong resident of Peabody and a graduate of Bishop Fenwick High School, class of 1993. She continued her education at Emanuel College and received her bachelor's degree in 1997 and later her master's degree there as well.
For the past 23 years, Cara has been actively involved with Peabody Public Schools. Her first teaching job was first grade at Saint John's in Peabody. She continued teaching first grade at the Carroll School and continued her ascent as Vice Principal at the Carroll School for seven years, then Principal of the Center School for one year. She then returned to the Carroll School as Principal for several years, and then was assistant Superintendent of Schools. For the past two years she served as Superintendent of Schools for the city of Peabody.
Cara was a kind, generous, and giving person who always put the students first. She worked tirelessly over the past 23 years, both publicly and privately to ensure that the children's needs were always met first. She had numerous accomplishments and achievements over her short career and many of which were unseen by the general public, just the way she would have wanted it to be. When she wasn't working, she enjoyed traveling during her time off. Peabody has lost a tremendous person who worked tirelessly in front of and behind of the scenes to ensure the students received exactly what they needed to ensure their success. She will be dearly missed.
Cara is survived by her mother, Carol (Santangelo) Murtagh of Peabody; her sister, Kim Murtagh of Peabody; her brother, Sean Murtagh and his wife Colleen of Greenbush, N.Y.; and her niece and nephews, Ashley, Michael, and Jack Murtagh.

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Wiggin Auditorium at Peabody City Hall, Lowell St., Peabody, to which relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Her funeral service will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Wiggin Auditorium, followed by her burial in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Cedar Grove Ave., Peabody. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to For directions and online obituary, visit
Published on December 2, 2019


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Showing 10 of 3 posts

Anne-Maire (Dunne) Reed
Dec 04, 2019
Dear Carol, Kim, Sean and family;

I am so very sorry for your loss of your beloved Cara. It is a great loss for all of those who knew and loved her. You are all in my thoughts and prayers from afar in Colorado. May You Rest in Peace Cara.

Morrison, Colorado
The Higgins Middle School PTO
Dec 02, 2019
Lavender Reflections Spray was purchased for the family of Cara E. Murtagh by The Higgins Middle School PTO.  Send flowers
Carolyn O'Connell
Dec 02, 2019
Cara will be greatly missed. Her smile and laugh were infectious. My deepest sympathy to all her family.