Priscilla M. Magnuson, 84, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Dec. 19. Priscilla had been battling serious health challenges for the last few years.
She was born in Oak Bluffs on June 20, 1928 to Hortense Ferreira Silva and George Tarvis Silva.
A lifelong Vineyard resident, Priscilla graduated from the Edgartown High School, and not only graduated second in her class, but was a stellar athlete and a very gifted musician, playing not only five instruments, but she also had a voice like a songbird, with a singing range of nearly four octaves. In her early years, some not only compared her voice to Judy Garland’s, but her looks as well. Priscilla was accepted to Julliard on a full scholarship, but sadly chose not to leave her beloved Island.
She married George Magnuson Jr. when he returned home after serving his country in April of 1949, and their marriage spanned nearly 64 years. They spent their early married life in West Tisbury, living in The Coop on Whiting’s Farm until George built them a home in West Tisbury.
After moving to Edgartown, Priscilla became very active in her community.
She was a member of the Woman’s Club, the Edgartown board of appeals and was instrumental in raising the money that enabled the town of Edgartown to purchase its very first ambulance. She was a very active member of the Federated Church, not only being a member of the choir in her younger years, but president of the Unity Club for several years, and one of the first women to become deacon of the church.
Priscilla had an antique shop called The Cellar, which was in the basement of their house. Priscilla always had great appreciation for a fine piece of furniture and always enjoyed hunting for them.
Priscilla enjoyed many hobbies over the years, be it art, jewelry making, reading or knitting, but her many interests were a reflection that she never lost her desire to learn something new. But her real joy was cooking, and her grandchildren would line up when they could smell her famous macaroni and cheese cooking in the oven.
Priscilla was pre-deceased by her first grandchild, Gregory John Phillip, in 1976. She leaves behind her husband of nearly 64 years, George Magnuson Jr.; her two children, Barbara Magnuson Phillips and John Magnuson, both of Edgartown; her five grandchildren, Leah Phillips D’Amato of North Reading, Andrew Phillips of Carlisle, Rachel Magnuson of Onset, Geoffrey Phillips of Eastham and Kenneth Magnuson of Edgartown; three great grandchildren, Malik Magnuson and twins Madeline and Mallory D’Amato; her niece Nancy Burleson and nephew Keith Lowe of Ohio; and several great nieces and nephews. Priscilla’s service was held on Dec. 22. Because of her long relationship with her church, donations in her memory can be made to The Federated Church, P.O. Box 249, Edgartown, MA 02539.