By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
From countless hours at the Hockomock YMCA to nearly two decades on the Board of Selectmen, it’s hard not to think of Marge Kraskouskas as a local hero.
But to those who knew her, it was just “typical Marge.”
Kraskouskas, 77, passed away on Dec. 23, leaving an incredible legacy of compassion and passion for the town. Ed Hurley, President of the Hockomock YMCA, said one of the best decisions he made was hiring Kraskouskas to the YMCA, where she worked as vice-president of human resources.
“As the Y was growing, we needed someone focused on doing right for the employees,” said Hurley. “She was universally respected and loved by the employees. She looked out for them.”
Following Kraskouskas’ retirement, the Marge Kraskouskas Legacy of Caring Award was created. It’s given out each year at the Staff Recognition event to a staff member for their loyalty, caring, and commitment to the mission and vision of the Y. Last year, Kraskouskas spoke at the award ceremony, an experiences that Hurley said left an amazing impact.
“She was always the compass for the Y,” said Hurley. “She epitomized the values of the Y. She would always bring us back to that.”
But her work with the YMCA was just one aspect of Kraskouskas’ devotion to the town and its people. She was an active member of the Attleboro League of Women Voters, serving as president. During this time the league championed the building of a new North Attleborough Town Hall and supported the expansion of recreational facilities, among other accomplishments.
Park and Recreation Director Steven Carvalho knew Kraskouskas as a member of the Board of Selectmen. He described her as someone devoted to the community and supportive of all the work of the Park and Recreation Department.
“I’m proud to say I had tea with her in the past, many years ago, chatting about park and recreation,” he said. “She was a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.”
Kraskouskas also helped to establish North TV, which provides coverage of local government, sports, events, and interviews. North TV Executive Director Peter Gay said that when Comcast informed the town that it did not want to continue running the station, she insisted that the financial support continue. Gay said that she later became a member of the station’s Board of Directors.
“She always pushed the staff to provide quantity and quality programming,” he said.
Gay recalled that Kraskouskas never accepted an easy answer or excuse. One goal which she had for North TV was to hire a full-time employee to cover local government. Though told time and again that the funding wasn’t available, Gay said that she never gave up. In August 2016, the position was created.
“She wanted to make sure you were going to be the best person you could possibly be,” said Gay,
Kraskouskas’ work in the League of Women Voters lead to her time in politics serving on the Zoning Board and Solid Waste Committee before running for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, where she served for 18 years.
“If we could all do that, we’d all be a lot more proud,” said Hurley of her work in North Attleborough. “She taught us how to live and how to make things better.”