Margaret Frances Pappalardo, 13, schoolgirl, saved Margaret M. Hutchinson, 10, from drowning, Woburn, Massachusetts, December 30, 1929. Margaret Hutchinson broke through thin ice into deep water in the abandoned Middlesex Canal about 10 feet from the banks. Margaret Pappalardo, who was fully clothed and could not swim, ran 12 feet to her and grasped her hand. The ice broke under one of Margaret Pappalardo’s legs, and her leg was submerged. She dropped on one knee and threw herself back from the hole and pulled Margaret Hutchinson upon the ice.
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Margaret F. (Pappalardo) Shields, 100, of Woburn, Mass., died on October 14, 2016. On Dec. 30, 1929, at the age of 13, she saved a girl from drowning after the girl broke through the ice atop Middlesex Canal in Woburn.
“It all happened so fast,” Shields told a correspondent for the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Fla., in 2004. “I don’t know how I was able to get my hands under her arms, but it was very hard. She was wearing such a heavy coat.”
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission awarded Shields the Carnegie Medal in October 1931.
Shields and her husband operated a cottage colony and café on Cape Cod, Mass., and later lived in Port Charlotte, Fla., according to the Herald-Tribune story.
She was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Medford, Mass.
(Edited from an obituary published in The Boston Globe.)