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Madeline B. Harwood

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MANCHESTER -- Madeline B. Harwood died with grace and dignity at the Vermont Respite House in Williston on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2004. She was residing comfortably in the Elephant Room, an excellent place for a Republican senator, when the Lord came to greet her. She was born in Newbury on July 7, 1914, a daughter of George and Maude Bailey, and grew up on a small rural farm in Jefferson Hill with three brothers and two sisters. They were all proud descendants of Gen. Jacob Bayley, an important figure in Vermont history. In order for her to attend Newbury High School, 10 miles from her home, she left her family to live with an elderly woman and earned her room and board. She later attended Mary Fletcher Hospital School of Nursing in Burlington where she met her soulmate, Dr. Clifford Harwood, a UVM medical student from Rupert. They married in 1936. Madeline supported her husband and family through her work as a nurse and caring mother through the troublesome times of W.W. II while Doc served his country.

After raising their children in Manchester, she was able to pursue her desire to become politically involved. She served 14 years in the Vermont Senate and four in the House, very dedicated to the Republican Party. Her success and abilities extended into national politics, serving on presidential committees as an advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. She participated in many local organizations, including Eastern Star, Rotary Club, DAR, Monday Club and the First Congregational Church all of Manchester. She also served on the board of trustees at both UVM and Champlain College. One of her favorite pastimes was playing golf, even into her 80s. In her later years, she enjoyed the companionship of her best friend, Petie, her little white poodle. No matter how active she was in politics or in the community, her family was always a top priority. Madeline enjoyed family gatherings where she would tell her adventures and stories, always mixed with her Yankee wit and wisdom. Knowing how interesting these stories were, she eventually authored a book, “Two Harwoods in the House,” which was published in 2001. Madeline is survived by a daughter, Catherine Shepard of Bennington; two sons, Clifford Jr. and his wife Helen of Pikesville, N.C. and Roger and his wife Heidi of Burlington; a daughter-in-law, Janice Harwood of Killeen, Texas; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Dr. Clifford Harwood, who died in 1995; a son, Army Maj. Richard Harwood, who died in 1990; and her five siblings Gerald, Lewis and John Bailey, Charlotte Amidon and Evelyn Clark. Her family would like to thank her exceptional friends and neighbors for their help in allowing her an independent life in Manchester. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the caregivers at Equinox Terraces, Hospice Program of Manchester Health Services and Dr. Keith Michl. Special appreciation goes to the Vermont Respite House and the Hospice Program of Chittenden County VNA, who helped her in her final days.

Funeral services for Mrs. Harwood will be held Saturday morning, Sept. 11, at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church in Manchester. The Rev. Steve Berry will conduct the service. Interment services will follow in Rupert Cemetery, Rupert. Visiting hours at Brewster Funeral Service, 34 Park Place, Manchester Center, will be Friday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. For those who wish, memorial contributions in Mrs. Harwood’s name may be made to Manchester Health Services or to the charity of one’s choice, c/o Brewster Funeral Service, P.O. Box 885, Manchester Center, VT 05255. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Brewster Funeral Service, 34 Park Place, Manchester Center. To send e-mail condolences or directions please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.

Published in Bennington Banner from Sept. 6 to Sept. 8, 2004
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