LOS GATOS, Calif. - Madeline Smith Littlefield passed away March 5, 2013, in Los Gatos, after a long battle with Alzheimers disease.
It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She is finally at peace and with her earlier departed husband Henry, for which we are grateful.
Madeline was born Sept. 23, 1934, in New York, N.Y., to James and Mary Smith.
She was the loving wife and partner to Henry Littlefield for 43 years.
She is survived by her daughters Kate Brill and Mary Littlefield, her grandson Eli Brill and her brother Jim Smith.
Madeline grew up in Baldwin, Long Island, N.Y. She attended the Grier School for girls in Tyrone, Pa., then earned her bachelor's degree at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., majoring in music. She studied organ and sacred music at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and then earned her master's degree in education at Smith College in Northampton, Mass.
She married Henry Littlefield in 1956 and the two began their long life together, with a shared passion for teaching. She loved teaching little ones and he loved teaching high school and college age students. While she was a master teacher at Smith College Campus School, Henry was a Dean of students and wrestling coach at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass. While she was the founding director and teacher of the Early Childhood Unit at All Saints Day School in Carmel Valley, he was the headmaster of the York School in Monterey. While she was the director and teacher at the Wayfarer School in Carmel, he taught history at the Robert Louis Stevenson School in Pebble Beach.
She was a beloved kindergarten teacher for many generations of children on the Monterey Peninsula. She enjoyed seeing her students grow up and marry and have children of their own, whom Madeline then taught in her classes.
Madeline also enjoyed a long life devoted to music. Wherever she lived she always belonged to at least one choir. She was a co-founding chorus member of I Cantori Di Carmel, a local choral group. She was also a member of the Carmel Bach Festival Chorus for 30 years. She was an alto and she loved to sing!
Madeline devoted time as a hospice volunteer for many years on the Monterey Peninsula, comforting the dying and their families.
Madeline also enjoyed her many beloved pets. She owned a horse as a girl and had many wonderfully memorable dogs, Teddy (the crazy Corgi), Meluka and Purlie and treasured cats, Vincent, Jesse and Talin, to name just a few, as well as Guinea pigs, mice, turtles, which were mascots for all her Kindergarten classes. She was never without a pet.
Most importantly, Madeline loved her many friends. They filled her life with joy! They loved her fun loving nature, hilarious sense of humor and unique world views.
Madeline will be terribly missed by her family, friends and students.
A Memorial service was held in Pacific Grove on Sunday, March 10, 2013.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Mar. 16, 2013