Madeline M. Garnham
1915 - 2021
Madeline M. Garnham


Madeline M. Garnham, aged 105, died peacefully at Forest Hill Manor in Pacific Grove, CA on July 12, 2021. She was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-six years Harold P. Garnham, her sister Mary E. Bromley, and her son-in-law Thomas E. Schott. She is survived by her daughters Ginny Detzel (Todd) and Shirley Schott, her son David (Carla), her grandsons Blake Holland and Mark Holland, and her great granddaughter Jessie Holland.

Madeline was born in Rochester, NY and remained in the Rochester area for more than sixty years. Her mother died when she was just twelve years old, and before the age of fifteen she was largely responsible for running the family household. When her father died in January 1937 she became legal guardian for her younger sister.

The principal relationships in Madeline's life were with her father and husband. She met Harold Garnham when she was sixteen and liked him from the beginning—and also his new Ford V-8 roadster.

During the 1940s, 50s, and 60s Madeline raised three children and assisted Harold in their business (Garnham Dairy, Webster) and his subsequent political career (Supervisor of the Town of Webster, Minority Leader of the Monroe County Board of Supervisors, and State Assemblyman for Monroe County's First District). She was also active in Rochester area Girl Scouting (including service as Chair of the East Ridge District Girl Scouts) and in United Methodist Church women's groups for decades beginning in 1938 and continuing in CA after 1977.

Throughout her long life, Madeline was always an optimist and more so as she aged. Her many enthusiasms included balloons: she took a balloon ride for her 71st birthday; books: one of her few regrets was not attending college and becoming a librarian; music: especially Italian opera; classic cars: until her centenary she continued to attend Monterey County Car Week events such as Carmel's Concours on the Avenue; the moon; sunsets; and making friends everywhere: which she did for more than a century.

A celebration of Madeline's life was held at Forest Hill Manor, Pacific Grove, CA on July 19, 2021, her 106th birthday. At the reception following, birthday cake was served.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Madeline Garnham's memory to: Ukiah United Methodist Church, PO Box 323, Ukiah, CA 95482; or Plowshares, PO Box 475, Ukiah, CA 95482-0475 ("That no one in our community go hungry").

Published by Rochester Democrat And Chronicle from Aug. 2 to Aug. 8, 2021.
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