Sarah Jane Madison

Jan 13, 2020

Sarah Jane Madison, formerly of Marion, passed away peacefully in Windham New Hampshire on Dec. 3. She is deeply missed by her three daughters, two sons-in-law, five grandchildren,
one great-grandchild, and Miss Molly, her faithful dachshund.

Sally was born in 1937 in Toledo Ohio, older sister to her beloved brother, Pastor Charles Smith. Her parents, William and Ruth Beard Smith, preceded her in passing.

Sally completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Arizona. As an Air Force wife, she moved her young family eight times in twelve years, until settling down in New England. A well-respected U.S. History teacher at Chelmsford High School, she later became Coordinator of Social Studies. She also co-authored Study America, published by Bantam Books in 1976, and was elected president of the Massachusetts Council for Social Studies in 1983.

A proud liberal and feminist, Sally worked on the campaigns of Governor Michael Dukakis, and senators Paul Tsongas, and Bob Kerry. She also marched in support of passing the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1978, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Civil Liberties Union together represented Sally against the Chelmsford Public Schools in one of the first sex discrimination cases lodged against a secondary school.

Later in life, Sally became a Certified Financial Advisor for Waddell and Reed, winning numerous awards, including “President’s Circle.” She was very proud to see her clients (many former teachers) achieve their financial goals. Ever the teacher, she also mentored many new Advisors.

Sally moved to Marion in 1993. An avid sailor in her H12, “Eliza Loveland,” she enjoyed racing as a member of the Beverly Yacht Club. She was also an active member of the First Congregational Church of Marion, where she sang in the choir and served at times as Treasurer and Deacon. Every summer she enjoyed hosting musicians for the Buzzards Bay Musicfest.

In addition to conquering the worlds of education, and finance, Sally loved to challenge herself in other ways as well. She ran the Ocean State Marathon in 1977, biked the Pan Mass Challenge twice in her sixties, and, at age 72, purchased a small RV in which she drove across country to visit her California daughters and grandchildren each winter.

As a third generation educator, Sally actively supported her children and grandchildren in their pursuit of higher education, and was extremely proud of their success. Her family will fondly remember how she loved desserts, her loyalty to her favorite stores, and her wise sayings. Some favorites are “always try your best,” “travel light,” and “this too shall pass.” Her last words were “I love you all.”

A memorial service is being planned for June at the First Congregational Church in Marion. Donations in Sally’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.