978-263-5333

470 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton MA 01720


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Madeleine J.

Madeleine J. "Mady" (Kalmar) Harvey

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
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Obituary

Updates for family and friends:

Mady’s cats – Pablo (m, 11+ years) and Giselle (f, 11+ years) need a home. Please contact me if you are interested in adoption OR can help in the effort.

Camphill – An important community and service. Check it out and contribute in Mady’s memory. https://camphillvillage.org/

Thank you for all of your love, reflections, and support during these challenging days.

All my love,

Ralph
Sally / Jen / Sally / Sarah / Rev. Dr. Cindy / Rebecca / Mike


We encourage you to take the time to copy and paste the following link into your browser to view the YouTube video of Mady being interviewed at the 30th anniversary celebration in November of 2017 of the Acton Commission on Disabilities, which she chaired for several years:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1wNF2N9XeA


Life Story for Madeleine Jeanne Harvey of Acton, MA

Madeleine "Mady" Jeanne Harvey, of Acton, died on March 31st, at Hospice House, Lincoln, MA from end stage renal failure, shortly after her 70th birthday.

Mady was born in New York City on March 15, 1950 to Georg and Vera Kalmar, Jewish refugees from Vienna. Her parents were Holocaust survivors, and this figured prominently in Mady's life. Her parents were artists and Mady proudly displayed many of her father’s paintings in her home. When Mady was 12 years old, the family moved to Camphill Village, Copake in New York and became part of an innovative, international movement to reform society’s approach to engaging people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Established in the US in 1961, families and individuals with and without disabilities live and work together this agrarian community “…to achieve his or her full potential at every stage of life”. “Camphill Village celebrates and honors the uniqueness, dignity, and spiritual integrity of each individual, regardless of outward appearance or disability.”

Mady loved the richness of artistic, musical, farming and social life of Camphill, and maintained loving ties with her many friends in the community throughout the remainder of her life. Her childhood experiences growing up in Camphill catalyzed a lifetime interest in and passion for supporting and advocating for children and adults with intellectual and physical challenges.

Following college graduation, Mady began a career at Harvard University, including time spent in the urban planning and design policy area and then ultimately at the Kennedy School of Government. Her career at Harvard lasted more than thirty years. She held a variety of administrative and management positions, and ultimately served as a senior leader in admissions and program management at the Harvard Kennedy School. Throughout her years at the Kennedy School, Mady mentored many individuals, both as students and colleagues who credited Mady with helping launch their careers. Several students went on to become Members of Congress, judges, diplomats, city mayors, and other government and public service leaders. For many years Mady served on the selection committee for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Program, a prestigious, highly competitive scholarship for public service oriented graduate study. According to the Washington Post, the Truman Scholarship's "sole aim is to pick out people with potential to become leaders—then provide support to help them realize their aspirations." (Wikipedia)

Upon retirement, Mady was active in the Acton community. She first served as Secretary and in 2015 was elected Chair of the Acton Commission on Disabilities (COD). During her tenure, the COD advocated successfully to improved Town Meeting access and voting for individuals with disabilities by instituting electronic voting; promoted community education on mental health; and assured that disability concerns were included in town policy-formulation and program / service development.

Mady was well known as a lover of all animals, and was particularly devoted to her cats. She also felt a strong kinship with the community on Monhegan Island in Maine, which she visited every summer from the age of two until her final years. She loved music, from attending Woodstock in her youth to playing guitar and singing with family and friends throughout her life. Her network of friends spanned the nation and the globe. Known as someone who would never betray a confidence, she was valued as a confidante and de facto counselor to friends and family alike. Anybody who was once a friend of Mady's remained a friend for life, and she continued to cultivate loving relationships with loved ones despite the distance of miles and years.

Mady was predeceased by her parents, Georg Kalmar, who passed away in November 12, 1994 and Vera Kalmar, who passed away in August 24, 1998, and her former partner Erik Magenheimer, who passed away in November 7, 2013. In keeping with both Mady’s and Erik's generous and selfless nature, Mady derived great comfort in the fact that donation of Erik's organs saved the lives of several people who were the beneficiaries of this gift of life.

Mady is survived by an extended, modern family: her life partner Ralph Edwards of Swampscott and his son, Jon; Bunny and Rich Mooney (sister of deceased partner Eric Magenheimer); and ex-husband Nigel Harvey, his wife Angela, and his adult children Jennifer and Stephen. She is also survived by many loyal and admiring friends, whose lives she touched deeply and who greatly miss her warmth and loyal support.

Due to the State of Emergency regulations on the number of people attending a public event, an online celebration of Mady's life was held Saturday, April 25th, 2020.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Mady’s memory to the Camphill Copake, NY, community, https://camphillvillage.org/get-involved/donate/


To view individual photos please select the "Photos and Videos" near the top of the page.
To view all the photos as a slideshow scroll a bit further down the same page and click on the "Photographic Memories" link. Thank you.
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Private Condolence
JH

Jennifer Harvey

Posted at 01:29pm
I have known Mady for well over half my life, but it is hard to remember a time when she was not a very important part of my life. She was not only my much loved step mother, she was also my closest friend and confidante. There were things I could discuss with Mady that I could not tell anyone else, and I could trust that she would never betray a confidence. Throughout many years, it has been rare for a day to go by without us sharing our daily joys and disappointments, confidences, comfort, encouragement, wry jokes, and a generous sprinkling of "oy veys" about the increasingly bizarre times we live in. In the last couple of years, when increasing health issues on both our parts has turned more of our conversations into "organ recitals", as her father George would say, we continued to share generous doses of sympathy, encouragement, and "You got this, girl!"s. In fact, I was so used to talking with Mady about everything important in my life, that when I got the call from Ralph telling me Mady had passed on, my immediate reaction was to start to open an email to say "Oh Mady, I've just lost my best friend!!"

When a group of us began meeting virtually to plan the celebration of Mady's life, I discovered that many of Mady's friends also feel that they have lost their best friend and confidante. That probably says more about Mady than anything I could come up with - her warmth and empathy and genuine interest in everybody around her made everyone believe they were the most important person in her life. At the moment she was engaging with anyone, that was entirely true. She had that rare quality of giving someone her entire attention, listening with heart and soul, not just with her ears. I am sure none of us will forget her warm smile, her warm heart, her warm hugs.

When I remember Mady, it is that warmth I think of first. Mady's heart was huge - big enough to encompass the whole earth. I also think about her lovely pure singing voice, and an almost spiritual concentration when she played guitar. My favourite picture of Mady is one I took the first time I visited her and Nigel, a guitar on her lap, eyes closed, mouth open in song, an expression of almost mystical transformation on her face. There was always music when Mady was around, whether she was singing herself or enjoying and enthusiastically praising the playing or singing of others. I think about her extravagant love for animals, whether it was her devotion to her beloved cats, or sitting on her porch patiently holding out peanuts for a chipmunk to eat out of her hand, or running out of the restaurant at the end of lunch to feed her leftover fries to her seagull friends. I am sure all her friends from Monhegan remember fondly Mady's relationship with her seagulls, which so amused and charmed the rest of us.

But more than that, I remember Mady as someone who was utterly loyal and dependable. She always had your back, no matter who you were, I never doubted that she was in my corner. I was a rather awkward and prickly young student when we first met, and Mady immediately embraced me as long lost family. Perhaps it was her experience growing up in Camphill, but Mady seemed to instinctively understand and accept this autistic, socially inept new step daughter in a way the rest of my family, much as they loved me, did not have the tools to do. It was very empowering, being accepted and cherished for who I was. I know 'empowering' is a word many others would use in describing Mady's effect on their lives. It is largely through her unflagging understanding, acceptance, and encouragement that I have learned how to not let my disability control my life. This was part of Mady's magic - she accepted everyone unconditionally for who they were, regardless of any physical or intellectual challenges - she saw the beauty in every person's soul, I think because there was so much in her own. Although I was already grown when we met, I owe a large part of who I am today to Mady's patient love, understanding, acceptance, and encouragement. Her loss leaves an enormous hole in my life, one I doubt will ever be filled. I miss her terribly. But I know I am a much better person for having known her, and I am thankful for that privilege.
JF

Julie Fagan

Posted at 11:29am
This may be lengthy but is not even half of what I wanted to say about my lifelong friend, Madeleine.
Always Madeleine to me, a name too beautiful to abbreviate - Madeleine and I met in 1962 when she transferred to Roeliff Jansen Central School in Hillsdale, NY from NYC. We always had lunch together, where we honed our sarcastic, cynical wit and an "I can't wait to get out of this place" sentiment. We signed up for a "college prep" touch typing class and were seated next to each other. By week three, Madeleine typed 90+ words a minute with no errors, compared to my 35 with too many errors to count. I accused her of typing with four hands. I don't think we would have survived high school without each other's support.
Although we occasionally touched base after high school, we were both busy with careers and travel and husbands. When Eric passed away in 2013, Madeleine and I phoned each other frequently and started a June tradition of Madeleine visiting our home in The Berkshires. We strolled Naumkeag Gardens, had lunch at The Mount, drinks at the Red Lion Inn, and laughed. For me, the highlight of her visit was our candlelight "pajama party" on the front porch. We discussed politics - town and country, we talked about our careers, our lives, our partners and our cats. We laughed at the 1968 RoeJan Yearbook. Madeleine supplied the good jokes, well told. I always gave away my punch lines first, providing its own form of humor for us. We often partied on until 2AM, no matter the weather.
In the interim, we had a pattern of emailing daily. Hers, a perfectly typed stream of consciousness and usually a link to an article of interest or humor, mine replete with typos.
When she visited last June, she looked very ill and I urged her to go to her doctor, though maybe she'd already been and just didn't want to talk about it. She had many worries in the last few years.
I will remember Madeleine for her beautiful high clear singing voice. I will remember her soft and soulful brown eyes and those broad high cheek bones and beautiful smile. I will remember her wit and her wisdom , her politics and her jokes…..and her 1,000+ words a minute with no errors.
My Junes and my life will be much diminished without her.
Julie Fagan
 

Rebecca Dosick Bernzweig Posted at 05:16pm

This is absolutely lovely Julie. She spoke of you so fondly. Your writing gives me added insight into who Mady was. Blessings, stay well. ~Rebecca Bernzweig
RF

richard fried

Posted at 08:45pm
I became good friends with Mady during the summer of 1968, when I had just begun the Camphill seminar in Copake and Madeline was a staff child but also a contemporary and liked to hang out with the young coworkers. I saw her only sporadically after that summer, but kept remotely in touch through Roswitha. She had a wonderful smile which I can immediately see in my mind’s eye, and a unique combination of sharp, ironic, even a bit sarcastic wit, with loving idealism.
Of course I knew her parents well. Easter 1979 Raymonde and i were on a pre-honeymoon visit to Vienna, and we stopped in Salzberg to see George who was having a one-man show at the time When we inquired at the gallery where we could find George, we were told to check out the Cafe Tomaselli, and sure enough, there he was at his Stammtisch.
I too have several of his paintings adorning the walls of my home. Richard Fried
 
JA

Janet Adachi Posted at 03:56pm

I was stunned and deeply saddened to learn of Mady's passing, and that she had been so seriously ill in her last months. In her New Year's email in January, she mentioned that she had had some serious medical problems and hospitalization in Fall 2019, but refrained from providing more detail because she felt the topic was something for us to discuss in person rather than via email. We unfortunately never did have that in-person talk. Mady and I met in 2012 or 2013 and became friends as a result of our work for the Town of Acton on municipal committees. I still was in my first term on the Board of Selectmen when Mady joined the Commission on Disabilities, for which I was winding down 2 years as the BOS liaison. Mady was smart, quick-thinking, well-organized, blessed with abundant energy and able discern and appreciate the humor in everyday life. We shared similar early experiences with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities—hers living with her family at Camphill Village, and mine living with a younger sister on the autism spectrum. We both had ties to Harvard, where I did my undergraduate work. We also were close in age. I liked Mady from the start and knew that she would be an excellent addition to the COD. And she was. As a member and then as Chairman for several years, she helped to keep the committee focused and organized, elevated the committee's profile and strengthened its reputation. Until 2019, when I stepped down from the Board after 3 terms, and Mady stepped down from the COD, we stayed in regular touch via email, phone and periodic lunch dates. Our email communications often were about Town business, but we also shared comments about interesting articles, musical videos, humor or whatnot that one of us had come across. Our lunch discussions were something else: we covered everything under the sun, solving all of the world's problems, and then some. Lunch never was just an hour. Our last lunch discussion was last May, almost a year ago, when I was one month into being an ex-Selectman and Mady was preparing to step off the COD. I think we both assumed that there would be lots more opportunities for long lunch discussions. A month ago, on March 25th, I emailed Mady a link to a review of a documentary, "Crip Camp," about a Catskills summer camp in the early 1970s for individuals with disabilities. When she did not respond, I wondered if she were okay. Now I have my answer. I shall remember Mady fondly. I will share the wonderful photo, of her, Ralph and Jon in Arizona, that Mady emailed in January with her New Year's greetings. My heartfelt condolences to Ralph, Jon and the many family members and dear friends who loved her. So long as we live, they too shall live, For they are now a part of us, As we remember them. - Janet Adachi
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Watch the Photographic Memories Slideshow with photos selected by the family. Madeleine J. "Mady" (Kalmar) Harvey - Photographic Memories
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