In Memoriam -- Mary Helen Madden (T-10)
August 18, 1944 - September 12, 2019
Mary Helen Madden, 75, passed away peacefully
in her sleep on September 12, 2019, in McLean, Virginia, following a
decade-long decline from Alzheimerís Disease. She was born in Cleveland,
Ohio on August 18, 1944, the first child of David John Madden and Mary Agnes
Deighan. She graduated from the Convent of the Sacred Heart, El Cajon,
California, and later received her Bachelorís degree in political science
from Seattle University.
Inspired by President Kennedyís call to public service, she joined the Peace
Corps, working in community development in a rural village and at an
orphanage in Istanbul, Turkey. In the years that followed, Mary Helen fell
in love with travel, both domestic and international, and became a true
globe-trotter. She joined the USO, directing programs in Thailand, Malta,
Italy, France, and Iceland. On one occasion, while in Malta, she met a young
Paul Newman when he was dining at the same restaurant as she. In the years
that followed, she loved telling the story of how they met and how kind and
gracious the actor was to both her and her dinner companions.
Mary Helen lived for a time in Arlington, Virginia, where she bought her
first home. She was Executive Director of the National Council of Catholic
Women, and led the North American delegation to the International Congress
of Catholic Women in India. She moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where
she was Executive Director of Soroptimist International of the Americas. For
many years she managed corporate events for Mellon Bank. She reveled in the
travel opportunities and celebrity meetings that this position afforded her.
In the late 1990s, she returned to her home in Arlington, Virginia and
founded her own successful meeting and event planning business, MHM Events.
She was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the Presidentís Advisory
Committee for Women, and served as a delegate to the International Womenís
Conference. She stitched exquisite needlepoint, and enjoyed playing
Scrabble, hot air balloon rides, and supporting various Democratic causes.
She was an adjunct instructor in the International Institute of Tourism
Studies at George Washington University and taught Events Management for
Fundraising at the University of Pennsylvania College of General Studies.
She was a member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Arlington, Virginia,
and until her illness, was active in social justice ministry.
A truly generous spirit, Mary Helen delighted in being an aunt to her
younger sisterís children in San Diego, California. She began a tradition of
gifting each of them with a 2-week trip to the East Coast after each one
completed 8th grade. She loved introducing her nephew and two nieces to
different restaurants and new foods, both when they visited her and when she
visited them in San Diego. Knowing how much her niece dreamed of attending
college on the East Coast, she gifted her with a 2-week college tour through
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
Mary Helen was preceded in death by her parents, David and Mary Madden, and
her brother Kevin. She is survived by her sister Therese (Beaverton,
Oregon); her sister Sheila and brother-in-law Edmond Bridant (Santa Rosa,
California); her niece Sara and her husband Alan (Aylesbury, England); her
nephew Jonas and his wife Laura (Los Angeles, California); and her niece
Rachael and her husband Bob (Fairbanks, Alaska).
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Cure