Constance Bradley Madeira, 102, died peacefully in her home in Northeast Harbor on March 24, 2020, surrounded by her family. She was born in Convent Station, N.J., on Dec. 31, 1917, the daughter of Charles B. Bradley and Constance Z. Bradley. She graduated from The Peck School in Morristown, N.J., and from Milton Academy in Milton, Mass., in 1935. Connie lived and worked in Boston until 1940 when she married Crawford C. Madeira Jr. They resided on the Philadelphia Main Line and settled in Princeton, N.J., in 1950.
She was introduced to Mount Desert Island when her family brought her to Northeast Harbor in the summer months of the early 1930s. It was love at first sight. She learned to sail an A boat and later became an accomplished skipper of the Madeira family International One Design, “Auriga.” Thus began her lifelong affair with sailboat racing at the Northeast Harbor Fleet. In the early 1960s, she acquired her beloved sloop, “Baleira.” Cruising the coast of Maine with family, friends and devoted deck hands became her true passion. Connie derived pure happiness from a full day of sailing with a steady breeze, anchoring in an idyllic cove, taking a dip in Maine’s chilly water and marveling at a vibrant sunset with her evening cocktail.
She thrived on competitive sports. An avid tennis player for decades, she also downhill skied well into her 80s. In her 90s, she continued to play golf and ride her 3-speed bike to town to fetch her daily mail and newspaper. In recent years, she enthusiastically followed the New England Patriots, the Boston Red Sox and professional tennis on television.
After a divorce in 1965, Connie moved from Princeton to Dorset, Vt., where outdoor life beckoned. She spent winters teaching skiing at Stratton Mountain Ski Area and continued to migrate to Maine every summer. In 1978, she made Northeast Harbor her permanent residence and became fully immersed in the local community that she so dearly loved. She was a member of the town’s Harbor Committee and served on the board of the Mount Desert Nursing Association. She also served as president of the board of the Mount Desert Medical Center. She was a faithful parishioner at the Parish of St. Mary’s and St. Jude’s, where she served on its vestry and sang in the choir. Connie was a member of the Northeast Harbor Tennis Club, the Northeast Harbor Golf Club and an honorary member of the Northeast Harbor Fleet. Since 2015, she was the proud steward of the Boston Post cane, presented to the oldest citizen in the town of Mount Desert.
She is survived by her three daughters, Constance (“Tanny”) M. Clark of Boca Grande, Fla., Marion (“Mazzie”) M. Gogolak and her husband, Charles P. Gogolak, of Naples, Fla., and Elizabeth (“Lisa”) M. Loring and her husband, Robert W. Loring, of Duxbury, Mass. She was predeceased by her son, Michael C. Madeira, and her brother, Charles B. Bradley Jr. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and a team of compassionate, loyal caregivers.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mount Desert Nursing Association, P.O. Box 397, Northeast Harbor, ME 04662.
A memorial service will be arranged at a later date.
Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert.