Madeline M. Lannin

  • Born: April 28, 1906
  • Died: October 18, 2008
  • Location: Rockland, Massachusetts

Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home

135 Union Street
Rockland, MA 02370
Tel. (781) 878-1775

Tribute & Message From The Family

Madeline M. Lannin, died peacefully Saturday morning, October 18, 2008 at the age of 102 in the house in Rockland where she grew up and had spent her entire life. The two nieces who were named after her, Madeline Patt and Madeline Lannin-Cotton, both of Pembroke, were at her bedside when she passed away.
Miss Lannin never married but was surrounded by children most of her life as a public school elementary school teacher for 50 years, the director of a preschool in her home for 16 years, and as the beloved aunt to eight nieces and nephews.
Miss Lannin's productive career in education began after she graduated from Rockland High School in 1924. She commuted to Lesley College in Cambridge and graduated in 1926. After graduation, she opened up a private kindergarten and in 1933, she was hired to run a government-sponsored program by the Rockland school system where she had 65 students and 2 teachers under her supervision. Miss Lannin taught in the Rockland school system until 1949. Then she moved on to the Weymouth school system to teach first, second, and third grades, as well as remedial reading. Miss Lannin earned her masters degree from Bridgewater State College and her doctorate from Boston University. She was in demand as a reading specialist and as an instructor in teacher training programs at Framingham State College and Stonehill College.
Although Miss Lannin was a teacher most of her life, she loved to talk about the other jobs she had over the years, especially during the Great Depression and in World War II when "times were tough." Among those jobs were first aid instructor, hairdresser, waitress, and manicurist.
In 1976, Miss Lannin and her identical twin sister, Josephine Winter, officially retired from public school teaching because they'd reached the mandatory retirement age. Retirement, however, did not slow them down. From 1976 to 1992, they ran a preschool in Madeline's home called the Work and Play School. Miss Lannin wrote, "I may be of retirement age according to the state but there'll be no rocking chair and knitting for me." One of her former elementary school students, the author George V. Higgins, wrote Miss Lannin a letter in 1976 congratulating her on opening the preschool. "By my estimate, I've been making good use of what you taught me for about 31 years," he wrote. "Consequently, I was delighted to read that you are disinclined to put your skills out to pasture. That is very good news for the children of Rockland, who if they pay attention, will find the door to their whole lives opened for them. And knowing you, they will pay attention." Miss Lannin finally retired from teaching at the age of 86.
"Auntie Mad," as she signed the cards she faithfully sent to her nieces and nephews on birthdays and at Christmas every year, was a beloved aunt. She took them all to Jordan Marsh In Boston to have their pictures taken with "the real Santa." She taught many of them how to read in the kitchen of her home. There were always cookies to eat and Moxie to drink when they came to visit. Miss Lannin never tired of taking care of "my babies."
Miss Lannin was predeceased by her twin sister, Josephine, who passed away at the age of 91 in 1998. She was also predeceased by her brother John, who passed away at the age of 65 in 1974, her brother William, who passed away at the age of 82 in 1992, and her sister, Mabel, who passed away at the age of 19, in 1923.
On her 100th birthday in 2006, more than 60 well-wishers came by her home to celebrate with her. The secret to her long life, she told a newspaper reporter, was "keeping busy."
"She's a phenomenal lady," said her longtime friend, Pasquale Bottazzi in a newspaper story written about her when she reached the century mark.
Miss Lannin leaves behind six nieces, two nephews, eight great nieces, four great nephews, four great-great nieces, and six great-great nephews. She will be missed by all of them, as well as by her full-time caregivers, Mr. Bottazzi, Karen Ceurvels and Betty Anne McInerney , who made it possible for her to fulfill her wish to stay at home after failing health made it impossible for her to be alone.
A Funeral was held from the Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home,135 Union Street ROCKLAND on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 8:15 AM. A Funeral Mass followed in Holy Family Church at 9:00 AM. Burial was in Holy Family Cemetery. Calling hours were on Tuesday,October 21, 2008 from 4-8 PM. Memorial donations may be made to the Rockland Education Foundation, P.O. Box 764 Rockland, MA 02370.