SOUTHBURY — Madeleine Sobin, a respected teacher, a devoted community volunteer and a loving wife, mother and grandmother, passed away Tuesday, July 28, 2020. She was 90.
Madeleine spent her final years in Southbury. She had been a longtime resident of Ansonia, where she and her late husband, Sturgis, raised a family of five and made their marks as leaders in the community.
Madeleine lived a very full life and was blessed with a large family and lifelong friends, all of whom she cherished dearly.
Madeleine Martin Sobin was born July 22, 1930, in Derby, the oldest of six children of the late Lucienne (Pilon) and Richard Martin.
She developed a love for reading at an early age. As the oldest sibling in a large family, she had her hands full helping her mother, but whenever possible she would run out to the nearby Ansonia Library and get lost among the shelves. She found a way to spend more time there by working in the children’s room during high school, and she continued to pursue this passion throughout her adult life by serving proudly on several library boards.
She graduated from Assumption School, Ansonia High School, Albertus Magnus College (B.A. ’51) and Southern Connecticut State University (M.S. education). While in college, she was set up on a blind date with a handsome man who would later become her husband. A long distance courtship followed while he was stationed with the Army in Texas, and then she married Sturgis Sobin in 1953. A growing family soon followed.
Madeleine worked briefly as a social worker for the State of Connecticut before pressing pause on her career to focus on raising her five children. When her children were older, she returned to work as a third grade teacher at Bradley School in Derby, where she was recognized as Derby Teacher of the Year.
She became known as the matriarch of the Martin family. As her children grew into accomplished adults, and then parents, everyone looked to her for stability and guidance. Her passion for lifelong learning and values rooted in her faith made her a natural role model and source of strength for those around her.
Family and friends will remember her culinary and entertaining skills. Summers were spent at the Milford Point beach house, and Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter were hosted at the home she and Sturgis built, often bursting at the seams with guests and joy.
She hosted everything from gourmet dinner parties to outdoor picnics. Her truly incredible blueberry cake and strawberry-rhubarb pie, made with fresh picked fruit from Sturgis’ garden, kept everyone coming back for seconds and thirds. She was a collector of beautiful crystal stemware and fine china which imbued holiday celebrations with a touch of elegance.
She enjoyed the beach, loved swimming in the ocean and found God’s beauty in the sunsets in Milford Point and in Venice, Fla.
Madeleine’s life reflected her faith in God and her community. She was active in many organizations throughout her life, including Assumption Church, Catholic Family Services, Ansonia Republicans, Lower Naugatuck Valley Red Cross, BH Care, Ansonia Library, Derby Neck Library, Derby Historical Society, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and Kappa Delta Gamma Sorority for Women Educators.
Over the years she was recognized by many of these organizations for her efforts and commitment to the Valley, including the Lower Naugatuck Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Gold Seal Award, Valley Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award, Valley United Way’s Charles Flynn Humanitarian Award and Chairman’s Charitable Giving Award, and Albertus Magnus College’s Alumni of the Year.
She leaves her loving family to cherish her memory, including her children, Andrea Adam (Bruce), Sturgis Martin Sobin I (Maryellen), Cathy Szanto (Rick) and daughter-in-law Linda Sobin; her grandchildren, Jonathan Sobin, Stephen Sobin (Ami), Rachel Adam (Jordan), Sturgis Martin Sobin, II (Lindsey), Neil Sobin (Leslie), Ciara Sobin, Alexander Sobin and Kathleen Szanto, and her great-grandson, Kylen Sobin. In addition, she leaves her siblings, Rosemarie Harkin, Claire Lockert (Richard), Daniel Martin (Carol), and sisters-in-law Joan Martin and Suzanne Martin, and many nieces and nephews and their families.
She was predeceased by her husband, Sturgis Andrew Sobin; her two children, Peter and Christine; her brothers, Richard and Andre; and her brother-in-law, Ed.
Madeleine moved from Ansonia to Pomperaug Woods in Southbury in 2014 and enjoyed making new friends. Her family would like to express sincere gratitude to the staff at Pomperaug Woods Healthcare Center for their compassionate care during her time there.
Friends are asked to join her family at 10 a.m. Monday, August 3, at the Church of the Assumption for a Mass of Christian Burial. Entombment will follow at Mount St. Peter Cemetery, Derby. Social distancing guidelines are to be followed. Arrangements are by the Wakelee Memorial Funeral Home, 167 Wakelee Ave., Ansonia.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Madeleine’s memory may be made to the Connecticut Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org/ct or Assumption Church, 61 N. Cliff St., Ansonia 06401.
Online condolences may be made at www.wakeleememorial.com.