Roslyn Garfield, Madam Speaker: A Life Remembered

Dec 10, 2012

Roslyn Garfield

She can be described in many ways, but Roslyn Garfield was a small town attorney, in one of the smallest of towns. To her credit, she was more interested in helping struggling artists and entangled whales than she was in taking big, pay-day cases from Boston-based developers.

Garfield spent many of her 91 years serving on government and civic boards. It was a political career that began on the Planning Board in the 1960s, the first woman to be appointed to a decision-making committee in the town's history. Years later in the 1980s, she became known as Madam Speaker, elected from the floor of Town Meeting as its moderator.  

Friends describe Garfield as private and compassionate. They use words such as community member, teacher and friend. A pioneer, savvy and silly with strong opinions and a fierce competitiveness. Roselyn Garfield, they say, was sincere and compassionate, and she made time for everyone.

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