ForeverMissed
Claudia Catherine Cooper Madigan 1940-2021

Claudia Madigan had the rare power to find goodness in the darkest of places. Her ability to forgive was unsurpassed. She eschewed conflict and instead focused on mending relationships wherever possible. Her eventual failing heart had worked overtime her whole entire life to ensure that those around her were happier and closer to one another. Claudia passed away peacefully in her Mount Vernon home on the Potomac River with her family at her side, as she wished.

Born in 1940, Claudia grew up in a modest log cabin in Annandale, VA with her parents, Claude and Elizabeth Cooper, her 2 sisters, Susan and Sally and a horse named Miss Teeny. Her father served as a naval physician on the USS Yorktown and safely returned home to be the Fairfax County Medical Examiner.

Claudia attended St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Annandale High School, American University, George Washington University and the Corcoran School of Art. She worked as an illustrator for an architectural firm before forging her own career as a painter, exhibiting her oil and watercolor works at art shows. In 1962, Claudia married her GWU sweetheart, Bobby Madigan. They remained married for life and had 3 children for whom she served as a school volunteer teaching art and supporting their athletics.

As a regional history enthusiast, Claudia was a lifetime member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and established the Fairfax chapter with the help of her grandmother, Catherine. In addition, she worked many years with the National Trust for Historic Preservation at Woodlawn Plantation where several of her children were also married.

Like her mother Elizabeth, Claudia eventually grew to enjoy plants and gardening most of all and participated in the Riverwood Garden Club, Mansion House Garden Club and Yacht Haven Garden Club. Later, she studied Ikebana and won numerous awards for her adept Japanese flower designs. Hers was a life truly well lived.

She leaves behind her husband, Bobby, her sister, Sally, her 3 children Mark, Chris and Jenny, 8 grandchildren, many great grandchildren and her beloved pets.

Claudia often said to her friends and family that if heaven was a place where her pets were not allowed, then she was not interested in going. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the ASPCA on her behalf. https://secure.aspca.org/donate/ps-memory-sl-p1?ms...

A Celebration of life for Claudia will be held on May 23rd from 11AM-1PM at the “Madigan’s Waterfront” restaurant located at 201 Mill St Occoquan Historic District, VA 22125.
Posted by Jenny Bright on July 30, 2022
Dear Mom,

Our young Claudia is so motivated and laser focused on art and design. I know you would be very proud of her. I think of you every day. Brian and I both miss you much.

Love,
Jenny
Posted by Jayne Sass on July 29, 2022
We just heard from Chris that Claudia had died. We are so sorry. We have such memories from our Ocean Pine days. We are still here and still look over at the house and remember you all. Claudia sat across the street and painted a picture of our house and gave it to us as a gift. It is framed an hanging still here in our home. A special treasure. Thoughts and prayers are with the Madigan family. Bill,Jayne,Buddy, Patrick and Suzanne Sass.
Posted by Jenny Bright on May 8, 2022
Dear Mom,

Happy Mother's Day! We think about you fondly all of the time. I wish you could see my garden today...

Love,
Jenny
Posted by Beverly Calvert on April 2, 2022
Dear family and friends of Claudia Madigan. It was so nice to read the memories posted by you on this site and to reinforce aow special Claudia was to everyone whom she met. I really don't think Claudia had a mean bone in her body. She was a joy to know and I miss her as do all of you. She really made a positive contribution and was a fun loving role model. I never think of her without a smile on her face...often out of the sarcastic side of her mouth... but always a smile. Hope you are having fun up there, dear Claudia.
Posted by Suzanne Scherrer on March 15, 2022
Dear Claudia,
Please know you are very missed. It still stings that you are gone.
I will pray for your family and I will continue to believe you feel our love still in Heaven.
Love,
Your Friend
Posted by Linda Cunningham Goldstei... on February 3, 2022
I am so sorry to learn of Claudia's death--I haven't gotten The Post since 2012, so had no way of knowing! Mary Ann just told me recently! I was devastated.  Claudia & I go way back--St. Agnes--She was the Coroner's daughter & I was the Funeral Home owner's daughter--what a pair!
We both became Docents at Woodlawn together back in 1981--Claudia was a special friend, and always will be in my heart---as will her family.
She had my back during my climb up the Woodlawn ladder---I trusted her, and welcomed her great sense of humor. A gifted artist , she loaned me a painting of a castle in the clouds to hang over my desk at Woodlawn--she created all of the wonderful drawings for our in-house book--"The Ghosts of Woodlawn"--
Judy wrote it, and my son, Brian, wrote the Foreward--orig. pub. by EPM (went through 3 printings!!!)--you might still find it on Amazon--look at her drawings!!! Gracious & forgiving to a fault--she adored her family and her friends. Had I known about her death--wild horse could not have kept me away from her Memorial! We also had horses in common--our love for animals was the same--I had also said..if our animals don't go to Heaven, I may skip it entirely! Be it known that animals DO go there, and they are waiting for us to join them--I can already imagine Claudia's great smile when hers came bounding out to greet her! God Bless you Claudia--you were my friend who held my secrets & encouraged me on----we will meet again one day, and I can give you that long overdue hug!

With Love--Linda (aka/Maude)
Posted by Suzanne Scherrer on October 2, 2021
Today, I found out my friend Claudia died.
We live in Germany now, we moved here 5 years ago. We are here in Germany with the U.S. Army. So many things..... I miss about home in Alexandria, VA.
Mostly I miss my family and friends.
Claudia was a good friend.
A very beautiful kind woman, she was full of life and stories.
Mt. Vernon can be "small town America" and it can be a "cold place" for new people. Claudia welcomed new people. She was a friend and at times a mentor. I met her at the Yacht Haven garden club. Claudia was very talented and easy to talk to! Somehow, I thought she would be there when I got back home to Alexandria. I have missed her. I can only imagine how hard this has been for her family. I pray she knew what a treasure she was to all of us. She is not forgotten. We will have a Mass in our chapel here in Ansbach, Germany for her tomorrow. Maybe when we get back home to Alexandria, I will have the chance to meet her family. The family she always talked about and loved so much. Claudia had a smile as big as she was!
Posted by Jenny Bright on September 29, 2021
My mother, Claudia Madigan, had a birthday yesterday. In typical fashion, I waited a day - belated. This year, I reflected on her beauty and spirit. She was so impossibly kind and forgiving - so grateful and gracious to all of those who cared for her. She showed me how to be a mother.

As the days pass by, I think about her ever more...experiencing the moments of my life without her there. I consider how well she would have handled those same moments. She still guides me.
Posted by Beverly Calvert on September 28, 2021
Thank you for remembering Claudia, especially today which is her birthday. I have been sending her birthday cards or wishing her Happy Birthday in person for 46 or more years. And today I am sending her birthday wishes heavenward. Can't forget her today and have relived many fond reminiscences of her throughout this past year. May she be living a happy 2nd life or whatever we experience when our souls leave behind our physical presence on earth.
Posted by Cathy Bright on May 10, 2021
Good Morning and Happy Mother's Day to our sweet Jenny. On this special day, Frank and I want you to know that we feel very blessed to have known your mother. What a wonderful, talented, loving, smart and spunky lady! She will be missed so very much. You know, from the first time I met your mom, at your wedding festivities, she made me feel like I had known her my entire life. Then we went on to get togethers here in FL. I was totally impressed with her cross country drive with you and the kids....an amazing mother and grandmother. We love you and you and your entire family are in our prayers.
Posted by Brian Bright on May 8, 2021
A truly generous and sweet lady that I was thankful to call my Mother-in Law. I loved Claudia’s sense of humor, and omnipresent ability to assess and be in tune with me in many situations. She had a wit, for sure! I spent many nights during her visits, drinking wine into the wee hours talking about whatever was in the news or on the television. Great memories! Claudia had many talents, she was a talented artist, loved the garden, and was a genuinely nice person. Claudia was a beautiful soul who I will forever miss. Please hug Zeus for me.
Posted by Alexa Sheehan on May 6, 2021
Such a part of my teen years, Mrs. Madigan was a generous and ever-loving woman whose love for her animals, her art, and her children were unmatched. We would laugh with her until we couldn’t breathe, enjoy the dogs being goofballs, and fascinate her with our 80’s fashion. You will be missed, dear Claudia. Give my love to Nickelpoopy and Bear. Xo
Posted by Beverly Calvert on May 6, 2021
Claudia was one of the sweetest people God put on this earth with a sense of humor that was dry and exceptionally witty. She had many talents which she let people discover for themselves, not being a person who "tooted her own horn." In fact, I learned many things about Claudia in the story told by Jennifer for this tribute. I feel lucky to have had a long lasting friendship of 48 years with Claudia, having met as newcomers to the Riverwood subdivision where we both lived and raised our children. We experienced many happy times and adventures which I hope she enjoyed as much as I did.  Her strongest warning when we went to the beach was not to get sand in your inbetweens!! A fun and funny girl she was!

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Posted by Jenny Bright on July 30, 2022
Dear Mom,

Our young Claudia is so motivated and laser focused on art and design. I know you would be very proud of her. I think of you every day. Brian and I both miss you much.

Love,
Jenny
Posted by Jayne Sass on July 29, 2022
We just heard from Chris that Claudia had died. We are so sorry. We have such memories from our Ocean Pine days. We are still here and still look over at the house and remember you all. Claudia sat across the street and painted a picture of our house and gave it to us as a gift. It is framed an hanging still here in our home. A special treasure. Thoughts and prayers are with the Madigan family. Bill,Jayne,Buddy, Patrick and Suzanne Sass.
Posted by Jenny Bright on May 8, 2022
Dear Mom,

Happy Mother's Day! We think about you fondly all of the time. I wish you could see my garden today...

Love,
Jenny
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