First Female Board of Ed Chair, Univ. of Hartford Magnet Founder Madeline McKernan, 84

Calling hours scheduled for Friday afternoon at Molloy Funeral Home.

Obituary provided by Molloy Funeral Home.

Madeline S. McKernan, 84, of West Hartford died peacefully on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 surrounded by her family. Born in the Bronx, NY, Madeline was the daughter of the late Frank and Josephine (Viscardi) Sciarroni.

Madeline graduated from Maryville College in St. Louis, Missouri in 1949 with a Bachelors degree; later she earned her Masters from Wesleyan University. In 1951, Madeline began what would become a 60-year footprint in the field of education when she assumed her first position as a mathematics teacher at Windsor High School. She later worked as director of education at the Morse School of Business and the Hartford Insurance Group.

Madeline married Edward F. McKernan in 1957 and was raising their three children on Rumford Street when she started an active and dedicated career in public service to West Hartford.

In 1969, running as a Democrat, she was elected to the Board of Education and served as the first woman Chairman of the Board from 1971-1973, and from 1985-1997, she served on the Town Council.

Inside and outside Town Hall, she worked with her best friends, the late Elizabeth K. Steven and Nan Lewis Glass for the betterment of the town. Over many years she served as Executive Director of West Hartford’s Bicentennial Committee, co-chaired the town’s Sesquicentennial Committee and served on numerous boards and committees including the Bloomfield/West Hartford Health Board, the Library Board, the pension board, and WHTV, among others.

Because of her belief, energy and vision, in 1991 she dedicated a decade of her life to lobby for, plan and create the University of Hartford Magnet School. This was her pride and joy, the true highlight of her career and one of her greatest accomplishments. She worked as a liaison to the university at the school until her retirement in 2012.

Madeline’s wit, courage and conviction to speak up for what she believed in was inspirational to many people. Through all her work, she was most remembered for her keen sense of humor and ability to bring levity to serious matters.

Madeline was guided by her strong faith in God. She was a congregant at St. Patrick–St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church in Hartford serving as a lector, Eucharistic Minister and CCD teacher for many years. She served on the sandwich mission and spent many Saturdays serving food to the homeless at the House of Bread.

Her beloved Aunt Vivian and brother Robert predecease Madeline.

She is survived by her husband Edward; her daughter Mary Jo Rose, grandchildren Ricky and Shelby Armillotto of California; her daughter Anne and daughter-in-law Anne Marie and their children Maggie Elizabeth and Madeline Grace Mancini of West Hartford; her son Edward, daughter-in-law Linda and grandchildren Edward Thomas, Kellie and Nicholas of East Windsor; and relatives Sue Carol, Beth Ann and Robert Sciarroni and Marianne and David Hargrave.

She took great pride in her friendships and leaves behind countless loyal and longtime friends. One of her final requests was to be certain that each and every person that enriched her life knew how grateful she was for their kindness and companionship over the years.

She found peace and happiness in her last home at Chatfield and enjoyed the wonderful community there. The family is immensely appreciative of the care that her doctors and the staff at St. Francis extended to her, especially in her final days.

The family will welcome friends at Molloy Funeral Home, 906 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford on Friday, Feb. 7 from 3 p.m. to 6 pm.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Feb. 8 at noon at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church, 285 Church Street in Hartford with burial directly following Mass at Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to The House of Bread.


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