Countless Westporters know and love Cathy Talmadge.
Those who don’t, should. Every resident’s life has been touched, and impacted, by hers.
Cathy’s longtime friend Amy Ancel calls her “a passionate, tireless volunteer and leader with Wakeman Town Farm, Earthplace and Friends of Sherwood Island.”
Cathy is also a member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting. Over the past 15 years she has served on the RTM’s Public Works and Environment Committees.
She works quietly yet doggedly to help make Westport a better place to live.
Cathy is now seriously ill.
Her friends at Wakeman Town Farm want her to know what an inspiration she has been to them, and so many others. Cathy’s friend and colleague Christy Colasurdo writes:
When I met you more than 15 years ago, I was in awe. You were a wonderful cook, gardener, traveler, swimmer, environmentalist, and served on at least 2 town boards.
And that’s just skimming the surface.
You clearly relished your role as a conduit between the players in town and the organizations you served. You knew everyone who was anyone, and they obviously knew and respected you.
But the thing that impressed me the most was how you were always the first to quietly jump in to lend a hand, whether it was wrangling permits from the liquor control board, rolling up your sleeves to sew masks during COVID or dropping off used file folders to cut down on paper waste.
When I think of you, I picture you in your sunny kitchen with a soup bubbling on the stove and a golden retriever and Siamese cat at your feet, switching out your seasonal planters, or working away at your sewing table. You befriended and surrounded yourself with local environmental “greats” like Sal Gilbertie and Norm Bloom, and you were viewed as a civic leader on par with these giants for your commitment to Earthplace, Sherwood Island, the RTM, Wakeman Town Farm and other local organizations fighting for a more sustainable environment.
At the Farm you were one of the pioneers, putting yourself in the mix to ensure a successful initial renovation of the aging Wakeman residence to provide a cozy and warm welcome to the first caretaking family.
After this you took on the dual roles of town liaison and farm treasurer, helping create accounting systems, guiding budget decisions, managing the Farm’s first audit and so much more.
To many of us at the Farm you were a valued team player and, more than this: family.
I was deeply affected by your fight through serious illnesses, leading to your kidney transplant last year.
Thank you for your friendship, and for being such a wonderful person. Please know that you have always been an inspiration to me and many others. and that we are with you now.