Remembering Madeleine Bemelmans
We sadly report that Madeleine Bemelmans died just after Christmas 2004. She was an essential part of the stalwart band Christine Stevens assembled, mostly in her dining room, when the Animal Welfare Institute was founded in 1951. Madeleine was the wife of Ludwig Bemelmans, an extraordinarily talented artist and writer. Is there anyone who has not read his Madeline books, either for pleasure or to a delighted child?
In her own quiet way, Madeleine was a shrewd and dedicated worker for animals and their protection. As a longtime board member of the Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL), she was especially helpful as an editor—though she was usually no more successful than the rest of us in curbing Christine’s sometimes prolix explanations of what was wrong with the way the world treated animals and what should be done about it. What a sly sense of humor our colleague showed!
When Madeleine finally stepped down as president of SAPL—after several attempts were thwarted by Christine—to open her post to the next generation, there was a gap in our office life. Her spirit is shared by her only child, Barbara, who survives her. Barbara has devoted her life to raising and caring for horses, and she is the mother of Madeleine’s three grandsons. Just as they do, we will miss Madeleine very much.