Nafziger, Charlotte Monona Hamilton MADISON - Charlotte Monona Hamilton Nafziger, age 98, died peacefully on Friday, April 1, 2005. Monona, as she was always known, was born on March 2, 1907, in Winnipeg, Canada, the daughter of beloved parents, E. William and Ida Pearl (Richmond) Hamilton. A graduate of St. Mary's Academy in Winnipeg, Monona received the A.C.T.M. degree in 1925 from the Toronto Conservatory of Music, which also awarded her its nationwide silver medal, A gifted musician, she performed and taught both piano and cello. As a result of a depression in western Canada, her father, a prominent magazine editor, moved his family in 1925 to Madison, where both he and Monona's mother had strong roots. (Monona was a grandniece of Charlotte and Susan Richmond, who founded the Wisconsin Academy, and of T.C. Richmond, a prominent lawyer and gubernatorial candidate, whose gift of deer to the city of Madison marked the beginning of Vilas Park Zoo). In 1928, Monona received her B.A. degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin. Launching her professional career just in time for a second, even worse depression, this time in the United States, she was nevertheless successful from the start. Directly after graduation, she was appointed assistant society editor of The Capital Times and was quickly promoted to society editor. Among her duties at the ripe age of 21, she posed as "Aunt Anna" in dispensing advice to the lovelorn. As she later observed, "I was relieved when that experience was over." In her next position, as assistant editor with the Wisconsin Power and Light Company, she learned what needed to be learned about steam generators and other technology and became the first woman to serve as general office chairman there, On her marriage in 1932 to Ralph O. Nafziger, then an assistant professor in the UW School of Journalism, Monona largely suspended her writing career to devote herself to marriage and the home. She did however, write a weekly column for the Milwaukee Sentinel on Madison activities. Her partnership with her husband in journalism circles was renowned at the UW during the 30s, later at the University of Minnesota, and then a second time at the UW when her husband returned in 1949 as Director of the School of Journalism. While raising her family, to which she was utterly devoted, Monona somehow found time to undertake substantial writing, editing, and civic leadership in both Minneapolis and Madison. For example, she planned and edited the first Directory of the University League here. Among her numerous leadership positions, she served as a board member of the Madison Civics Club, Madison YWCA, Wisconsin Division of the American Association of University Women (A.A.U.W.), Women in Communications, the National League of American Pen Women, and several PTA organizations. In honor of her accomplishments, Monona was listed in "Who's Who of American Women." Her enthusiasm for international education was manifested in endless hospitality to foreign students, service on the executive committee of the Friends of International Students, and travels abroad. Her travels were highlighted by lengthy sojourns in Vienna (1961), Berlin (1964) and New Delhi (1966 to 1967) during her husband's professional work in those locations. Monona was a longtime member of the First Congregational Church, Madison, and for more than 50 years, of Chapter AX of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was an avid birdwatcher, gardener, reader and cookie baker. Above all, her family came first. She is survived by her two sons, Ralph of Albany, Oregon, and James of Salem, Oregon; as well as by several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents; husband; and a sister, Marjorie. Notice of a memorial service at the First Congregational Church, Madison, will be forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Ralph O. Nafziger Lecture Fund at the University of Wisconsin Foundation, Chapter AX of the P.E.O. Sisterhood or the First Congregational Church. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434
Capital Times 5 Apr 1005
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