Altadena Town Council Members are still in shock at the unexpected passing of Council Member Madalyn Barber, age 55, on Monday, June 20, 2022. Madalyn, a graduate of Blair (1984), and of University of La Verne, joined the Council in May 2021. After a long career with Nestle, and a more recent role at Aids Health Care Foundation, Madalyn wanted to give back to the community that she and her husband, Michael, have called home, since 1995.
Madalyn’s friend and neighbor, Council Member Alan Peck, recalled knowing she would be a perfect fit for the Council “Madalyn exemplified everything one would want in an Altadena Town Councilperson, a neighbor, and a friend. She was caring, conscientious, reliable, hard-working and smart. She was also a proud “Dena” girl who truly had a heart for our community and will be sorely missed.”
Council Member Victoria Knapp reflected on Barber’s dedication to her work on the Council, “I had the great pleasure of working with Madalyn on a number of projects, most recently, relocating the crossing guard for Altadena Arts Magnet, repainting the existing crosswalks, and adding new crosswalks at the intersection of Calaveras and Santa Rosa. In order to make the area safer for students and residents, she was also working to install crosswalks on El Molino and Mendocino. Madalyn loved that my older son attends Blair and we often discussed her taking a renewed and more active role with the school as an alum. She wanted to make a difference to the students, hopefully, in a mentorship capacity, and I looked forward to seeing her do just that, knowing that my own son would benefit from her tutelage.”
In February 2022 Madalyn co-led the Greater LA Homeless Count for Altadena. Council Member Dot Wong recounts, “Madalyn’s calming grace and focus on the task at hand, took the extra time reaching out to local businesses to support the Count. Undeniably the volunteers braving the elements on a cold night, appreciated the support and we were able to safely count our most vulnerable neighbors experiencing homelessness.”
Madalyn was a spitfire. If she said she was going to do something, she did it. She had a warm and relatable approach, something that would easily de-escalate otherwise heated situations. She had excellent follow-up and follow-through, something that came in especially handy when acting as a liaison being constituents and LA County.
Her work will continue in her absence as fellow Council Members look to take up the jobs she had begun. Council Member Nic Arnzen reflected on a recent exchange with one of Councilmember Barber’s constituents, “I knew they had been working with Madalyn and I wanted to be sure they knew we would keep things rolling. I delivered the news of her passing and the resident immediately expressed sorrow as well as gratitude. They told me of the multiple items Madalyn had been assisting them with confirming what I already knew. She cared deeply for Altadena and welcomed any opportunity to help improve our beautiful town.”
Madalyn loved her newfound role on Town Council and took pride in helping others. Above that, though, she loved being a wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Her warmth was felt by all as Altadena Town Council Chair Veronica Jones expressed, “It was a pleasant surprise that like me, Madalyn enjoyed watching the Flintstones even now. It was that playful spirit that made her so welcoming and easy to talk to.”
The Altadena Town Council’s hearts and prayers are with Madalyn’s husband, son, Tyler, grandson, Kace, and extended family as they mourn her sudden passing and navigate life without her. She will be missed by so many in the Altadena Community, a community that was blessed to have her as a resident and leader.