Winifred B. Meddaugh

June 5, 1916 - June 25, 2012
Winifred B. Meddaugh: June 5, 1916 - June 25, 2012

    Winifred B. Meddaugh, who lived on McGuirk Street in East Hampton for 56 years with her husband, Samuel, died on June 25 in Williamsport, Pa. She was 96.
    Winifred, or Winnie as she was known, was born on June 5, 1916, on a farm in Erieville, N.Y., the second of five children of Martin Wilkinson and the former Carrie Blanding.
     When she was young, she and her family moved to Clinton, N.Y., where she attended school. While a freshman and a substitute on the basketball team, she was put into a game and did so well that she played all the games as a guard through her senior year. She graduated in 1934, second in her class, and was appointed mistress of ceremonies.
    About that time, she met a high school math teacher, Samuel Meddaugh. They soon decided on a life together, but first she was encouraged by her mother to get additional education.
    She entered the nursing school at Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital in New York City and completed a year, after which she and Mr. Meddaugh married on June 29, 1935, in Dover, N.J. They spent the summer in a rented lakeside cabin in Vermont before moving to Westhampton.
    They had two children, a son, Alan, born in 1936, and Joan, who was born in 1937.
    The family remained in Westhampton until 1942, when Mr. Meddaugh enlisted in the Army. Mrs. Meddaugh and the children twice moved to live with relatives, but after Mr. Meddaugh’s medical discharge in 1943, they moved to East Hampton, where he took a job teaching math at East Hampton High School.
    They first lived in a rental on Buell Lane and then in 1952 bought a house on McGuirk Street.
    Mr. Meddaugh had sold his car when he entered the service, so for about five years the family got around by bicycle. Thus when a third child, a daughter named Gail, was born in 1947, a rainy midnight bike ride was necessary for Mr. Meddaugh to borrow the car of Leon Q. Brooks (the high school principal at the time) for the drive to Southampton Hospital. Mrs. Meddaugh continued riding a bike into her 80s with her pal Theresa Frood, keeping track of changes around town.
    During World War II, Mrs. Meddaugh volunteered with the Red Cross and later was active in the Head Start Program at the Neighborhood House in East Hampton, taught Sunday school at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and worked several years as a teacher’s aide at the John M. Marshall Elementary School. She was a longtime member of the Ramblers and also an avid bridge player, enjoying many evenings with a small bridge club.
    She loved the ocean and spent many beach hours pedaling to the beach with one kid on her bike and one following. She always encouraged family and friends to visit, especially during the summer, “beach season.” In addition, guests enjoyed her cooking, from fresh fish to pies, her family said.
    In the winters, too, the beach drew Mr. and Mrs. Meddaugh for long walks, on which over time they amassed a large collection of beach glass. She also enjoyed volleyball and bowling into her later years. Walking remained a passion, with the library as a favorite destination.
    Travels continued throughout her life, at first by train during the war years, then by car, plane, and boat as the years passed. She and Mr. Meddaugh and their younger daughter toured the United States by car in 1969, and later they especially enjoyed traveling with a group taking trips to places of historic interest.
    She is survived by her three children. Her son, Alan, lives in Eagan, Minn., Joan Jackson lives in Sacramento, Calif., and Gail Slocum in Williamsport, Pa. She is also survived by 8 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and her sister, Joyce Bliss of Barneveld, N.Y. A sister and two brothers died before her. Mr. Meddaugh died in 2008 after he and Mrs. Meddaugh had been married 73 years.
    Mrs. Meddaugh was cremated in Williamsport, and her ashes will be buried alongside her husband at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in East Hampton. No service is planned.