Phyllis Madan, a former Fashion Institute of Technology placement counselor who retired to an East Hampton vacation house in 1991 and became involved with the local Democratic Party, died last Thursday at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She was 85 and had been ill for several weeks, her family said.
Ms. Madan loved the ocean and the East Hampton landscape, but her family said that she cared most about the people here. She had many friendships and was in her element when celebrating life over good food, good wine, and laughter.
Her family described her as a lover of the arts. She would listen to music of any variety and had a flair for the dramatic. She volunteered her time to the East Hampton Democratic Party for more than a decade, they said.
She was born Phyllis Slaughter to John Slaughter and the former Beulah Vellanoweth on Sept. 23, 1928, in Akron, Ohio, where she grew up. She received a master’s degree from the University of Akron Teachers College.
While working in Cleveland she met Richard Madan, who was there as a psychology intern. They were married on June 7, 1953, and moved to New York City. They lived for 30 years on the Upper West Side, where they raised two sons.
Working at F.I.T. in Manhattan for more than 20 years, she earned the title of associate professor. In 1976, she and her husband bought a house on Maple Lane in East Hampton, where they spent vacations and summers.
Mr. Madan and the couple’s two sons, Joshua Madan of New York City and Matthew Madan of East Topsham, Vt., survive her. She also leaves behind a brother, Richard Slaughter of Newark, Ohio, a sister, Sally Akers of Akron, and two grandchildren. Two siblings died before her.
A date for a celebration of Ms. Madan’s life will be announced, likely in the spring. Donations in her name have been suggested to the East Hampton Democratic Party, P.O. Box 2013, East Hampton 11937.