Madeleine Lanctot, of Edwards, and recently of Heritage Park Care Center in Carbondale, passed away on Monday.
Her husband, John, was by her side for her last breath. Her favorite French Canadian singers and her beloved Beethoven symphonies were playing all day. Mado was comfortable and at peace in ending her long and courageous fight with Alzheimer's disease. She is now free to dance the streets of gold. Hallelujah.
Madeleine was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, on July 8, 1942, the first child of Yvon and Jacqueline Lanctot. Seven more siblings would come to the staunchly devoted Catholic family. She grew up in love with life, with a big, big extended family and "too much church." No convent for this girl, she grew into a highly spirited somewhat rebellious, very alive, young lady. Madeleine began skiing at age 6, both alpine and Nordic. She won numerous canoeing competitions and began playing tennis on a family homemade clay court at her summer home on Lake Magog at Deauville, Quebec.
An outstanding student through a vigorous Catholic school system (the only system in place in Quebec at that time), she took an undergraduate degree in home economics from Sherbrooke University and left home for the first time in her Volkswagen Bug for Vancouver, British Columbia, to work as an understudy to the dietician at Vancouver University Hospital. After a year on the West Coast, she returned to Quebec and then onto Ithaca, N.Y., to enroll as a graduate student at Cornell University, where she earned a Master of Science degree in food service and labor management. Next came a faculty assignment at the University of Missouri. While in Columbia, she met her first husband to be, the young intern, Dino Tsamasfyros. Dr. Tsamasfyros and Madeleine had two children, John and Julie, who would both become graduates of Vail Mountain School. Madeleine worked and taught at the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver and ran a small family ranch in Castle Rock. It was here that she found her love of horses, rode and competed in dressage events, a love and skill set she was eventually to pass onto Julie.
The family came to Vail in the mid-'70s, where they embraced the mountain lifestyle of downhill skiing, mountain biking and tennis. Both John and Julie became collegiate ski racers through Ski Club Vail. Madeleine worked at Pepi's as the front of the house manager and as a model in the retail clothing shop. For Vail Associates, she managed all banquets for the 1989 World Cup championship races. She moved on to the newly built Hyatt in Beaver Creek in a management position, ultimately returning to work for Vail Associates in the ski school ticket office at Beaver Creek. She retired from her professional life as the bookkeeper for Spark Creative.
Madeleine hired John to help her design her "Cafe Madeleine, an American Deli" on July 29, 1993. For John it was love at first sight. The deli was originally designed to go into the Marko's Pizza space in Edwards. However, construction costs and the newly growing love combined to happily end the project. They were married on Aug. 1, 1996, in the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens with only close family in attendance. John and Madeleine skied and partied, traveled and enjoyed life together as Madeleine imparted the joys of the French life style to John. Madeleine skied two weeks before going into assisted living in Denver, pretty much on the promise of an apres ski glass of wine at the Broken Arrow.
Madeleine is survived by her husband, John Perkins, of Edwards; her son John Tsamasfyros (Mary Kay) and two granddaughters, Toni and Brett, of San Mateo, Calif.; her daughter, Julie Bulatovic (Brian) and two grandsons, Bronson and Brozeck, of Denver.
She is also survived by two sisters, Michelle, of Montreal, Quebec, and Denyse of Paris, France; and four brothers, Pierre of Montreal, Bernard of Quebec City, Francois of Sherbrooke and Daniel of Charlotte, N.C.,; and lastly her cat, Sophie. Madeleine is preceded in death by her parents and her oldest brother, Jacques, formerly of Sherbrooke, Quebec.
A requiem mass will be celebrated for Madeleine at the Beaver Creek Chapel at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12 with the Monsignor Robert Kinkel officiating. A celebration of life party will be held at the Vista Restaurant Country Club of the Rockies following at 12 p.m. Anyone and everyone who knew Madeleine are invited to come and share their memories.
In lieu of flowers, donations made in Madeleine's name to the Colorado Alzheimer's Association will be greatly appreciated.