By INGE SCHAEFER
Coralie “Corky” Magoon has died. Those who knew her know what a Colchester treasure she was. She would be shocked to hear herself described that way … and might respond, “Oh, oh, no, maybe a fool’s treasure.” She’d be embarrassed – that’s for sure. But, she is on a journey now so can’t complain if you are enlightened as to why elements of her life are being shared with you.
Born and raised in Colchester, she was the daughter of a farmer (George and Donna Magoon) who also served as a selectman, so service ran in the family. For her part, service came by helping Colchester residents through her volunteer work at her church (Our Lady of Grace), the Colchester Food Shelf (and Meals on Wheels), Colchester Cemetery Commission, the Colchester Civil Board of Authority (serving at the polls) and the Colchester Historical Society (serving as president and in other ways). In a recent conversation with Rep. Maureen Dakin, she said of Corky, “She epitomized a good citizen.” At her funeral, Father Beaudin said of her, “It was a life well lived.”
When the farmers market was being held On the Green for a couple of summers, she and I would sometimes staff (as volunteers) a Colchester Historical Society table. Getting to know Corky better during these times was a joy. I’m a blabbermouth as a rule, but she seemed never to tire of my ramblings, even encouraging them with short, but poignant questions. Her dry Vermont humor is what I loved – it sometimes took me a couple of seconds to realize what she had said before laughing out loud at how clever she was. Never a word of complaint about anything that I can remember in the 30 or more years I have known her.
There’s an expression that “He or she is the salt of the earth.” It’s always taken to mean good things – Jesus, after all, told his followers “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Salt is a necessity of life, necessary for preserving and flavoring food. It denotes those of quiet worth and reliability … uncomplicated, straightforward and disingenuous … a good person … simple in the sense of humble and forthright, giving, caring and selfless. That being the case, our Corky Magoon was, indeed, the salt of the earth, and weren’t we lucky that the earth she chose to live in was Colchester. She will be greatly missed.
God’s speed, sweet Corky.