Madge Martin Dawley was born November 15, 1928 in Carlisle, PA, the daughter of Leroy Goodyear Martin, Sr. and Mary Jane O’Brien. She graduated from Shippensburg State Teacher’s College and focused on Special Education. She taught in Pennsylvania and California before joining DoDDS. From 1959 to 1964, Madge had the opportunity to teach in Japan, France and Germany. During these five years she traveled extensively and made many lifelong friends. It was while she was teaching in Wiesbaden, Germany, that she met and married her husband, James Robertson Dawley. They had two children, Mary Jane (Mj) Dawley and James R. Dawley, Jr., both of Hampton.
Madge moved to Virginia in 1967 and became active in many organizations both in Hampton and at Langley AFB. In 1976 she and her husband opened Country Crafts Needlework, which they ran until their retirement in 1989. Always a teacher at heart, Madge became very involved with Peninsula Reads. She served on the Board of Directors, and helped establish the Adult Basic Literacy Program at the Newport News City Jail; a program which continues today. She had many, many dear friends with whom she enjoyed going out to eat and take in local shows and events. In her retirement, she continued to travel, going to Alaska, China, and, on two occasions, to see the polar bears in northern Canada .
Madge passed away on March 1, 2007 and is survived by her two children.