What an incredibly gracious and sincere woman Maggie Daley was. She was a supporter of the arts and youth development, founder of Gallery 37 (My son took part in the theater division in his senior year in high school) and After School Matters. She was an active board member for many organizations including the Golden Apple Foundation. Her amiability and warmth, charm and humility were the perfect counterbalance to her husband’s gruff and rough style and manner of speech. She was a perfect first lady for Chicago.
I first met Maggie when I won a teaching award, the Golden Apple, in 1992. In fact, she personally handed me and the rest of my cohort our awards that year in the televised ceremony. Every time I saw her after that, at various fund-raisers, public events, and board meetings, when she would see me, she would call me by my first name and engage me in conversation.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I am no celebrity. I am not famous or important (except to friends or family). I was but one of an enormous number of people she met and bumped into. I saw her maybe once, maybe twice a year, only in passing, one face among many, yet she still remembered my name. And if she remembered my name, she must have remembered the names of innumerable others as well. What an amazing gift (and seemingly authentic and real) to value and respect, yes even flatter others by remembering their name. (I have heard that Bill Clinton had this uncanny ability too.)
So here’s to Maggie Daley (1943-2012). For her grace and genuineness, for her good works and her optimistic spirit, and for remembering all of our names.
We will definitely remember hers.