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AYER — Dorothy A. (Russell) Madigan, 81, died Friday, May 2, 2008, at the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Nashua, N.H.

Mrs. Madigan was born in Lowell on April 27, 1927, a daughter of Charles A. and Esther M. (Walmsley) Russell and has resided in Ayer for most of her life.

She graduated from Ayer High School and then worked as a switchboard operator at the Ayer office of the New England Telephone Company. After working there for 20 years, she returned to school where she majored in education. In 1970 she received her bachelor’s degree from Fitchburg State College, and in 1974 her master’s degree from the same institution. She then taught English and reading for 18 years at Ayer High School before her retirement in 1988.

She was very fond of animals, especially her pet Siamese cats.

She is survived by a son, Bernard W. Madigan, of Ayer; and three grandchildren. She was the mother of the late David Madigan, of Utica, N.Y., who died in 1992.

A Memorial Mass was celebrated on Thursday, May 8, at St. Anthony’s Church, Shirley.

Memorial contributions may be made to the MSPCA, 250 South Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02130.

The T.J. Anderson & Son Funeral Home, of Ayer, assisted the family with arrangements. Please see for additional information.

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