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1176 Main Street
Fairfax, VT 05454
Phone: 802-849-6261
Fax: 802-849-6262
Madison Safford

Madison Dorman "Matt" Safford

Saturday, June 6th, 1936 - Tuesday, March 24th, 2020
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A good man has passed away. Madison Dorman Safford left this earth peacefully at his home on March 24, 2020 at the young age of 83, after a brief battle with cancer. He spent his final weeks surrounded by his loving family, sharing memories and a chuckle or two.

Born in Cambridge, VT on June 6th, 1936 to John and Esther Safford, he was affectionately known as “Matt”. He grew up in Cambridge and graduated from Cambridge High School in 1954.Matt joined the US Navy soon after.

Matt and Arlene Rogers started school together at the age of five. Although classmates for twelve years, Arlene didn’t truly take notice until she saw Matt in his naval uniform when he was home on leave in 1955. In 1957, they married and started their life-long adventure together. First stationed in Norfolk, Virginia and then onto the US Naval submarine base in Groton, Connecticut,they laid their roots in nearby Mystic and raised their family.

Matt traveled the world both on and under the sea. From the USS Damato to the USS Thomas A. Edison, he served an admirable 22 years, retiring in 1976.

Traveling was still in Matt’s blood after retirement, so he purchased a tractor trailer and traveled up and down the eastern seaboard. As an independent long-haul trucker, he delivered goods from New York City to Florida. He enjoyed telling the family about his escapades during his short visits home.

In 1978, Arlene gave Matt the gift he was waiting for - a note saying she was ready to move home. In 1979, they moved back to Vermont and together they built their forever home on “The Hill” in Jeffersonville.

Matt joined the Town of Cambridge highway department in 1982 before retiring in 2000. During those years, Matt and Arlene opened and operated “Matt’s Quik Stop”, located on the Mountain Road just outside the gates of Smugglers’ Notch. They worked countless hours and enjoyed everyone they met.

After retiring, Matt and Arlene enjoyed a few years “wintering” in Florida but decided it was not for them. In 2003, Smugglers’ Notch started a guest shuttle service and Matt happily joined the Smuggs team. Without question, Matt enjoyed every moment working for Smugglers’. It was with great sadness that he announced his retirement in November 2019 due to illness.

Matt enjoyed many hobbies. Two of his favorites were coaching baseball and teaching the history of Cambridge to elementary students. On the baseball diamond, he was known as “Coach Saff”. He loved to play catch and teach the game that was so dear to his heart. At Cambridge Elementary, he spent countless hours preparing for and teaching third grade students during their “Cambridge History” week. He also loved learning and sharing his knowledge of the Safford genealogy.

A bucket list accomplishment that Matt thoroughly enjoyed was co-authoring a history book, “Postcards from Cambridge”, with his close friend and fellow historian, Roberta Marsh.

In 2015, after 58 years of marriage, Matt’s beloved wife, Arlene, passed away. Besides his parents, he was also predeceased by his brother, James, along with many close in-laws and friends.

Matt leaves behind his kids, Mark Safford, Scott (Donna) Safford and Ann (David) Messier. His grandchildren, Heather (Ryan) Shannon, Ryan (Nicole) Safford, Tyler Safford (Chelsea McDonald)and Jason (Jaemmie) Messier. Matt was even blessed with four great-grandchildren – Summer Messier (13), Autumn Shannon (5), Dax Shannon (3)and Avery Safford (1). Affectionately nicknamed “Pop”by his grandkids,he had a great influence on their lives. From showing them love and kindness to sharing his lifelong passion for softball and baseball, Matt always put his family first.

Additionally, he leaves behind sisters, Elizabeth Reynolds and Mary Paulman, sister-in-law, Maxine Rogers, and brother-in-law and best friend, Albert (Gerry) Rogers.

The Safford family would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all who helped Matt through this cancer journey. The kindness shown will never be forgotten. A special thank-you to nurse Stephanie Craig whose compassion, guidance and enlightenment helped us more than one will ever know.

For those wishing to make a donation in Matt’s memory, please consider Lamoille Home Health and Hospice, (54 Farr Ave., Morrisville, VT 05661) as they are a godsend to the Lamoille community.

A celebration of Matt’s life has yet to be set. In the meantime, when you drink a Coke or eat a cookie, please think of him fondly, lovingly and with a smile. Please visit to share your memories and condolences.
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A celebration of Matt’s life has yet to be set. In the meantime, when you drink a Coke or eat a cookie, please think of him fondly, lovingly and with a smile.


Donations are being accepted for: Lamoille Home Health Hospice.


We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Madison here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

Private Condolence


Posted at 01:08pm
Dear Mark Safford, Scott (Donna) Safford and Ann (David) Messier.
Sending you condolences on the loss of your Dad Madison. Though I never got to meet your Dad, we did serve on the same Submarine Thomas A. Edison, just at different times, none the less a fellow Edison and submarine sailor. I belong to a group here in Vermont of submarine sailors, some how in my quest to find submarine sailors here in Vermont, I did not know of your Dad. I really took note when I saw that your Dad's birthday was June 6th, the same as mine, which makes this even more meaningful. May fond memories be with you and lots of good sea stories.
C. William Mattoon
Springfield, VT
Former Thomas A. Edison crewmember

Kathy Johnson

Posted at 07:47pm
I'm so sorry to hear of Matt's passing. I so enjoyed the chance to get to know him better during the years we were both involved in making a video about the Town of Sterling. Matt's knowledge of the stories associated with the area was boundless.

My deepest condolences. Matt will be sorely missed around town.

Clayton Williamson

Posted at 04:25pm
I am so sorry to hear that Matt has passed,I I graduated in53 we played baseball together for Cambridge High, we were good friend, enjoyed our talks about Cambridge History

Juli Abell

Posted at 01:03pm
I am so sorry to hear about Matt's passing. Such a wonderful and gentle soul. I would wait at the VOC for the shuttle and if the driver wasn't Matt I would just wave them on until Matt's shuttle came by. He always made the start of your day special and had such a great sense of humor. Thinking of Matt's family and sending positive thoughts your way.

Cora Willis-Powell

Posted at 12:03pm
Matt, you brightened my day so very much. From the very first time I set foot on your shuttle bus 12 years ago with my 3yr old daughter, who was so nervous and you made her feel so comfortable, she looked forward to seeing you everyday and getting that high five, until the last time I saw you in October, you have made me smile. Thank you for my coffees and for making my daughters feel so special. You truly were the best around. Love you and miss you.
The Willis-Powell family (Cora, Anna, Allison and Ashley)

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