In memoriam honors Sani Fogel

Rockport dedicates 2024 Town Report to retired Clerk Linda Greenlaw

Sun, 05/12/2024 - 10:30pm

    ROCKPORT – Rockport is recognizing its longtime retired Town Clerk Linda Greenlaw with one of its highest honors by dedicating the annual Town Report to her. The town is also honoring former Select Board member and Rockport resident Sani Wolf Fogel, who died in 2023, with its annual in memoriam.

    On Friday, May 10, Linda arrived at the town office just before noon to discover a crowd of family, friends and old colleagues gathered in the lobby.

    She was not entirely surprised (she was the Town Clerk for 26 years and no one can keep a secret from her), but she was pleased. And in true Linda fashion, she was a woman of few words, but wearing a big smile.

    “Linda was everything to everybody here in the Town of Rockport,” said Select Board Chair Denise Munger. “People could come in and get the job done, taxes paid and get their car registered, but they could also have a sensitive ear when life just got hard. And Linda listened. That mattered a lot to people. That kind of approach to our town government is what makes Rockport a really special place. Linda showed us what is possible. You can get your work done, but you can also be kind.”

    Munger noted Greenlaw’s devotion to her family, as well, and, “the other thing I want to mention is what a great baker you are — on Election Day, giving people delicious treats. Congratulations, Linda, this could not be a better moment for all of us.”

    “And for me, too,” said Greenlaw. “Thank you.”

    She expressed appreciation to all in the room for attending and said, “and thank you for this great honor.”

    The annual report dedication reads:

    The Town of Rockport is honored to dedicate the 2024 Annual Town Report to Linda Greenlaw.

    If anyone can say they love Rockport it is Linda Greenlaw. She was born and raised in the town of Rockport to Cecil and Marry Dennison and graduated from Rockport high school.  Linda grew up just across the road from the current town office and has spent the majority of her adult life living in Rockport. If you were to ask her, she would proudly tell you she is old time Rockport. 

    Linda started her career in town government in 1989 as the office coordinator for the town of Thomaston, then after 7 years, was handpicked for the town clerk position by her predecessor Brenda Richardson.

    While working for Rockport, Linda accomplished a lot in her many years with the town. She married countless couples as a notary, she made sure every year, twice a year, elections went off without a hitch, she made herself available for all the residents whenever they needed her, and earned the respect of the town’s residents along the way.

    Linda  was there through six town managers and even wore that hat on an interim basis once or twice.  She was on several committees and loved every minute of it. Linda kept meticulous records and made it her mission to have the vault organized before her retirement. Though Linda  has always been a stickler for the rules she prides herself on being fair and always doing what she can to help her friends or residents in need. 

    Outside of work Linda  loves to bake and cook. Ask any election clerk, and they will tell you how great she is at that. Linda has a passion for collecting Rockport postcards, and can be found frequenting antique shops pouring over their cards looking for just the right one. She is just as dedicated to her family as she was to being the town’s clerk, and that is to say something. Of Lindas many accomplishments her greatest one is being the very best wife, mother and grandmother.  

    As much as Linda was loved as town clerk, she is doubly loved by her family.  Linda is excited to see what her future brings with her retirement  but she won’t ever be far from the town and its residents that she cares so much for. Thank you, Linda, for decades of sharing your wit and wisdom for Rockport’s collective benefit!

    Later in the afternoon, May 10, another ceremony took place at the Town Office, this one in company with Alexa Fogel, the daughter of Sani Wolf Fogel, who died in 2023.

    Rockport is dedicating its in memoriam page to her, and wrote:

    Sani Wolf Fogel passed away on February 28, 2023, at the age of 86. Sani was an explorer and an enthusiast: an accomplished arts executive, a long-time philanthropic leader, an active member of many communities, and an avid sailor. She will be remembered by friends and family for her intrepid, fierce, and loyal presence.

    Alexandra Wolf was born in Philadelphia on November 1, 1936, the first child of Irene G. and Walter “Billy” Wolf. The eldest of six, Sani was a spirited leader, inclined to adventure. During summers spent with her family in Rockport, Maine, Sani discovered a love for sailing. At age 16, she purchased her first boat, the Chip-in, with help from her younger brothers and sisters. 

    In a life that included boat voyages across the globe, the coast of Maine remained her favorite place to sail.  Sani attended Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1958. She married Herbert Fogel of Philadelphia (whom she later divorced), while enrolled at Sarah Lawrence college, challenging school policy in order to return to her studies. The couple had two daughters, Alexa and Marya.

    Sani moved to Maine full time in 1995 to become the founding Executive Director of the Maine Philanthropy Center and served in that position until 2001. The library of the Center bears her name, in honor of her service.

    For over 60 years, Sani was active with Bay Chamber Concerts, which was founded by two of her brothers, Andrew and Thomas Wolf. Starting as a ticket taker in the early days, Sani was a passionate supporter of the organization, serving as Board President from 2016-2021, and as a member of the development committee for over 20 years.

    A music lover and an advocate of the power of culture to build community, Sani advocated for the organization to enrich its educational offerings. She helped to create the plan and the financial model for the Bay Chamber Music School, which opened in June of 2010. A studio in the new building will be named in her honor. A capable and generous host, Sani will be remembered also for the post-concert gatherings she hosted for visiting musicians.

    Sani loved Maine and was dedicated to her Rockport-centered community. She served two three-year terms on the Town of Rockport Select Board from 2006 to 2012 and volunteered on multiple town committees including the Opera House Committee and the Harbor Committee. She was both a leader and a consensus builder, always eager to hear new ideas.