Maureen Arcand was a joyful advocate who made so many lives better

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   Maureen Arcand is unforgettable. And her peaceful passing last week does nothing to diminish that. She was to me a force of nature, a strong, positive, wise and caring force of nature. She was 86 years old when she died, and she lived more than 80 of those years with the effects of Cerebral Palsy. She was not shy about pointing out she had far outlived her diagnosis.

   But then Maureen was not shy about much. Over the 35-plus years I knew her through her work at Access to Independence, on the board of the Community Action Coalition, her three terms as a Dane County Board supervisor, and so much more community service, she would joyfully and forcefully prod me to be aware of the need for resources and support for people with disabilities. And then she’d brag about her kids.

   And she did it all with a zest for life that was hard to match. Many people’s lives are better because of Maureen Arcand. I’ll include mine in the list. Her influence will be felt around here for a long, long time.