Alison Damon Zeigler, a long-time resident of Montclair, NJ, died March 14, 2021. She was 81.
Born in 1940, in Lowell, Massachusetts, Alison attended the Northampton School for Girls before embarking on her college career at Elmira College in Elmira, NY, where she graduated in 1961 with a degree in Speech and Theatre. A talented actress, Alison spent four seasons performing Summer Stock with the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire, where she worked with her future husband, Joe. From there, she joined a 12-month road tour with The Bishop’s Company, traveling across the country, performing in a variety of plays.
Alison starred in an off-Broadway production of The Boy with the Cart, graced the television screen in “The Mother” on Station WSYE, and was a contestant on the game show, Password. With more than 60 roles under her talented belt, some of her favorites included Regina in The Little Foxes, Phedre in Phedre, Maggie in The Man Who Came to Dinner, and Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town.
Joe and Alison married in 1964 and celebrated with a reception at her parent’s home in Lisbon, CT. They spent the first year of their marriage living and working in San Francisco, before returning to the East Coast where they lived in Ithaca, NY before eventually setting up an apartment in New York City. There, Joe and Alison would welcome their first son, Damon, in 1968 and their second son, Bram, in 1971.
In 1973, the Zeiglers moved to Montclair, New Jersey, where they would spend the next 28 years. Alison began a longstanding career as a self-employed bookkeeper, working for such clients as the T. Schreiber Studio, fragrancier Ann Gottlieb, and the Checkerboard Foundation. The family traveled into the city every Sunday for services at West End Collegiate Church, where they developed a decades-long relationship with the congregation, and a dear friendship with the Reverends Ken and Judy Gorsuch and their family.
Alison loved her family, particularly spending time with her three siblings, Cot, Niv, and Faith ’59, and her extended family on her beloved Heron Island, off the coast of Maine. There, she donned her turquoise bathing suit and regularly braved the frigid waters of the Atlantic, enjoyed a chilled vodka with a slice of lemon (or two!) on the porch of her family’s cottage, expertly boiled lobsters in saltwater, and spent hours walking the paths and rocky coastline with her cherished grandchildren, Emily, Rachel, Campbell, and Brodie.
In the late-1990s, Alison, like many other women, had her colors done and, according to the color wheel, was determined to be a “winter.” From that day forward, she donned herself in silver jewelry, and a consistent palette of blues and purples. Those who knew her, though, would say her spirit was anything but wintery. She was warm and inviting and bright and beautiful; a summer’s day on Heron Island at heart.
Alison is survived by her son Damon Wesley (Amy) and her granddaughters, Emily and Rachel, and her son Abraham “Bram” Ives (Katie), and her grandsons, Campbell and Brodie. A private remembrance will take place later this year. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Peterborough Players. www.peterboroughplayers.org.