Britt Badgley Alamo: Beloved educator and mother, a fierce and fervent fighter

Britt Badgley Alamo, holding her daughter, Elsa, who is now 7. Photo: Courtesy
Britt Badgley Alamo, holding her daughter, Elsa, who is now 7. Photo: Courtesy

Fiercely outspoken at times, at other times unmoved by the ring of the phone, Britt Badgley Alamo was underestimated. She could spit fire. She was a doting mother and a caring wife; a child, herself, who carved a way in a world that she struggled to make sense of. 

Born into a world of complexity and strife, she was smart and heady; and, she became studious at an early age: reading, questioning, exploring. Somehow she set out on one of the most rewarding, yet challenging, paths a woman in her shoes could follow: She became a public school teacher in a setting where some students are undernourished, abused at home, or cannot read and write. 

She knew her students’ parents and called them to task when needed; she called Child Protective Services when a child looked like she hadn’t eaten enough; she was also, as her colleague Martha Cain puts it, the sunshine club at Longfellow Middle in Berkeley, known for her energy and enthusiasm.

See the GoFundMe page.

Britt was active in the school district’s union as site representative. She traveled to other cities to canvas on college campuses for union support and she walked in protests. Britt believed fervently in the right to quality, free public education for all students regardless of where they come from or who they are. 

She took direct action to make this happen. She made this task part of her life’s mission. 

If something needed to get done, Britt took charge. She didn’t have the ability to wait (or even say no). And, yes, she taught her students the history of the United States, too. She did this with passion. Everyone knows she held it down at work and on the home front.

Britt loved Limantour Beach in Point Reyes, she loved Pinot Grigio, she loved the Oakland A’s. She also loved her husband Steve, her brothers Gaby and Jason and her sister Sylvie (auntie CC). She loved her parents Bob and Wendy & Carlos and Joy. She loved her nieces and cousins. She loved her coworkers and students. She loved her friends. 

Left: Britt with her siblings Sylvie and Jason, as children. Right: More recently, their brother Gaby, holding Elsa Amelie. Photos: Courtesy
Left: Britt with her siblings Sylvie and Jason, as children. Right: More recently, their brother Gaby, holding Elsa Amelie. Photos: Courtesy
Britt Badgley Alamo and her husband Steve. Photo: Courtesy
Britt Badgley Alamo and her husband Steve, a chef at Benchmark Pizza in Kensington. Photo: Courtesy
Britt and Elsa. Photo: Courtesy
Britt and Elsa. Photo: Courtesy

Mostly, though, she loved her only daughter, Elsa Amelie, who Britt meticulously taught to read, helped take to gymnastics class: Elsa, to whom she gave her undying support and friendship… and everlasting heart. 

Britt was a fighter in a culture of sacrifice. She sacrificed a lot. She answered her final call. She left us far too soon. She graduated Berkeley High in 1994. She passed away Aug. 26, 2016, at the age of 40.

Peace, peace! she is not dead, she doth not sleep,
She hath awaken’d from the dream of life;
‘Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit’s knife
Invulnerable nothings.
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven’s part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
-WB Yeats

See the GoFundMe page online.

Related:
Berkeley mourns death of teacher, Britt Badgley Alamo (08.29.16)

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