Sophie Hack MacLeod was bursting with talent and plans for the future until she succumbed to her battle with depression at the age of 23 on Easter Weekend in 2016. At the time, she was on medical leave from Cornell University, and was an employee of Argos Inn in Ithaca.
The child of American journalists, Sophie was born in Johannesburg and spent her childhood living overseas, first in South Africa, then France, and eventually Egypt; she spoke French and Arabic as well as English. As a Suzuki Method student violinist, she performed in youth concerts in Paris, Cairo, and Ithaca. She attended the Lycée Français du Caire, and graduated from Cairo American College, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, performed in the school orchestra, sang in the choir, played water polo, soccer, and volleyball, served as class vice president, and participated in school trips to Russia, Spain, and Vietnam. She counted knitting caps to donate to the children’s cancer hospital in Cairo one of her most fulfilling experiences.
Ithaca became Sophie’s adopted hometown, where she embraced the vibrant restaurant scene, almost lived at the Farmer’s Market, shopped at GreenStar Natural Foods Market, sang karaoke at Lot 10, scoured the Salvation Army for her online vintage clothing business, and enjoyed hikes to Taughannock Falls. Before enrolling as a fine arts major at Cornell in 2010 she had spent five summers at the Ithaca College Suzuki Institutes.
Sophie’s passion for baking and her distinctive creative talent merged into a professional pursuit in the local culinary arts. She ran the dessert counter at Madeline’s Restaurant for a year and a half; at Argos Inn colleagues affectionately dubbed her “the chemist” for her craft cocktail concoctions. She was writing a craft cocktail cookbook and hoped to open her own bakery after completing her Cornell degree.
Sophie cherished her family, her friends, and her beloved cat Bagel, who surrounded her with love.