Tuesday, December 06, 2016


Obituary for Virginia Madden 

Virginia Madden
Virginia Lee Highfill Madden
Today Virginia Highfill Madden takes her rightful place among heaven’s angels. Her years of self-sacrifice, caring for her husband and raising 3 boys has qualified her for her new role.
Virginia was born February 26th, 1926 to Ernie and Georgia Highfill in Olive, Missouri. Times were tough even for her father’s mercantile business. She attended Draughon Business School before working at Beiderman’s Furniture Store in Springfield. She met and married Curtis Madden shortly after his return from the Marines where he was stationed in the Pacific and in China. They first made their home in Olive, Missouri then on a farm near Elkland, Missouri. Her husband used to say that farming was not profitable, “you could make more money selling $2 axe handles for $1”. She relished the farming life including maintaining the farm and keeping an acre and a half garden. Virginia was self-sufficient in ways rare in today’s world. Her work on the farm was never ending.
Her faith was resolute and unshakeable. She attended and was a member at the Fair Grove Methodist Church where she had many friends. Through the years she took great pleasure in the progress her 3 sons made in the world. Her patience for delivering them to practice, games and school was remarkable. She was able to guide them to a great work ethic and set of values. That guidance was at once gentle in the way it was delivered, but firm in her resolve that her boys understand right from wrong.
Later in life Virginia took over the formidable task of caring for Curt. She took classes in nursing and delivered his care superbly. Curt was able to live comfortably thanks to Virginia’s self-sacrifice.
Virginia loved to prepare enormous meals for family and friends. She expected family and visitors to eat heartily and we seldom disappointed her. Many of those meals put expensive restaurants to shame.
She was also a master at quilting. Concept, design, materials and production were tools of an art form to Virginia. Those of us blessed enough to possess an example are fortunate. She gave most of these away as gifts ever eager to start a new one.
Even in her late years, through her memory loss, her sense of humor was exceptional. Her boys and her sister spent many afternoons laughing with her as family stories were told and retold.
It is difficult to imagine how complete and well-rounded were Virginia’s skills and capabilities. Outstanding mother, remarkable friend, caretaker, chef, nurse, farmer, gardener – the list is quite long. Mostly she was our mom and we were incredibly lucky to have her.
Virginia is survived by a sister, Mary Bratcher, a brother Hunter Highfill, 3 sons, Brian Madden, Sean Madden and Mike Madden and three grandchildren: Lauren Dwight, Jeremy Madden and Cory Madden..
Please join us in celebrating the life of a wonderful, kind woman who will be sorely missed.
Funeral services will be at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at Greenlawn Funeral Home North with burial to follow in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.
Visitation will be Tuesday evening, December 6th from 5pm to 7pm at the funeral home.
Virginia Lee Highfill Madden

I took this very complete and spot-on obituary about Virginia Madden from Facebook.  To place Virginia Lee Highfill Madden in the larger context of the Madden-Felin family, I offer the following.  My mother, Margaret Marie Madden Felin was the oldest in the Madden family of six--parents Harve and Margaret (Maggie) Stone Madden; children Margaret Marie, Mildred (Long), Curtis, and Kent.  Aunt Virginia, widow of Curtis, was the last of that generation of aunts and uncles for the children, grandchildren, and grandchildren of Margaret Marie Madden and James Louis Felin.  [I am Rose, child number six of Margaret and James Felin.  The others:  Bernie (deceased), Robert (deceased), Joseph, John, Margaret (deceased), Martha Sue (deceased), and Donald.]

Seeing Aunt Virginia's brother, Hunter's name in the obituary brought up some happy memories for me.  When my sister Sue and I were kids, we would occasionally stay with Aunt Virginia and Uncle Curt for a few days at their home/farm in the tiny town of Olive, MO.  Hunter, about the most handsome and kindest man Sue or I had ever known, would take us fishing.  He taught us how to bait hooks with grasshoppers and worms, how to know when to reel in the catch, how to recognize what we had caught.  We were extremely grateful that he would also clean the fish!  He also took us frogging.  I well remember Aunt Virginia preparing frog legs caught in our nocturnal hunts.  The legs jumping in the skillet were too much for us, so I don't believe we ate them.  Seems dumb now, but, hey, we were kids!

Uncle Curt and Aunt Virginia had a farm with dairy cows.  Watching the milking machines extract milk from all those cows lined up in the barn was quite a wondrous sight.

One memory about Aunt Virginia stands out.  Sue and I were in the kitchen.  Aunt Virginia called from the other room, "There is candy for you two in the crisper."  The crisper?  Sue and I looked at each other.  We had no idea what a crisper was and did not want to reveal our ignorance.  I no longer remember how we coped, but somehow we did.  To this day, the word "crisper" is a mystery to me.  Why that name?

My niece, Sabrina (Smith), daughter of Margaret, and I considered traveling to Springfield for Aunt Virginia's funeral but could not work it out.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike, Brian, and Sean as they bid farewell to this wonderful mother.  May she go from strength to strength.

A footnote:  It was during our pilgrimage to Stephanie's parents' graves on Sunday that we learned of Aunt Virginia's passing.  Somehow, the time was fitting.

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