FRANCIS JULIAN MADDEN
In our society, when a loved one passes, we have a ritual to help us find solace and understanding. We invite family, close friends, former neighbours, cohorts, colleagues, acquaintances, and even our children's schoolmates to gather together and share the parts of our lives and their lives that were touched by and made meaningful by our loved one. Well, a physical gathering is not happening for this wonderful man because of COVID19 in our midst. Families in 2020 have been retooling this ritual with technology by going virtual. The family of Frank Madden, aka Francis Madden, aka Julian Madden cannot do that. Seriously, no way. We are a bit old school modified and would like to use this medium to tell you about Frank, June's husband of 70 years.
To line you up on which Madden clan Frank is from, he was predeceased by his parents Ivy and Joseph (Pop) Madden and his siblings Mary, Joe, Brian, Howard, Raymond, Sheilagh, Kevin, Jerome, Michael, Patrick, and Leo. His sister Judith Ann lives in Regina.
Frank was predeceased by his daughters Adrienne and Susan. The other five children are Joel and Sandy, Chris, Kathy and Jerry, Paul and Cheryl, and Terry. His grandchildren and their kids are Robin and Gioacchino, Lorenzo, Sienna, Dominic, and Teresa. Heather and Berris, Adriette, Amrynn, and Alina. Gary, father of Lynn, Harley, Jesse and Jessica, River. Sandra, mother of Lauren, Graham and Tamara. Paige, Erin. Joel. Sydney and Garrett. Keara. Chris and Maureen, Jadyn, Emma. Kelly. Matt and Freya.
To those of you who knew Dad, what can we tell you about him that you didn't already know? Maybe we just tell you of a few short stories about this man to get your own memories churning.
What special moments can we share with those of you that didn't know Dad that would make you wish you had known him? Read on.
The thoughtful Dad on a very special Dad/daughter only train trip to Regina that taught his young child four different games of solitaire. Daughter was thrilled. Dad got to read his newspaper. He denied doing that.
The kind father that would teach his young eager son that you couldn’t have everything you want. Even if it is a 1963 Chevy Corvette ragtop that his son eagerly tried to convince him that “we" could share if only he could contribute 90% of the $3000.00 required. I'll pay you back...half!
A caring father that had the “sex talk” with the above-mentioned son, summing up all the most uncomfortable possibilities with just two words and a determined glare accompanied by a complete novel in the inclination of one eyebrow. I heard, “Be careful”. I understood volumes.
The witty father that wrote ASK MUM on a Christmas gift tag just to watch his young children plead with their mother, "Whose gift is it? Who is it for"? Mum had no idea. Not sure how long it took nor who figured out that the tag read Adrienne, Susan, Kathy, Mum. It was a bonnet hairdryer for the girls.
The father for whom we loved to shine his shoes so that he would look perfect on Sunday morning and at work.
The father that really expressed his enthusiasm for being a Dad when he dried his young children’s hair with a towel.
A Dad that one afternoon got busted playing with a wooden toy in the kitchen. It was a paddle that when you swung the dangling wooden ball around a bird pecked at the paddle making a very distinct sound. That day, some of his children, sitting just on the other side of the wall in the dining room, were certain he was stirring up a pitcher full of Kool-Aid. Disappointed.
Please do, take a break to top up your coffee or whiskey.
A smart man that learned early in his marriage that sometimes a husband had to do things that made his wife happy and those things that had nothing to do with sex. Like road trips, train trips, cruises, and such. Hot spots like Mesa, Fort Lauderdale, and Hawaii were okay.
A funny man. During a family gathering when many were seated, crowded around the living room on Cunnington, the women folk began to talk about their birthing stories. Not the labour and delivery stories, but their baby weight stories. At one point, Mum mentioned that after Chris was born she got down to the weight she was before she had babies, before Adrienne was born. Dad leaned close to Kathy and whispered, "That's why you were born". (TMI)
A clever father who could keep the dinner hour of a family of nine quiet by suggesting his children could wiggle their ears without moving their eyebrows. They could also learn to do a clean wink with each eye. No wrinkling up both eyes because when you were trying to con your Mother you could turn away slightly from her and let everyone else know you are just teasing with a clean wink. Didn't matter on which side of you Mum was, she wouldn't see your perfect wink. Practice, practice, practice.
A quiet man that collected and gifted wooden boxes in which to keep special thing secure.
A father that understood how to weather the moments of wayward youth and insolent teenagers with grace, nudging them back to a better path. Letting mistakes be made and learnt from.
A resourceful Dad that never lost a child in a department store. Or any crowded spot for that matter. We may have wandered off, but he had a distinctive whistle which always helped us find our way to him. That whistle has not been turned off. The whistlers in the family still use it and it is recognized by all our generations as a beacon of safety.
Francis was a teacher and a playful wordsmith, this because he was first and always a brother, younger by six, older by six. He always looking forward to seeing and enjoying his family and their families. This was Frank’s time, at home family time. Dinner time, interested, engaged, honest time. Backyard bleeding hands time. “Get it done, I’m hav’n a smoke then we’re done” time. Our time. A great time.
Frank was a man that had a really good long life. He never complained while facing significant challenges like co-parenting seven children and living with MS since his late twenties.
June and her children would like to make mention of the wonderful care and friendship Frank received from the staff at Lindenwood Terrace and Villa. You know who you are, everyone.
A grateful thank you to the staff, and residents and their families on 2W at Riverview Health Centre that helped make it a friendly place for Dad.
Thank you for taking the time to journey around Frank's life as his family experienced it. Please linger a bit longer to share a moment in your and Frank's time together. We'd all love to read about it.
Friends and relatives are encouraged to share in a photo-tribute, stories, and condolences for the family by commenting in the comment section.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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