January 19, 2014 in Obituaries

Obituary: Madden, Robert Joseph

Age 80
 


(Full-size photo)

MADDEN, Robert Joseph (Age 79) Robert “Bob” Madden died on December 16th in Kennewick, Washington, where he’d been living at the Lifecare Center since July of 2013. He passed away quietly, in his sleep. He was born on December 20th, 1933, in Pampa, Texas, to Charles and Emma Madden. Charles was a pipefitter, who worked for many years in construction on, among other things, Grand Coulee Dam. Emma was a cook whose pies and desserts were legendary in Couer d’Alene. He graduated from Couer d’Alene High School in 1953. Brief stints with the National Guard, the Bureau of Public Roads and the Forest Service followed, before he began a long career with the Soil Conservation Service, earning many honorable citations for his engineering skills, working on the Columbia Basin Project. In early 1959 he met his future wife Carla Rebman at the wedding of a high school friend, where he acted as best man and she as bridesmaid. They married in 1959, and moved around the region before settling down first in Davenport, Washington, and later in Ephrata, Washington. He retired from the SCS in 1993, upon which he and Carla moved to Rathdrum, ID. His marriage to Carla ended in separation and divorce in 1997, and her death in a tragic car accident a year later. A second marriage to Eileen Honsecker in 2003 lasted until her death several years later. He didn’t marry again. A wonderful father and husband, he was possessed of a sly wit laced with absurdist humor, and could tell a ridiculous story with such a straight face that he’d have you believing the truth of it, before his chuckle let you know that he’d just been having you on. He passed on his interest in history, science, literature and movies to his children. He is survived by his sister, Patricia Webster Hill of Post Falls, Idaho; a son, John Maddin, of Portland, Oregon; and a daughter, Susan Hottel, of Kennewick, Washington; three grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. His ashes will be interred in a private ceremony in the spring.

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