LITTLETON, Colo. — Betty L. Madison, 85, was called home to the Lord on June 24, 2020, after a very long journey with severe dementia/Alzheimer’s. We trust in God’s promise knowing that she is now without pain, agony, fear or grief and filled with the pure light of Christ in His embrace!
Born the second child to Josephine Herman and August Petzoldt on April 30, 1935, Betty’s survival was questioned due to childhood illness. However, she had a very strong constitution that propelled her through life with determination, a caring heart, a beautiful smile, a catchy laugh and the willingness to help all those around her, family and friends included.
Betty graduated from Chapman High School on May 22, 1952, as the valedictorian of her class. Although she was offered a scholarship to a local college, family finances did not allow her to pursue that dream, so she became employed at the local bank. Eventually, she caught the eye of her future husband, Frank Madison (deceased) and they were married Aug. 14, 1955.
Frank’s career started as a math teacher/coach but progressed to educational positions as the principal and superintendent in various Western Nebraska schools. Betty followed his career, primarily working as a homemaker, but pursued other positions throughout their marriage including school secretary and proofer/teller at Banner Capital Bank in Harrisburg.
She lived in the communities of Silver Creek, Harrisburg, Gurley and Gering. About five or six years after Frank’s death, she opted to move to Denver (Arvada) to an independent living facility, close to her sister (Dorothy) and daughter (Joni). Her initial years were spent in an independent living facility at Colorado Lutheran Home (now Arbor View). She loved the people, atmosphere and support at this facility and felt like she had “gone to heaven.”
She was involved in many activities, always lending a helping hand and heart when possible. One of her favorite activities was playing Skip-Bo with family and friends.
Although primarily a homemaker, Betty was involved in many activities throughout her life: canvas painting, ceramics, gardening, (canning and freezing of fruits and vegetables), property management, bowling, bookkeeping for neighbors, and various church activities. But a single highlight was her gift of hospitality! You could not visit without a meal, snack, dessert and/or beverage being served. There was always something “in the freezer” to ensure her guests did not leave hungry. Her support of the community was amazing. The number of pies baked, casseroles prepared, salads created was in the hundreds … all delivered to folks in need due to death, illness or simply to lift someone’s spirit. God provided her a beautiful servant’s heart!
Betty was a wonderful mother and grandmother. After each of her five granddaughters was born, she would travel to see her in the first month or so and stay for a couple of weeks. She did not arrive as a guest but with open arms to love her new grandchild and ask, “What can I do to help?” That would be hold/rock the baby, change a diaper, fix a meal, wash clothing, clean the home, etc. It was joyfully done and a gift that has never been forgotten. She will be missed at the family Christmas gatherings and other events she so much enjoyed.
“Grandma Betty,” as her grandchildren called her, made being a grandchild feel so incredible. She invested deeply in the relationships she shared with each grandchild. She knew all of their favorite things and was very intentional about her connection with each granddaughter. It was her presence that mattered most, and it is her presence they will miss the most.
Betty was married to Frank Madison (deceased) for just over 50 years. Surviving family members include the following children, Captain Rick (Mary) Madison of Kenosha, Wis., Joni (David) Lawal of Littleton, Colo; grandchildren, Sarah (Dr. Nick) Place of Colfax, Wis., Ann (Kyle) Smida of Savage, Md., Laura Madison of Madison, Wis., Courtney (Scott) Seidel of Lakewood, Colo., Danielle (Marcel) Sorel of Littleton, Colo.; great-grandchildren, Madison and Noah Place of Colfax, Wis., Sean, Jake, and Hunter Seidel of Lakewood, Colo., Franklin and Camille Sorel of Littleton, Colo.; siblings, Dorothy Baasch of Arvada, Colo., and Floyd Petzoldt of Prescott, Ariz.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a memorial service has been postponed to a later date to be determined. Any memorial tributes may be directed either to The Alzheimer’s Foundation or Hospice Compassus Living Foundation.