With a Dr. Pepper in one hand a copy of Barack Obama’s book, Audacity of Hope,in the other, Lorrie Walker Madsen departed what she called “this frail existence” on Monday, August 16, 2021 -20 days after her 82nd birthday.
Lorrie was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 27, 1939, to Charles Ray and Lois Spencer Walker. She was a master historian and always appreciated the significance of the time in history in which she was born. She was a lifelong student of history and literature and loved the theater and the arts. The culture, perspective and understanding she gained from this study greatly influenced her family, her politics and her views.
Mom met Mac O. Madsen at the Cougareat on the campus of BYU. They fell in love, and practically moments later, Dad proposed to this beautiful co-ed in front of the Joseph Smith building, just as the sprinklers came on to soak both them and the lawn. Undeterred by this omen, the two were married on June 26, 1959. Mom was the better angel that whispered in Dad’s ear throughout their 42-year marriage. They were partners and best friends as they raised their family, worked, laughed, traveled, and loved. They learned and evolved together in their understanding and priorities over the years, until Mac suffered a fatal cardiovascular event in 2002.
Mom lived day to day with a unique combination of wisdom and silliness. She could share authentic, deep insights or history lessons one moment, and then send both others and her into uncontrollable laughter the next. She wasn’t much for formality or rules and could always be counted on to not take life too seriously.
Through her work as a fundraiser for the March of Dimes, and as a human resources leader for First Security Bank, Mom was a constant advocate of the disenfranchised. Her passionate defense of women and minorities manifested itself in her writings, actions and mentorship. Her unyielding desire for fairness and equality in the world never waned.
We lost part of Mom when Dad passed away in 2002. But she courageously moved forward after that devastating loss and continued to live life on her own terms. She was strong and stubborn, and kept all of her family and friends on their toes. But her children and family always remained her number one priority, and she never hesitated in her decisions.
Lorrie leaves behind a family who will continue her legacy of humor, wisdom, and love. She is survived by her three children, Matthew, Marnee and her wife Kellie, Casey; their families, including four grandchildren, Taylor, Megan, Maile and Jenna; her sister Valerie, Val’s husband Larry, and their family. She also leaves behind her beloved dog Billy Boy.
A graveside service will be held Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 11:00 at the Ogden City Cemetery. All are welcome to attend.
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