Ruth Maxine Madson
Ruth Maxine "Linda" Madson, 85, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, surrounded by loved ones.
The youngest of seven children, Ruth was born May 20, 1933, in Ames to Sina and Severt Severson, and grew up in Ames and Chicago.
After graduating from Ames High School in 1951, she earned her RN degree from the Iowa Lutheran School of Nursing in 1954 with help from an American Lung Association scholarship. Thereafter, she began working as a surgical scrub nurse at what is now Trinity Regional Hospital in Fort Dodge. She eventually became the private nurse for urologist Dr. Francis Giles. After he retired, she worked for Drs. Sieben, Piercy and Golden until she retired in 1998.
Upon meeting her, one surgeon pronounced there were "too many Ruths" in surgery and she "looked like a Linda." The name stuck! If an unfamiliar voice called at home wanting Linda, it was a Fort Dodge friend only relatives and telemarketers asked for Ruth.
Ruth met A. Gene Madson through a friend. They married in Ames on June 10, 1961, and bought a house in Fort Dodge. Daughters Linda Kay and Laura soon joined the family.
Ruth and Gene were 50-year members of First United Presbyterian Church in Fort Dodge. Ruth was also a longtime member of TTT Chapter EV. She held various leadership roles, though her first and preferred office was treasurer. She took special satisfaction in the intellectual challenge of finding checkbook discrepancies, and her meticulous envelope-based home bookkeeping system was the subject of a long-running family joke.
Ruth loved music and was a longtime supporter of local arts. In her teen years, she often provided piano accompaniment for solo vocalists and instrumentalists. One particular soloist was surprised to learn just before a performance that Ruth so strongly disliked flats she had simply changed them to sharps!
She is survived by her husband, A. Gene Madson; daughters, Linda Kay and Laura; sons-in-law, Mark and Keith; grandchildren, Molly, Ben, Ian and Erik; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and six older siblings.
Her family is grateful her final days were peaceful and handled with gentle care by Hospice of Mercy and the staff on the Nesetril Neighborhood at the Woodlands.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Stewart Baxter Funeral Home, 1844 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids, officiated by the Rev. Sara C.R. Hill.
Visitation will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday at Stewart Baxter Funeral Home, 1844 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids.
Burial at 4 p.m. at Cambridge Cemetery in Story County, Iowa.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the American Lung Association at www.lung.org or the Sina Severson Scholarship Fund at the Iowa State University Foundation.