Robert E Madsen, age 92, of rural Kirksville passed away November 17, 2020 at his home.
He was born May 1, 1928 in Minneapolis, the son of Norwegian immigrants, Thorvald and Petra Madsen. He attended Wheaton College in Illinois, graduated from the University of Minnesota. In 1956, he graduated from Kirksville College of Osteopathy and Surgery. He interned at Laughlin Hospital in Kirksville and a general surgery residency in Battle Creek Michigan. From 1960 to 1962, he was awarded a coveted fellowship at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, in Thoracic and Cardiovascular surgery. He was board-certified in 1966, later a fellow, in the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons. He was chairman of the Surgery departments in Youngstown Ohio; Muskegon, Michigan; as well as many years at KOH. He was a long time member of ATSC, serving in the Anatomy and Surgery Departments. He had the privilege to mentor medical students over the years in the operating room, classroom, and cadaveric study. He took great pleasure in treating and knowing his many patients in over 40 years of surgical practice.
In his personal life, he had a certain faculty for idiosyncrasies and seeming contradictions owing to great passions for intellectual pursuits, physical activities-emphasizing to his children the value of routine, preparation and a singular drive to succeed.
The same man who who was inconvenienced with cell phones or an ATM, could visit a remote Swedish countryside for the first time, without benefit of map or GPS, come upon an obscure village sign and could direct the driver to an unmarked 400 year old battlefield; describing the conflict in detail.
Students referred to him as Dr. Webster… his precision with vocabulary would hit high points in his unique humor -he was a true raconteur. And yet, he always emphasized that patients want simple kitchen table, shirtsleeve english rather than superior GPA or surgical skills from their doctor.
He was a man of discipline, and integrity. To him, doing what was right was paramount, in season or out.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Bobbie, and grandson Colin Madsen. He is survived by his brother Dr. Paul Madsen of Fresno California. Also surviving are his daughters Molly, Julie, Jenny and sons Kurt and James. He has 11 grandchildren, and 29 great grandchildren.
He will be so missed. Humble before God.
A Giant among men.
Visitation will be from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Davis-Playle-Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home.
Graveside service and interment will be held at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Maple Hills Cemetery.