Vance Dunford Madsen, 96, has been “called home to supper.” He longed for the day to be reunited with his sweetheart Joyce.
Vance was born August 29, 1925 to Asa and Leatha Dunford Madsen in Bloomington, Idaho. He referred to his charmed, however difficult life, as being the best time on the earth. He was a part of the Greatest Generation; which included hard work and innocent fun.
Vance always knew Joyce Haddock, as she lived just a few blocks away. They were in love from 14 years old on. Vance joined the US Navy in 1944 - his country called, and he answered willingly. Before he left, he married Joyce, the day after he turned 19 - August 30, 1944, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.
Vance worked many jobs to provide, and finally was able to work full time, year-round, after 8 years of on and off furlough’s, with the Union Pacific Railroad, where he worked as a fireman on the steam engines and an engineer for 41 years, retiring in 1987. He served as a union representative in various positions, for UTU Local 78. And through his service, he was instrumental in writing local agreements that protected the jobs and working conditions of his fellow union members.
Vance and Joyce lived in Bloomington until the Railroad needed him in Pocatello, where they lived until retirement, and then moved back to Bloomington, to the home he was born in. Joyce passed away in 2013, after 68 years of marriage.
Vance and Joyce welcomed Dennis Vance in 1945, Edward Lynn in 1948, David Haddock in 1953, John Brian in 1955, and Marilee in 1958.
His favorite hobby was a hard day’s work. He taught his kids to follow his lead. Family vacations were spent painting the house, helping friends and families in need, and yard work. A few family trips came sparingly.
Vance loved doing landscaping and won several Gold Arrow Awards in Pocatello for his beautiful yard. He won a Beautiful Flower Garden Award in Bloomington also. He loved his yard and enjoyed the soil and the beauty he could create.
Vance and Joyce were privileged to serve an LDS Mission to Nauvoo, IL in 1989-1990. Here they gained such a great love for Church History. He willingly served in many church callings, and faithfully “endured to the end.”
Vance was proceeded in death by his parents, loving wife, Joyce, oldest son Dennis, who passed in a car accident in 1977, and John Brian, who died as an infant. He also outlived both of his younger siblings, Mark A Madsen, and Virginia Madsen Laker.
Vance is survived by Edward (JoAnn) Madsen (aka #2), Orem Utah; David (Paula) Madsen (aka #3), of Bloomington Idaho/St. George Utah; Marilee (Gregg) Park of Pocatello (aka Sugarbabe Darlin’). Also surviving is Florence (Larry) Parker, Dennis’ widow, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Saturday, December 11 at 12:00 pm in the Bloomington Ward, Paris, Idaho. There will be a viewing 1 hour before services at the church. Friday evening viewing at Schwab-Matthews Mortuary, 702 Clay St, Montpelier from 6-8 pm. “That’ll be fine.”