Jean Madsen, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away surrounded by her family on Sunday, December 16th.
The youngest daughter of John and Rose Mondini, she was born September 15, 1936 in Manhattan, New York. An Air Force “brat”, she grew up in many different states and countries until her father retired at Nellis Air Force base in Las Vegas, NV. There she met Lieutenant Vern Madsen, and after a whirlwind courtship, they were married on May 5th 1962.
In 1969, Jean and Vern moved to his home town of Solvang where she was a dedicated homemaker. When she became an “empty nester” she volunteered for many organizations and represented the Santa Ynez Valley on the Allan Hancock College Board of Trustees. She enjoyed serving as a docent at Old Mission Santa Inez, and as a Cottage Hospital ER volunteer. She was a member of the Solvang Friendship House Ladies Auxiliary and the Danish Sisterhood.
Jean's warm and welcoming personality made the Mustard Seed Restaurant a success. She and Vern opened it in 1981 and sold it in 1986 when they began traveling.
Their travels took them to Wyoming where they built a home and spent long summers for 19 years. While there, Jean headed up several fund raisers to support the construction of Holy Family Catholic Church. The need to be closer to her granddaughters drew her to Genoa, NV, where she soon became involved in her new church. She volunteered at the annual St. Gall rummage sale, a month long labor of love. She was a candy maker every year for Genoa's Candy Dance Festival. Jean loved her summers in Wyoming and Nevada, where she made many lifelong friends.
Jean is survived by her husband of 56 years, son Christian Madsen, daughter Stephanie Smithson, Son-in-law Frank Smithson, granddaughters Yuki and Hana Madsen, her sister Dorothy Quadrino, a niece Karen (Milo) Shelley and her family.
Jean leaves with her family and friends the memories of her sweet smile, and her loving and gracious nature. She will be greatly missed and remembered with love.
There will be a Celebration of Life Mass at Old Mission Santa Inez on Saturday, February 2nd at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Solvang Friendship House, 880 Friendship Lane, Solvang, CA 93463.