It is with both sadness and joy of entering eternal life with the Lord, the family of Reverend Holger Madsen announce his death on March 11, 2015. Holger will be greatly missed by his wife of 58 years, Helga; his three children and their respective spouses: Esther (Troy), Stephen (Catherine) and Jeffrey (Eloise) and ten grandchildren Ariadne, Danika, and Astrid Deibert; Hannah, Justin, Maud, Maura, and Fiona Madsen; and Cassidy and Lee Madsen. He also leaves behind his dear sister Elisabeth in Prince George and many beloved nieces, nephews, family and friends throughout Canada and Denmark. He was predeceased by his father Johannes, his mother Emmy, his sister Esther, and his brother Bent.
Holger was born in Edgewater, B.C. His parents Johannes and Emmy had emigrated from Denmark to homestead in the mountains of British Columbia. Holger spent the first part of his life helping on the family farm and enjoying many adventures with his brother and sister and assorted cousins and friends. He was sent at age sixteen to complete his confirmation in New Westminster, and shortly afterward started working in the area and on the West Coast as a carpenter.
After leaving his thriving construction company to answer the Lord’s call, Holger married a prairie girl (who was from Dalum, to be precise) in 1956. Together Holger and Helga would move a number of times as their family grew and Holger pursued higher education and ministerial training. He served many congregations throughout British Columbia and Alberta.
Holger was, above all, a storyteller. He was an inspired and dedicated wordsmith, and relished writing his weekly homily. His stories resonated with all of his listeners, making the Gospel tangible and real. He was a good listener, and always had time for members of his congregation. As well, conversations over coffee were always pastoral opportunities for Holger.
During retirement Holger focused on a number of different activities. While he was instrumental in founding and organizing the Danish Canadian National Museum & Gardens in Dickson, AB, Holger also made time for his family and friends. He had a craft and woodworking business with Helga for several years, and hosted a yearly craft show at their acreage in Sherwood Park. He also provided his much-needed and respected insight and guidance to the Glory congregation during its inception and establishment. In perhaps one of his most favourite roles, “Morfar”, “Farfar” and “Grandad”, he always looked forward to spending time with his grandchildren and telling them about his adventures growing up in the mountains and interior of BC.
Please join us in a celebration of Holger’s life at Glory Lutheran Church, 53163 Highway 21, Sherwood Park, AB, Saturday, March 21 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made directly to The Danish Canadian National Museum & Gardens, Range Road 31, Dickson, AB, T0M 1V0. Website: www.danishcanadians.com. Phone number is: (403)728-0019.
The family would like to thank all the wonderful and caring staff in the Palliative Care Unit at Ft. Saskatchewan Hospital, as well as the staff with Home Care and Summerwood.
“Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Mt. 25:23)