Vernon Marvin Madson, 91, a lifelong resident of Litchfield, passed away on July 28, at the Hilltop Healthcare Center in Watkins. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, August 5, 2023, at First Lutheran Church in Litchfield, with the Rev. Tom Evenson officiating. A visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at Ripley Cemetery in Litchfield. Military rites will be provided by the Litchfield Honor Guard. Honorary urn bearers are Merle Hanson, Jeff Hutton, Michael Madson, Hal Olimb, Larry Olimb, and Gary Rosenthal. Additional honorary urn bearers are members of the Kiwanis Club of Litchfield and members of the Litchfield Fire Department. Service will be livestreamed.
Vern, the son of Harry and Eva (Oberg) Madson, was born a twin on April 30, 1932, in the old Litchfield Hospital. His twin sister, Verna, died suddenly in 1971. Vern was baptized and confirmed at the United Methodist Church in Litchfield. He graduated from Litchfield High School in June of 1950. As a high school senior, Vern, along with several classmates, enlisted in Company I, 136th Infantry Regiment, 47th Viking Division of the Minnesota National Guard in April of 1950. In Jan. of 1951, the company was called to action during the Korean War. After taking training at Camp Rucker, Alabama, he was assigned to the Eighth Army for duty in Korea.
After receiving his discharge from the army in Sept. of 1952, he worked for a short time in the dairy/ice cream department at First District Association. During his high school years, he worked after school and Saturdays at the Meeker County News and printer’s ink got in his blood, so he decided to attend Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis under the GI Bill to further his education in newspaper work. Vern started his lifelong newspaper career in May of 1953, at the Litchfield Independent Review as a “printer’s devil.” Forty-six years later, he and Stan Roeser retired as co-owners of the newspaper. While he was never a reader of books, he read every newspaper cover to cover.
Vern was united in marriage to Sharon Anderson on May 22, 1954. His 18-year marriage ended in divorce. On Aug. 4, 1973, he married Lil Olimb of Litchfield. Vern was a very active in public service for his hometown. He was the first Korean veteran to be elected commander of Nelson-Horton Post 104 of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2818. Over the years, Vern had been a member of the Litchfield Jaycees, member and past president of the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce, served on the Litchfield All-Class Alumni Reunion board of directors for 50 years as president and director, served on original Litchfield Charities board, served on the board of the Litchfield Housing & Redevelopment Authority during the construction of Lincoln Apartments, was presently a 50-year member of the Kiwanis Club of Litchfield having served as president, board member and 25 years as treasurer of the club. He also served as a member of the Litchfield Volunteer Fire Department from 1957-1977.
He enjoyed doing things for his hometown; therefore, he spent many years on the city council. He served two terms as a councilman and served as mayor of Litchfield for three terms from 1971 – 1978, and three terms from 1999 – 2010. In 2015, he was inducted into the Litchfield High School Hall of Fame. An avid sports fan, Vern attended and enjoyed countless Litchfield sporting events.
Vern is survived by his loving wife, Lil; a daughter, Alison Madson of St. Louis Park; a son, Michael Madson of St. Louis Park; sons, Hal (Shirley) Olimb of Niceville, Florida and Larry (Jean) Olimb of Stafford, Virginia; daughters, Jeana (Jeff) Hutton of Fort Meyers, Florida, and Lori (Gary) Rosenthal of Burnsville; sixteen grandchildren; many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; twin sister, Verna; and grandson, Erick Olimb.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to either First Lutheran Church or Litchfield Activities at the Litchfield High School.
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