On January 17, the arms of the Angels reached out to bring Jeff to his heavenly home and family where one day we will meet again. He fought a long and courageous battle with cancer. He recognized and understood fully the meaning of, “Courage is not having the strength to go on but going on when you don’t have the strength.”
Jeff was born May 30, 1962 in Glendale, CA to Marty and Pam Madden. On the way to the hospital for his birth, the car had a tire blow out on a very busy freeway. Jeff’s strength and ability to overcome adversity had begun even before his birth and continued for a lifetime. He grew up in Woodland Hills, CA enjoying baseball, his family, special friendships and every dog or cat he ever met. Jeff’s Dad saw to it he shared the memorable experiences of touring Europe, going to an Indy 500, World Series, Super Bowl game and Washington DC to name a few. While in high school, Jeff became a member of the Lake Arrowhead Water Ski club. He participated in many self described “gnarly” ski races including the annual Long Beach to Catalina event. His first job was with Ferrels Ice Cream Parlor. This sparked a life long love of cooking. He later became a sous chef at the Summer House in Woodland Hills and Lord Charleys in La Habra CA. Jeff joined his family’s electronic business skillfully performing both sales and installations. At the age of 27 Jeff relocated to La Quinta, CA and became a life long “friend of Bill.” It was was there he became a Dad to Crystal Newkirk and Dillon Madden.
Jeff always had his feet planted firmly on the ground but never lost his hopes and dreams. Wanting to raise the children in a smaller town, they relocated to North Idaho buying a home in Rathdrum. Jeff resumed working in the electronics field for a few years. He then joined Sears in appliance sales for the next 19 years. Jeff was a loving, fun and capable single Dad. Be it helping with homework, being their hockey coach, preparing great meals and giving his kids the tools they would need to be strong and independent, he loved every second. He often said being Dillon and Crystals Dad was his most important job in life. While at Sears, Jeff was sometimes referred to as “the professor” as he would learn all there was to know about the products he sold, and to the benefit of all, gladly shared the information and education with colleagues and customers. To no one’s surprise, Jeff became successful and very well respected.
With the wish to expose his children to a warmer climate as well as the diversity in life, they relocated to Queen Creek , AZ. It was there he met the love and Angel of his life, Karen Stickney. After a few years the family moved back to North Idaho. Jeff and Karen married in 2014. In that same year Jeff received his diagnosis and the knowledge he could not be cured. Never giving up those hopes and dreams, the position he had earlier started with Whirlpool Corp. would have been a challenge for many. Not for Jeff. He excelled and loved every minute he was part of it. He met many kind and outstanding people along the way. This Prayer being written by one of them, Sue, who is now a Chaplain; “Father, As we grieve the loss Jeff with pain in our hearts. Please comfort us, give us peace, restore hope and lavish us with Your love. The legacy Jeff leaves; the way the world was different by his presence, the memories that became more painful on this side of death. We thank you that we can remember. We celebrate his life, his remarkable courage, his tenacity, his ability to look for the positive. We pray our ability to love will grow deeper, wider, stronger in the days to come. Help us live better lives because we knew him. Father, help us to encourage someone else who walks a similar path. Give us strength. Carry us through this heartache. Sustain us. As we continue to walk in your truth, help us set our eyes on heavenly things. Amen”
Jeff and Karen were able to take some meaningful trips to the Oregon Coast, the beaches in California, Disneyland, Seattle while restoring their 1930’s Hayden farmhouse. Jeff was as adept with construction and design as he was at being “Chef Jeff.” He never lost his natural desire to teach, Karen now knows how to install a roof as well as prepare wicked Shrimp Scampi. Jeff is survived by his loving wife Karen Madden, daughter Crystal Newkirk, son Dillon Madden, step son David Stickney (Sarah), grandsons Garrett Madden and Cooper Stickney, sister Melanie Madden, Mother Pam Bouillon. He is also leaving behind special pals German Shepard Nugen and Siamese cat Mokka Baby. He was predeceased by his Dad Marty Madden, Step Dad Ron Bouillon, Godparents Aunt Sherry Neary and Uncle Kenny Davis. At his request, there are no services scheduled at this time. Donations may be made to St. Judes Children’s Hospital or Kootenai Humane Society.