In Memory of





Obituary for Dorothy Marie Madden (Svoboda)

Dorothy Madden, 94, a longtime resident of Scottsbluff and Gering, passed away December 10, 2021 at her residence in Heritage Estates in Gering, NE. No public, funeral services are planned. Family, graveside services will be conducted at St. Martin’s Cemetery near Deweese, NE at a later date. Condolences may be sent to Dorothy’s Memory Wall at
Dorothy was born to Albert and Rose Svoboda on January 17, 1927, in what is now the ghost town of Spring Ranch, NE. She grew up on the family farm near Deweese, NE and graduated from high school in Fairfield, NE. Following graduation, she went to work in Hastings, NE embarking on what would be a lifetime career with what is now known as Nebraska Job Services.
While in Hastings, she met the love of her life and future husband, Bill Madden. They were married on November 21, 1945, and had two sons, Bill Jr. and Bob.
In 1955, Dorothy and the family moved to Scottsbluff where Bill worked as a Sports Editor for the Scottsbluff Star Herald and, later, for the Gering Courier. Dorothy devoted herself to raising the boys, introducing them to the Boy Scouts where she served as Cub Scout Den Mother for them and their friends, and resumed work for Nebraska Job Services until her retirement.
Dorothy was active in St Agnes Catholic Church, the Church Auxiliary and the American Red Cross. She was also a supporter of the Riverside Zoo. In recognition of over 40 years of service to the State of Nebraska through her work for the Nebraska Job Service, she was honored to receive from the Governor an appointment as Admiral of the Great Navy of the Great State of Nebraska.
Gardening and fishing were two of Dorothy’s favorite past-times. She especially liked her rose garden, and her tomatoes were out of this world. As a fisher-person, she seemed to always catch the most and largest fish, whether fishing for catfish in Nebraska or trout in Montana. While she grew up fishing with bait-casting tackle and worms, she also learned to fish with a fly rod and artificial flies. Fishing was enjoyable and, for her, it didn’t matter how she went about it.
Dorothy loved her Siamese cats. She was so fond of them that husband Bill dubbed her with the nickname “Mrs. Katt.” When she could no longer care for them, she got herself a nightstand lamp featuring a pair of Siamese cats to keep by her bedside.
Dorothy also loved her work and the employers and job applicants whom she helped find employment. Many of them became lifelong friends. She also made sure the boys earned their keep, finding them jobs as spot laborers during the summer if they weren’t ambitious enough to get a steady job on their own, which, of course, they did. Although she did not have the opportunity to attend college, Dorothy held education in high regard providing the familial and financial support as well as personal sacrifice needed for her sons to receive a college education.
Husband Bill passed away in 1997. Widowed and aging, Dorothy eventually decided to sell the family residence and moved into Heritage Estates where she met many wonderful people. Her boys especially want to thank the staff at Heritage for the support and care they gave Dorothy in her later years.
In addition to her parents, Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Bill, and sister, Angela Ridgway, of Fairfield, NE. She is survived by her brother-in-law, Bill Ridgway, of Fairfield, NE; sons, Bill Madden Jr. (Phyllis) of Bozeman, MT and Dr. Robert Madden of Denver, CO; three grandchildren, Trevor (Karen) Madden of McKinney, TX, Riley (Jennifer) Madden of Denver, CO, and Erika Madden of Bozeman, MT, and seven great-grandchildren, Chloe and William Madden of McKinney, TX, Ava and Madeleine Madden of Denver, CO, and Hannah, Peter and Mary Reece of Bozeman, MT. She is also survived by nephew Greg Ridgway and his family of Birmingham, AL. and niece Soni Otto and her family of Dickenson, ND.