James Theodore (Ted) Madden died Dec. 28, 2017, surrounded by loved ones at St. Anthony hospital in Gig Harbor, following his second battle with cancer. A fun-loving man with an enormous heart, Madden was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, friend and Santa Claus who will be missed as dearly as he was loved.
Among family whom Madden held dear was the love of his life and wife of over 49 years, Patricia (Sauget). The two wed Aug. 2, 1968. Their love grew as they welcomed daughters Melinda in 1969, Welinda in 1970 and Kristine in 1972. He lovingly referred to Patty as “Mom” most times; she and his daughters were the apple of his eye.
Madden would later be blessed with six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Others close to Madden include his sister, Myra Jo Lawler, and husband Harold; brother, Myron Eugene Madden; sons-in-law, Rick Milbourn and Robert Atkinson; close friends, John Moore, Elmer Lighty and Sonny White; as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family.
Madden was a sheet metal worker at the Bremerton Naval Shipyard, retiring in 1999 after 34 years of service. His friends and colleagues knew him by his nickname “Maddog” as well for as his infamous shenanigans.
An early retirement meant focusing more on his family. The in-ground pool in the backyard at Pat and Ted’s was an oasis where he would play for hours with his grandkids. He attended nearly every event that the kids participated in, and loved to share their accomplishments with anyone who would listen. Camping trips and vacations were plentiful, including trips to Silverwood theme park, where he braved many a roller coaster and water slide. Flying off the back of an inner tube on the lake or sliding down an icy sledding hill weren’t out of the ordinary for the man whose grandchildren considered the ultimate grandpa.
Madden was an avid bow hunter with a love for the outdoors. He regularly sported camouflage attire, never missed a scouting opportunity and cherished his annual elk trips with son-in-law Rick. There’s never been a shortage of comical stories from hunting camp.
Madden found immense joy in playing Santa for many years. With his wife by his side as Mrs. Claus, he donned his Santa suit and volunteered for countless events in the community, nursing homes and private parties. Many times on Christmas Eve, he came through the door at the family Christmas celebration as “Papa Santa.” The laughter and photos will keep these memories alive for generations to come.
Madden was a one-of-a-kind human being, known to bring laughter to even the darkest of times. He opened his home and his heart to many who will never forget his kindness or his sense of humor. He will be missed tremendously though he will live on in their hearts and memories forever.
A celebration of Madden’s life will take place Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Key Peninsula Civic Center from 2 to 4 pm. Attire is casual, camouflage encouraged.