Nancy Sevier Madden, 92, died Wed., July 18, at the Rush County Nursing Home, LaCrosse. She was born May 19th, 1920, to William Joseph and Marena (Sevier) Madden, at the family home in Hays where she was living until May.
She graduated from Hays High in 1937 and from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1941. She also attended Lindenwood College, also in Missouri; Kansas State University; and Goucher College, Baltimore, MD. She spent most of her adult life in the advertising business in Washington, DC, and returned to Hays in 2004.
Both of her parents were descendants of the Tennessee Seviers. In 1961, at the suggestion of the secretary of the East Tennessee Historical Society, she and her aunt, Cora Bales Sevier, published the Sevier Family History. The Nashville Banner judged it “a masterpiece.” It is now in the process of the third printing, and plans are in progress to publish a Supplement volume. She continued to answer genealogical inquiries until the past two months. She was Honorary Historian for the Sevier Family Association, which has sponsored a semiannual reunion in Tennessee for many years.
She tended, and enjoyed, the many trees and flowering plants in her yard, the pine trees planted by brothers Bill and Pat, the tulips planted by sister Mollie, her mother’s lilacs, iris and peonies, and the fragrant little-leaf linden tree transplanted by her father from near the long-gone barn north of the house to just outside the back door. She spent numerous summer days cultivating a grove of walnut trees on family property in rural Ellis County.
While living in Washington, D.C., she developed a habit of walking and never owned a car. After returning to Hays, she continued a regular exercise routine, going three times a week to the Center for Health Improvement at Hays Medical Center. She had been a skilled swimmer, surviving a shipwreck in August of 1955 in which the restored sailing schooner, Levin J. Marvel, was caught by Hurricane Connie while on a cruise in the Chesapeake Bay. Fourteen of the 27 people aboard were lost.
She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, joining the local Courtney-Spaulding Chapter in 1972, and serving as Historian. She was a member of the Messiah Lutheran Church, Hays.
Survivors include a sister, Marina “Lodi” Hiatt, Louisville, KY; five nephews, William J. Madden III, Topeka; Timothy Madden, Topeka; Arthur Madden, Sabetha; Thomas Hiatt, Pipe Creek, TX; and John Madden, Wichita; six nieces, Mary Schroeder, Arvada, CO; Adele Shaver, Hays; Amy Hiatt, Port Townsend, WA; Eve Hiatt, Louisville, KY; Pamela Truman, Hays; and Lisa Madden, Hutchinson.
She was preceded in death by three brothers, Edward F. Madden, William J. Madden II, M.D., and Patrick A. Madden; three sisters, Mollie Madden, Alice Bogren, and Susan Gittings; and two nephews, Edward F. “Eddie” Madden and Edward A. Madden.
Memorial Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, at the Messiah Lutheran Church, burial in the Mount Allen Cemetery, Hays. Memorials are suggested to the church or to the donor’s choice.