Leah Hobson Madsen


Leah Hobson Madsen, a daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away on March 30, 2020 in Heber City, Utah. She was 87 years old.

Leah was born to John Reynol and Rose Ella (Johnson) Hobson on September 24, 1932 in Oxford, Idaho. She was their third daughter and sixth of seven children. The majority of Leah’s life was spent in Malad where the family had a mini farm. As it was Depression and war years, everyone had to contribute to all the work that needed done. Leah learned at a young age how to bake, cook, harvest and preserve food and how to keep a home clean. She was a good seamstress. When she was older, she babysat, worked at a local theater and a grocery store to earn money.

Leah attended public school in Malad, and while she was in high school, played guard for the girls’ basketball team and also played baseball where she loved to bat and catch the ball. In 1950, Leah graduated from Malad High School and five years of LDS Seminary.

On April 12, 1952, Leah married DeWayne Madsen at the Madsen family home in Malad. DeWayne worked in farming, and in 1953, he and Leah welcomed their first child and son: Michael DeWayne. DeWayne sought for better employment opportunities and the family later moved to Renton, Washington, where he was hired by the Boeing Aircraft Manufacturing Company. It was also during this time that Leah was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They later bought their first home in Mountlake Terrace, Washington and it was there that three more children were born: Linda Ann, David L. and Echo Marie. The house became too small for the growing family and they moved to Alderwood Manor which is near Everett. This is where DeWayne eventually was transferred to work at the Boeing plant. It was here that their last child, Brian E., was born.

During this time Leah truly excelled at her homemaking skills. She was very intelligent, an excellent manager of finances and also had very good organizational skills. Her children all remember the beautiful holiday tables she would set and the delicious meals that were provided by her and their Dad. They also remember her being their biggest cheerleader in all their endeavors.

In 1969, Washington State Highways bought the Madsen home and all other homes in the neighborhood so a highway overpass could be built to accommodate Boeing traffic. Because of this, the Madsen family moved to Granite Falls, Washington. It was there that almost all of the family became active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Leah served in various positions in her church: primary teacher, magazine representative, visiting teaching coordinator, counselor and president in the Relief Society.

In January of 1980, DeWayne and Leah were sealed in the Seattle LDS Temple and three of their five children were sealed to them. Later a fourth child was sealed to them.

Leah and DeWayne spent over 50 years in Washington. After his retirement from Boeing, DeWayne and Leah moved to Preston, Idaho. It was very hard for Leah to leave her many friends in Granite Falls, Lake Stevens and Arlington. Her sadness was eased over the years when some Washington friends came to visit, and her neighbors and Church family in Preston lovingly wrapped their arms around her and DeWayne. They truly loved their time in Preston and were thankful for the wonderful friendships they made there.

DeWayne died in February, 2010 in Preston. Leah received tremendous support from her friends. Her circle of friends soon extended into Utah, when in January of 2019, she moved there to live with her daughter Echo and family. Leah had congestive heart, edema issues, and her overall health required family care. She came to love her Utah family very much.

In April, 2019, Leah was diagnosed with colon cancer. A successful removal of tumors was performed and in January of 2020, the cancer returned. The situation could not be remedied by surgery and Leah chose hospice care for her remaining months.

Leah was the last of her core family to pass away. She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Rose Hobson, sister Melba, brothers Harvey, Bob, Alton, sister Lorraine, brother Phil, numerous brothers and sisters-in-law and daughter-in-law Lesa Madsen. She is survived by sisters-in-law Eloise Hobson and Florene Madsen; her children: Mike (Georgann) Madsen of Santaquin, Utah; Linda (Will) Hess of Marysville, Washington; Dave (Becky) Madsen of Hugoton, Kansas; Echo (John) Neal of Heber City, Utah; and Brian (Lesa, deceased) Madsen of Cove, Utah; 9 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A Graveside service will be held on Monday, April 6, 2020 at 1:00 pm in the Malad City Cemetery.

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