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1925 Dorothy 2019

Dorothy Madsen

November 3, 1925 — May 12, 2019

Fergus Falls

Dorothy Mae (Hokanson) Madsen, 93, of Fergus Falls, died Sunday, May 12, 2019, at LB Broen Home in Fergus Falls.

Dorothy Mae (Hokanson) Madsen was born November 3, 1925 in Minneapolis, MN to John and Emma (Olson) Hokanson.  At the age of five, she and her mother moved to Gully, MN where they lived on the farm with her grandfather, Bernt Olson.  She attended grade school at Willow Side Country School in Gully, MN.  Occasionally, she and her mom would walk to Luther League, which she enjoyed and they would usually get a ride home from someone.  She attended Vacation Bible School for four weeks in the summer and would memorize her Bible verses and do her homework on the walk home so she could play when she got home.

When Dorothy was a freshman in high school her grandpa insisted on her attending Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls, MN.  She and her mom moved there and Dorothy graduated at the age of 16.  She worked as a secretary for the Red Cross for five years and then at Otter Tail Power Company before meeting Dennis, the love of her life.

She met Dennis Madsen at a Rural Youth event and they were married on November 12, 1949 in Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls.  While at the Red Cross she had worked on papers making it possible for him to come home from Germany to attend his grandmother’s funeral, but didn’t meet him at that time.  Dennis and Dorothy had five daughters, Susan, Linda, Sharon, Diane and Eileen.  They lived in Fergus Falls where she worked at Skramstad’s Paint Store, then moved to Minneapolis where she was a church secretary until Dennis retired.  In 1983, they moved to Carlisle, MN and later to an apartment in Fergus.

She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  She was an excellent seamstress and sewed most of her daughter’s dresses and flannel nightgowns.  She also made countless Barbie clothes and doll clothes.  Dorothy had the gift of hospitality and made the most delicious homemade white bread, brown bread and cinnamon rolls.  She also made the best rhubarb jelly, which was delicious on the brown bread.

Dorothy is survived by her daughters, Susan (Alan) Schmeling of rural Hayfield, MN, Linda (Richard) Ronnevik of Carlisle, MN, Sharon (Tim) Voth of Spirit Lake, IA, Diane (David) Madsen-Vlasaty of Hudson, WI, and Eileen (Tom) Sullivan of Maple Grove, MN; 12 grandchildren: Nathan (Jen) Schmeling, Eric (Lindsay) Schmeling, Michael (Teri) Schmeling, Krista (Jamison) Bowen, Knut (Gretchen) Ronnevik, Jon (Kristin) Ronnevik, Rondi (Chris) Hamilton, Lars (Molly) Ronnevik, Emily (Chad) Thompson, Naomi (Brian) Blomberg, Ellie and Grace Sullivan, 33 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Dennis; and sisters and brothers-in-law, Maine and Ernest Walvatne and Evie and Guy Rowe; her aunt, Olga Olson and several cousins.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Funeral Service: 2:00 PM Saturday, May 18, 2019, at Bethel Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls, with visitation one hour prior to services at the church.

Clergy:  Reverend Tim Voth

Interment: Swan Lake Cemetery, Fergus Falls

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, May 18, 2019

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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