Max Madsen Obituary

Max Alden Madsen
Max Alden Madsen

January 17, 1929 - July 26, 2020
Born in Evanston, IL
Resided in Naperville, IL


Max Alden Madsen, age 91, Car Dealer, beloved husband and father, drew his last breath July 26, 2020 in Naperville, Illinois. “Mainly, we suspect, to prevent himself from having to watch another losing Chicago Bears team go 8-8, and played in an empty stadium no less.”

Max was born and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, to first-generation Scandinavian farmers, Edna Florence, and Max Conrad Madsen. On the family farm, in addition to the tomatoes they produced for Campbell’s Soup, they grew sweet corn, fruits, and vegetables, which they sold at the family Farm Stand.
Max earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Indiana in 1951. Go Hoosiers!

He served as an Officer, 1st Lieutenant in the US Air Force as a Navigator from 1952-1954. A proud Veteran, Max Alden, carried his Military ID his entire life. The government issued Military ID had no expiration date, and he never missed an opportunity to present the photo showing how fit and handsome he was in his twenties.
After serving in the US Military, he married Caron, and moved to Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and raised three children.

Max built an impressive career in the Automotive Industry for over fifty years. He worked for Ed McKeown Chevrolet in the ’60s. He was a manager for Hanley Dawson Cadillac in Chicago, Illinois, in the ’70s, advancing to a managing partner in multiple Hanley Dawson Dealerships.

Max married his beloved second wife, Robin, in 1976. He often shared that she is the most wonderful woman, and the only reason he lived as long as he had.

He established Max Madsen Mitsubishi in Downers Grove, Illinois, in 1987. Max developed the small dealership into one of the most successful Mitsubishi Franchises in the nation. At the top of his lengthy career, it is noteworthy that Max was CEO of four family-owned and operated dealerships. Known for his catchy jingle and humorous advertising, “Bad Max Madsen.” Max Madsen Mitsubishi is now a successful dealership in Aurora, Illinois.

Max loved playing competition bridge and was a Gold Life Master. Among the many distinguished honors, playing against legendary world bridge players Charles Goren and Omar Sharif ranked among his favorite. Max was impressively still winning National Championships well into his 80’s.

Max loved Chicago sports and frequently attended Blackhawks games, White Sox games, and Cubs games. When he worked downtown, he often took his daughter to Wrigley Field at lunchtime for two or three innings and a hotdog as time allowed.

Max proudly sponsored the Chicago Bulls and Bears. He enjoyed season tickets for years and doubtfully missed a single postseason game, attending every one of Michael Jordan’s Championships. He fondly reminisced about flying on the Team plane with the Chicago Bears to away games, albeit, flying home was considerably more pleasurable on the occasions when the team won!

Max and Robin were frequent travelers and delighted in traveling all around the world. Max, like his father, was proud of his Danish descent. When he and Robin went to Denmark, the immigration officer took a look at Max, then his US Passport and then back up at him, smiled and in the warmest voice said, “Welcome Home Mr. Madsen,” it brought a tear to his eyes.

Max was a frequent supporter of the local Farmer’s market. He bought flowers, fruits, sweets, and pies every Saturday, which he brought home, and to the dealership. Max loved pies, especially lemon meringue, peach, and strawberry. A trait he came across honestly, his mother baked as many as six pies a day, feeding workers on the farm during the hard decade after the Great Depression.

Max was known to appreciate a good meal, and especially one when celebrating a special occasion. One decidedly memorable family gathering was in Arizona celebrating his great-grandson, the fourth “Alden”—Max Alden, Terrance Alden, Nicholas Alden, and Nolan Alden.

Max is survived by his wife of 43 years Robin Madsen, his sister Laurel (Michael Sawdey) Church, his first wife Caron Marie (Saul) Weinstein and their son Terrance Alden (Diana) Madsen of Tucson, daughter Jody Lynn (Don) Mackey of Tucson, and son Kevin Conrad (Cathy Blazej) Madsen of Downers Grove, and two stepsons; Scott (Mercedes) Grove of Oakbrook and Adam (Patty) Grove of Naperville, ten grandchildren, beloved grand dog Harley, and four great-grandchildren.

Max Madsen was a dedicated and fiercely loyal man, respected by many. A natural leader who inspired his family and countless others - Max was a fighter to the end at 91 - he will Rest in Peace.

Memorial Services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, please support Air Force Aid Society.

In memory of First Lieutenant Max A. Madsen

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