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Henning Borge Madsen
February 2, 1940 ~ December 10, 2022 (age 82) 82 Years Old
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The family of Henning Madsen announces his sudden passing as of December 10, 2022, at the age of 82 years in Stavely, Alberta.
In early 1940, Henning was the twelfth of 14 children born to Katrine Louise and Marinus Madsen, in a simple white house in northwest Denmark in the first year of WWII. Born in the small town of Nees on the Jutland Peninsula, Henning’s family homestead was a short distance away from the world’s coldest sea. A raw fact his toddler grandson would learn while playing tag with the water almost 70 years later.
Like his grandfather and father before him, Henning wanted to be a farmer. He left the family farm in November 1954 at the age of fourteen to make his way. After working as a farmhand in both Denmark and France and finishing school at Langelands Landbrugsskole (Langlands Agricultural School), he left for Canada in 1963. Henning’s fingers weren’t fast enough for mushroom farming and he grew tired of cutting grass for others in Ontario. He needed “something I could do and make money at” and so he became a drywaller tradesman; a skill he would use on houses and projects from Vancouver to Ajax, Fort MacMurray to Coutts, from the 1960s to his passing.
In the 1970s, he became a father to a daughter - Juli - who he deeply loved, but cared for from a distance, like so many men of his generation. The sense of belonging to his Danish family was given to his daughter by his siblings and their spouses - particularly Svend Aage and Karen. He was very involved with the Danish community in the Vancouver Lower Mainland in the 1970s, which included singing in the Danish Lutheran Church in Burnaby and becoming a lifelong member of the Danish seniors residence, Dania House.
After roaming the country in pursuit of employment, he settled in Stavely - a small town on flat lands, next to a major land feature - reminiscent of his hometown in his beloved Denmark. To the locals he became “Henny”.
The second-best gardener in town is still jealous of Henning's six foot tall ferns. Many hours were spent sowing vegetables, watching birds, cutting his own grass, and growing the peonies he loved. Mornings were spent with his coffee crew in his seat at the Stavely Hotel, and time at home with his cat, Percy.
He was a beloved son and brother, a father and grandfather. He is predeceased by his parents, Katrina Louise and Marinus Madsen, and siblings Krista, Ingrid Marie, Hans Wilhelm, Soren Konrad, Vagn, Gerda, Svend Aage, Ragnhild, Gunhild, Elly Irene, Sonja Irene, Ruth and Tove and their spouses, all of Denmark. He is survived by his daughter Juli Stoneberg (Allen Garlow) and her mother, Lenore Stoneberg, his “boys, boys, boys!” grand-children Malachi, Emmett and Jan, as well as the surviving spouse of his sibling (Knud Jepsen), numerous nieces and nephews, their children and grandchildren in Denmark.
No formal memorial service will be held, however a Celebration of Life may be intended at a later date (send contact details to Box 62 Stavely AB address below if interested in attending from outside of Stavely). In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Hope Mission in Calgary or the Stavely Community Chest (Box 249, Stavely, Alberta, T0L 1Z0 - charities in the town of Stavely) in Henning’s name.
Favourite Henning stories and memories in the online obituary guest book, as well as photos and cards by mail (℅ Henning Madsen, Box 62, Stavely AB T0L 1Z0) are appreciated by the family.
Arrangements in care of Zentner Funeral Homes, Claresholm, AB 403-625-3212