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Yorkville remembers Madden as ‘true public servant’

Former Yorkville Mayor Elden Madden 1980's. | Beacon-News file

Former Yorkville Mayor Elden Madden in the 1980's. | Beacon-News file

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Updated: February 11, 2013 7:24AM

YORKVILLE — Tim Conrardy, commander of Yorkville’s American Legion Post #489, had only known former Mayor Elden Madden for the last seven years. But Conrardy said that was a long enough time for him to know that Madden was “a wonderful, wonderful man.”

“He was my mentor,” Conrardy said of Madden, who died Tuesday at the age of 91, at the Illinois Veterans Home in LaSalle. “He was very wise, very mild-mannered and easy going. It was an honor for me to know him, that’s for sure.”

Madden was a longtime member of Post #489 and also served the Legion as District 12 Commander, Illinois State Commander and Judge Advocate.

He was the one everyone in the Legion turned to when they wanted to know the correct procedure, Conrardy said.

“When there was a controversy, he was the one we went to, and he would tell us the way it should be,” Conrardy said. “He was the one every commander would go to for advice.”

Conrardy said Madden encouraged him to become commander of Post #487 two years ago.

“He saw something in me that I didn’t even see in me,” Conrardy said.

Kendall County Sheriff Richard Randall, who was hired as a Yorkville policeman in the late 1960s and then police chief in 1978, said that was not an unusual gesture for Madden.

“I’m sure he encouraged a whole lot of other people,” Randall said. “He was obviously a very caring and compassionate person who enjoyed the city of Yorkville. He was a true public servant.”

Randall said that he knew Madden from a time when Yorkville was a small community of only 2,200 people. Madden, who had come to Yorkville in 1949 with his wife, Mary, owned a hardware store in the downtown and was an alderman. At that time, Randall said, it was common for local businessmen to be on the Fire Department or the City Council.`

“I can guarantee, the way it was, back in the ‘50s, if someone had a broken furnace, he would take care of it and not press them for money,” Randall said of Madden. “It was never about him. It was about what he could do for others.”

Current Yorkville Mayor Gary Golinski said that Madden truly had an impact on community.

“He began his career by serving as an alderman from 1956-1962, then as mayor from 1962-1967, and then again as an alderman in the 1970s,” Golinski said. “He was one of the people instrumental in helping unite the village of Yorkville and Bristol into the United City of Yorkville.

In 1974 Madden become the public works director, then served as the building and zoning officer, and then the city’s assistant administrator, Golinski said.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Larson-Nelson Funeral Home, 410 E. Countryside Parkway in Yorkville. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday at the funeral home.

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