Paul D. Madsen




Paul D. Madsen

July 18, 1958 – January 24, 2024

VISITATION: Thursday, February 1st from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the West Center Chapel.  FUNERAL SERVICE: Friday, February 2nd at 11:00 a.m. at Rejoice Lutheran Church, 2556 S. 138th St.  In lieu of flowers, Memorials are suggested to Endless Journey Hospice and Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries.

To view a live broadcast of the Service, please visit and click the “Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.


Paul David Madsen was born in Frederic, WI, on July 18, 1958, son of Lester and Coral (Barnish) Madsen.  He was the middle child of three.   He attended Luck Public Schools, where he graduated from high school in 1976.  His mother died of cancer during his high school years.  He went on to attend Dana College in Blair, NE, where he received his Bachelor of Science in elementary education.   It was there where he met Lisa, his wife of 38 years.  They were married in Blair in 1982.  To this union their 3 children were born, Laura, Dane and Jacob.

After graduation from college Paul began his career as a youth minister first in Grand Island, NE, and then, Mason City, IA.  He went on to employment recruiting for many years and loved making connections with people and helping them fulfill their vocational dreams.  He authored  5 books.  In later years he worked for the Gretna Public Schools, and most recently was excited to be driving a school bus and being a Para-Educator.  His dreams for retirement were becoming a tour bus driver to travel the country and meet more people.

He had a passion for the outdoors and spent his college summers as a camp counsellor at Sky Ranch, CO.  Bicycling, camping and traveling were things he immensely enjoyed.  He loved talking with people of all ages and learning new things.  He will be remembered for his sense of humor, loud laugh and true gift for caregiving.

Paul passed away suddenly of a heart attack on January 24, 2024.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Coral; step-mother, Elaine; wife, Lisa; and daughter, Laura.  He is survived by sons, Dane and Jacob Madsen; brother, Philip (Diane) Madsen; sister, Barb (Dave) Kreye; brothers-in-law, Alan (Mary) Hanson,  Duane (Shirley) Hanson; cousins; several nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials are suggested to Endless Journey Hospice or Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries.



  • Debbie Key Posted January 28, 2024 4:46 pm

    My deepest condolences to you Jake and Dane and all of the family and friends of Paul. He made such an impact on all the lives he touched, especially mine. He will never be forgotten.

  • Tom and Beth Olson Posted January 28, 2024 8:51 pm

    Dane and Jake, We are so terribly sorry for the loss of your remarkable dad. We loved his laugh, his optimism, his resilience, his devotion to your family, his insatiable appetite to learn as much as he could about the people he met, the way he referred to your mom as his “smokin’ hot bride”, the way he’d light up talking about you, and so many other things that made him special of us. He was truly one of a kind and will always be missed and remembered. Please know that you are in our prayers.

  • Lisa Pelto Posted January 29, 2024 12:09 am

    Jake, Dane, and everyone in Paul’s family,

    I want to extend my heartfelt sympathies for the loss of Paul. His vibrant energy, contagious humor, boundless empathy, unwavering gratitude, and relentless drive to make a positive impact on the world have been a source of inspiration for me for many years. In these last few years, I had the privilege of truly getting to know his character, and his influence on me became even more profound.

    Paul taught me invaluable lessons about resilience, determination, and seizing opportunities in life. His legacy will endure as he rests in peace, filled with pride, knowing that he has left an indelible imprint of strength, faith, and love on all of you. He never hesitated to express his love, admiration, and devotion for his beloved Madmen and his cherished girls.

    May you find solace in the memories of his extraordinary and beautiful spirit, and may his legacy continue to inspire you in the days ahead.

    With love,

  • Craig Shaffer Posted January 29, 2024 7:27 pm

    Diana and I would like to extend our condolences to the family. Paul was my head resident at DANA College (Lisa was in my class of ’82) and introduced me to Diana while he was youth pastor at St. Paul’s in Grand Island. So many things happened in my life because of Paul. The world will miss this man.

  • Susan Hettinger Posted January 30, 2024 4:25 pm

    Dane and Jake, Paul was one of the people you see that always had a grin on his face ans something wonderful to say. We went to Dana for two years together and I always loved seeing him on campus. I’m glad I got to see him just a few years ago as well. He left a huge legacy and we will remember him joyfully.

  • Lori Quakenbush Posted January 31, 2024 9:06 am

    Our sincere condolences on the passing of Paul.

  • Lisa Tolan Posted January 31, 2024 1:20 pm

    Barb, Dave, Paul’s boys, and all that were Lucky enough to know Paul. We literally grew up together in !uck. Paul was my first and longest friend. We joked about that all if the time….including a few short weeks ago. Paul was family, and we loved when he would come back for Lucky days and we would take our bikes for a ride down memory lane. Paul was a treasure, and I am so shocked and saddened. He helped many with his first hand knowledge about grief, who knew we would need his wisdom do soon!!! Until we meet again, rest well my awesome friend!!!!!!!!

  • Charlie & Jeanne Beckmann Posted February 1, 2024 6:28 pm

    You have our heart felt sympathy. Paul & Lisa were good people and we will always remember them.

  • Jeff Quandt Posted February 2, 2024 9:49 am

    Dean and Jake and family. I was shocked to hear about your dad. He was such a good friend and inspiration. I always enjoyed helping him out with his website, videos, and photography. He encouraged me to start my own show on KPAO.
    Take comfort in the Lord watching over you. God did not remove the Red Sea in Exodus. He parted the sea, and His people had to trust Him as they past through the troubled water.

  • Dana Switzer Posted February 3, 2024 10:16 am

    My deepest sympathy to the family, Paul always had a smile when we saw him at Rejoice, always greeted us with Joy in his face, helped so much at church, Dane and Jake your dad was such a humbling man and someone yoi should be proud of, prayers to you and your family at this time of sadness. Peace be with you!

  • Maria Michaelis Posted February 3, 2024 10:35 am

    I am so deeply sorry to hear that Jake and Dane have to suffer more grief at Paul’s passing. I knew Paul (and Lisa) from church. What fabulous people. You’re both in my thoughts and prayers. Sending love and healing your way.

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