To my friend, who called me "Ren,"
Where in the world can I start to begin...
The impact you have had on me,
has shaped my life and my family's.
Thanks for the laughs, for "breaking it down",
for showing us how to get up when we'd fall down.
Thank you for your faith and belief in God,
for your love of family and service to all.
Thank you making life more fun,
for countless powder days and great times in the sun.
Thank you dear friend, you have fought a good fight,
rest well knowing you've done all that was right.
Grateful we know with certainty,
that our friendships will continue throughout eternity.
Greg, Love you, your family and the way you lived your life
Thank you for also allowing us to be part of your fight,
Your legacy is one of a loving family,
We will stand by them eternally.
Love you- Ren
I never remember a time seeing you without a smile on your face. You had a way of engaging with people that was genuine, heart-felt and fun loving. You always left people better than you found them. Your advice was always spot on and I will always be grateful for the love you showed to me and my family. Your optimism was contagious. You had a way of making people feel like they could do anything. Our lives were better for knowing you. Your legacy of loving kindness and finding the joy in each day will live on with your family. Love you dear friend.
One year ago, I was diagnosed with cancer, and Greg was one of the first to console me and offer strength and compassion. I will be forever grateful for his presence in my life. I loved the example he set in his fight, and truly tried to emulate it in my own. He was my bishop, and as many will testify, my friend. You will be missed sweet man and all of us are better for knowing you.
The best way I can describe Greg is that he was a man that knew how to build community better than anyone I have ever known. Wherever he went, the party followed! New Years Eve's, Giant's winning the World Series, and so many other fun times together.
Greg was always willing to be a counselor, a friend, he had the ability to help you see the "other side" of things. He knew how to organize and get things done. And he knew how to give love and service in a BIG way. Everybody's friend!!
A special memory I have of Greg was right after I had my daughter, Malia, our house was under construction and within a week of bringing her home we realized we couldn't stay in it. The Madsens offered us their home for a week because they were on vacation. When they returned, they told us to stay for two more weeks! It was crazy! Rick and I, with a brand new little baby and a 3 year old and 4 year old! Greg gave up his office for those weeks and even let me work on his computer since I had a big project for work that I had to get done. I think that was when Greg gave Ian (my then 3 year old) the nickname "S'more" (since you always wanted "some more" of him). I have always just LOVED that nickname. When we asked Greg what we could do to pay them back for those few weeks, he said, "just pay it forward."
Thank you Greg for your love, your service, your friendship and your example. I will miss you!
Greg- what a long lasting impact you have had on our family. Some of the best memories my older boys have of there growing up years are always memories of experiences with you. You were a positive, loving and compassionate force in their lives. I truly believe that the way they live their lives today is a direct reflection of your influence. You are a man of great might and sincere spirit. Thank you for sharing yourself with us all.
Dear Madsen Family,
Thirty-two years ago I had the good fortune to cross paths with mr. Greg "Maddog" Madsen in the Jewish kibbutz Ramat Rahel just outside Jerusalem and within site of the hills of Bethlehem. For six months I benefitted from the joy and passion that is Greg. I hardly remember a day where Greg's infectious smile and friendly personality didn't lighten and brighten my day along with the other sixty or so students who lived in that kibbutz. I am deeply saddened with his passing. I'm baffled that Greg has passed. He was the epitome of physical, emotional and mental health. Although our paths have not crossed in years, I have watched from a distance the beautiful life and family he has created with Jan and his beautiful kids. I'll miss Greg and am just feeling sad at this news. Gregs father visited Greg in Jerusalem and I still remember hanging out with his great dad wandering the streets of Jerusalem. I thought no wonder Greg is so cool, he has such a great dad. Then I met Christine and spent a semester abroad with his younger sister Cami and again remember with such fondness this beautiful and loving family. The world needs more Greg Madsens and I'm grateful for the bright light he was. I see the same light in his beautiful kids. I'm sorry for your loss. Your dad was a great man. RIP Greg my friend.
What more can I say on top of what has already been beautifully expressed here and on Facebook? I love, and will miss, how I never left a conversation with Greg without feeling uplifted, inspired, motivated, and plain ol' feeling REALLY good. Greg was such a positive force that you couldn't help but feel better while around him. Always a beautiful smile on his face, a sparkle in his eye, and a warm hug. I'm so blessed to have had him as my seminary teacher and my bishop. He helped me heal broken parts of my life and I will forever be thankful for his guidance. My family and I are forever indebted to him for his love, counsel, and encouragement. I love The Madsen family and wish I could give them a big hug right now but know that you are in our prayers and we are so sorry for this tremendous loss. Love you, Gregorio. I certainly hope I expressed enough to you how much I cared for you and how thankful I am that Heavenly Father blessed me by letting me share those moments with you.
The Madsen family have been a party to sacred moments that will enrich them forever. Greg's love and kinship with his family survives the grave and they are his eternally. This wise father cultivated and rooted his family in rich soil that will permit them all to weather this storm. Jan, your lasting and exalting covenants with your husband make you heirs to a crown reserved for the faithful. Well done dear Madsens you have chosen to walk with the Shepherd and you will bask in His life giving light, I promise.
I first met Greg when he was a teenager living in Los Altos. His beautiful countenance always radiated his happy and positive spirit. That memory of Greg will always remain with me. These gifts allowed him to influence the lives of so many people. He truly had a caring heart and desired to lift the lives of others. Bless you, Greg, as you move on to a beautiful new life. You will bring happiness and cheer and the light of the Gospel to those whose lives will change forever because of you!
To all who knew and loved Greg.
I had the pleasure of working with Greg while he was with Interaction Associates. What a radiant being! Though I never knew him well, I always admired him, watched him, learned from him, and felt the love for life, the good spirit and joy that was Greg Madsen. We are better because Greg was in our midst.
02 aug 2017 Greg was my ward santa cruz bishop 2014. He kindly arranged temporary housing for me with a ward member, before I moved to Marina, Monterey county 2014. Taking time from his very busy schedule to assist me was most appreciated. Bless him and family.
The first person I ever talked to in Santa Cruz before deciding to move from the east coast was Greg Madsen. As we were deciding where we wanted to live, I found his numbers on our Church's Website and decided to call him to ask him how the area was. Immediately when he picked up the phone I felt like he cared about me and that we were already friends. We talked for quite awhile and because of him, we decided to move into the area and have loved every minute of it. Since that time 3 years ago he has always been so friendly and caring to our family. I have enjoyed our interactions with him throughout the past 3 years. He has left a great legacy of compassion and vest for life. We will miss him dearly.
I had the greatest pleasure of meeting Greg at Interaction Associates. Very kind man, loving and always up for adventure. He had so much energy. I miss so much our dance break sessions in the hallways of Interaction. I wish the family my deepest sympathy!
Greg, you were a truly amazing person, with an infectious smile and admirable zest for life, a leader, one who served others and our community in so many special ways. I first met Greg almost 20 years ago after we moved to Santa Cruz and I had started running with Jan and a group of women and all of our baby joggers. Shortly after, when we were remodeling our house and needed a place to live for a while, Greg and Jan offered up their home to us while they were away. Greg barely knew us yet, but of course, being the family that they are, opened his home to us. We have such fond memories of our time in that lovely Nova house- their home exuded love, even when they were not in it, it just was. We got to know Greg better over the years and he began stopping by our house on his runs every so often. He would have the kids in tow at times, or not, and would just knock on the door to say a cheery hello, and most always try to convince Troy to join him! And, this continued for all the years we had the blessing of knowing him- he never gave up, always extending the invitation and encouragement, and sharing the love in the midst of his run. Often along East Cliff he and I would pass each other on our runs, Greg smiling his uplifting smile, so stoked always!
Today as I ran in the sweltering Seattle summer heat, I wanted to stop, it was just too hard. I looked down and saw the MadDog bracelet around my wrist and reflected on Greg- he would persevere, ask for strength, and be grateful that he was given the legs to be able to run, and ...he would have fun! Greg, you never gave up, you were so positive, even in the midst of your trials... you inspire me and I will hold onto this in life.
I want to thank you Greg, for your insightful talks of faith, your teaching, for your open heart and knowledge you shared, for supporting our family in your subtle way when you knew we were in need of council. Enjoy your new life with God surrounding you, feel the love radiating up toward you from all of us you have touched, know your family will be supported, and have a great run my friend.
Jan, Makena, Ella, Emmett, and Henry, our hearts and prayers go out to you as you as you walk this difficult path. Greg's incredible qualities shine so very brightly in you- it will be a joy to watch his ways, and that great smile, continue to live on through all of you. With so much love, The DePuydt Family
My heart dropped a beat upon receiving the news of the passing of Bro Madsen. Greg was De man. The Hughes family sends our love to Jan and family.
There are simply no words. We've lost a great, great man. Soul of a saint with a spirit of unwavering optimism - you just 'felt' it when he walked in the room. I've never met anyone like Greg and always felt so honored to be his buddy. He IS the moral compass for so many - it is comforting to know he will live on forever and ever in our hearts, minds and memories. All my love, strength and support points directly to Jan and family, just like Greg's always did...and always will.
Jan, with such an enormous support group of friends and family, I'm not sure what I can do to help...just know, I'm waiting in the wings should that opportunity ever arise.
To all the Madsens,
I am at a loss for words at Greg's passing. My heart is heavy. While it has been a number of years since I last saw Greg, he holds a very special place in my heart. I remember starting Kindergarten and being very nervous. My brother Craig was in sixth grade and I thought he would be the one help me out, but in reality, he kind of ignored me (sorry Craig, but it's true). But Greg on the other hand, a fifth grader, took me under his wing and gave me that sense of reassurance I needed. That seems to be just one of his superpowers. His memory will continue to be an inspiration to me.
Greg has a spirit that is full of passion and positivity. I have great memories of Greg in the jungles of Costa Rica, the Surf in Nocal, to the Mountains in Utah. Greg was a supporter of the Arts, and inspiration to me and many others! Greg's spirit live on right now, thanks, until the next swell rolls in. Peace!
I'm sure there are dozens of people who would claim Greg as their very best friend. He was that type of guy that had room for everybody and was that special, exceptional friend. But I think if you were to ask him who his best friend was he would say that person lived in his home. Greg knew and showed the love and importance of his family in all he did. They truly are a special bunch.
I called him Daddog, I dont think I ever saw him mad and that made more sense. Greg showed me how to be a best friend while being a parent and husband, and he didnt even know it. He was being himself.
I was able to enjoy many leisure activities and trips with him. Mainland Mexico, Channel Islands, Tahoe, Park City, Snowbird, Tavarua Fiji, oh wait he let me stay home and watch his kids for that one, and countless times in the lineups locally. I will miss being out there with him and hearing him randomly sing "light my fire".
I'm not sad for Greg, I know he's doing better than ever now and we will see him again. We are the ones left behind that are sad and missing him. I know his family knows that too and pray they are comforted and strengthened and brought closer by this experience. We know that much good has happened from loosing him that otherwise would not have as Greg was such an inspiration to so many.
How's the surf where you're at?, I'll bet its perfect!
Makes me happy to read this
I will never forget Greg's kindness to our family -- so many times -- but especially six years ago with our daughter Valerie -- 33 years old, mother of two young sons, and a very strong spirit who had chosen a path that was not what we would have chosen for her. But suddenly she was diagnosed with cancer in her hip bone. It was incurable, and in fact she passed away only three months after her diagnosis. When she was in a hospital bed in our living room, being cared for by Hospice, and nearing the end of her life, our dear friend Bishop Greg, came to our home to talk with her. She loved Greg, and heard the kindness that he spoke to her. Then, on his knees by her bed, he administered the sacrament to her. That touched her, and humbled all of us. I will never forget the spirit that was in the room. Thank you, Greg, for teaching all of us about how to endure the challenges that we are given. We will always love you!
Greg was the perfect example of unconditional love taught by the Saviour and of a life exemplified by continual service to others. A true inspiration and example which has personally compelled me to strive to be better each day and to appreciate the privledge of each day of life with which I have been blessed.
His lifes example impacted the lives of so many by his true and deep love to all in his surroundings.
An authentic inspiration to all who had the opportunity to know him. Thank you my friend.
"Grandpa" is a role Maddog would have relished
Filling little souls with mem'ries to cherish.
A motivator and a life-long learner,
He was a Gospel sage and East Cliff surfer.
Always an all-star, Madsen fought fear with faith.
"Hope is a strategy," he was known to saith.
Connecting with friends, his BIG WHY burned within.
A finer confidence coach there can't have been.
Service is therapy, when we love, not judge.
From the vision of his youth, he would not budge.
Greg lived Aloha; others' "stories" he sought.
He said, "Change can happen, just start a new thought."
He could make his own fun, while shredding the POW.
Or freeing up traffic by lifting a bough.
All but his relationships he leaves behind,
And the vast knowledge he was able to find.
We mourn for thirty years of people unknown,
Future lives never touched, wide smiles never shown.
To all of the Madsen Family, we are so deeply sorry and sad for your loss and only wish we could have spent more time at the beach with Greg and family!
It has been one of our most cherished things in life to be blessed to have found such a wonderful place by the ocean and when we met the Madsen family, we just felt as if we had found HOME. Looking forward to seeing Greg and family on the bike, in the water or simply working around the yard was always a welcome sight and that big bright smile and welcome overtime we arrived is something we will always hold dear to our hearts!
Greg was such a great man, father, husband and friend, always wanting to do something for the greater good of the community, I never knew him to have a side we didn't love. We will miss his smile and kind heart, knowing that he is now watching over his family and friends from a better place.
We love you all, the Rositano's!!
Only Greg Madsen takes the time to make every young man in priesthood quorum feel like he's as cool as Greg was. I remember he called my phone and left a message on my birthday - signing the whole "They Long to Be" song by the Carpenters, and exchanged the words "eyes were blue" for "eyes were brown". Greg made our group of young men feel like we were on top of the world. Whether it was by taking us surfing in Baja, or showing us how to hit on the ladies, or trying to work his magic on the local staff to get us free stuff, we felt like we were AWESOME when we were around him. He taught us that the gospel and church wasn't only way cooler than what all the other kids were doing, but that it brought true joy to those that live it. Greg was our inspiration, our leader, our coach. He was a true light to the world, and a joy to every lucky soul that crossed is path. He even saved a few of our teenage souls. To his family - I know he is still here with us, with you. Like the hymn, his love now surrounds you. Until we meet again Greg, thanks for all you did for us 14-16 year old's back in the good old days. I'll never forget your example, your humility, your love, and your passion for life.
The world was better for having Greg. even if for too short a time. Heaven is a nicer and funnier place today.
How will I remember Greg? A positive, upbeat attitude. Always a broad smile and a hug. Carefree, spontaneous, young at heart, yet disciplined in his habits and behaviors. Fun-loving Giants and 49ers fan. Loyal to his wife and protective of their relationship. Connected to his children, all of whom radiate the same upbeat and bright countenance. He treated his body with respect and care. A diet that was disciplined and consistent – I don’t ever recall seeing him eat candy, sugars, soft drinks or heavy meats. Rather, whenever at his house there were fruits and vegetables, nuts, cheeses, and healthy snacks - he didn't make a show of it or judge others – he was just living his life. His love for his fellow man was demonstrated in every aspect of his life: mission leader in his church for years, then bishop for six years after that. His house was, and continues to be, an open sanctuary to anyone who came by. Very few weeks passed without someone being there, whether for dinners or to stay for more extended periods. Always the kind of place you could go any time and know you’d be welcome. I’ve seen Greg in concerned or reflected moods but never saw him in a bad mood. Even his career choice reflected his love and desire to improve his fellow man - a management consulting firm teaching and training business people to be more effective, considerate, and attentive to one another. All these parts of Greg combined to form a man who radiated goodness, optimism, love and sincerity in such a way that when I was in his presence, I felt inspired and loved. He was a ‘man’s man’ when it came to sports, fitness, vigor and intelligence, yet overarching all, I felt a tenderness and love from him. He brightened my life and made me happy whenever I was with him. An example I will never forget
Greg Madsen - He has greatly impacted my life for the better. He inspired me to breakout of my shell and become a person of character and charisma.
He gave me two of his church suits when I went off to BYU. I recall how awesome they made me feel.
I remember a time when he employed me and Lance Brown and Vince Murillo to help clean out an office building. I don't know if he really needed us to do that or if he was just finding a way for us to earn some Boy Scout money and knew we needed it. He always looked out for us.
I felt his love for me personally. Somehow he found a way for everyone to feel accepted and loved. It was like some Maddog magic.
I wanted to be just like him.
He will be missed but I know that he will be reunited with you all, his family. He taught me that in Bishop Pearson's office during priest quorum meeting. The great Plan of Salvation, the great Plan of Happiness. And that is what I will remember the most of Greg --his happiness. #teamMaddog
I didn't know Greg but I was the wonderful Henry Madsen's Physics teacher just this past year at PCS. Sending love and support to Henry from his PCS family- thanks for the Team Maddog bracelet, which I'm still wearing, Henry! See you at school.
Greg Madsen, totally awesome and amazing😄
I knew him back in the early 1980's when I met the love ❤️ of my life. The Blues brothers were the rage ...whenever we saw each other at family gatherings we would would stare at each other and say "you go HUNGRY!" And maybe even bust out a couple dance moves
I can see it now in my minds eye.
Thank you maddog
Greg was my neighbor in college. A one-time surf partner. A one-time youth conference partner. And (at least he made me feel this way) my friend for life. He saw things in you that you wanted to see in yourself, then in his Greg way, brought them out. You were fearless with Greg around. You stood taller, shrugged it all off, and charged forward. Because he let you see something big just ahead. And I'm taking that with me, Greg. Thank you so very much.
Thanks, Steve. So very true. He inspired us all.
I know of few people in this world who have inspired so much positivity, and so much love, as Greg Madsen. When I think of Greg, I think first of his smile, and then I immediately think, in awe, of the amazing family that he and Jan created, and how all of their children radiate the same special goodness, kindness, love and light as their beloved dad. I think back to so many of the times that Greg and I had spoken over the years, and how talking to him just made me feel happier--he had such a gift for lifting up those around him. The pain felt by so many at his loss is hard to even contemplate, but I feel enormously grateful to have known someone as capable of bringing joy, gratitude and love to so many. To Jan and all the Madsen kids, we love you guys so much, and just like the ocean of others who love you, we're always here for all of you.
I will never forget Greg and Brett competing together in the Toots event in the Masters division - the grins on their faces as they raced and swam and tried so hard to outdo each other 😊 And only a few months ago, Brett desperately trying to keep up with Greg as they raced around the Go Cart track with "the Boys". Greg beat each father and each son all night I heard 😊 And just a couple of weeks ago, when quite possibly Greg was in the very midst of his brain surgeries, Greg being a personal reference for Brett as he pursued a recent position. He is a shining inspiration of true friendship, endless energy and the pursuit of creative adventures. He has been a dear mentor to each Graessle and while I see him clearly living on through his amazing children and beautiful marriage, we as friends are so blessed that his precious gifts will illuminate our paths forward as well.
Below is a stream of consciousness list of things I ha E learned from Greg Madsen
* go BIG! (could probably stop with that one)
* Family is everything
* smile - seriously, he had the BEST smile on the planet
* REALLY listen - it's hard, but so worth it
* Be present - ALWAYS, in ALL things
* you can sleep when you're dead
* Love is about action - walk the walk
* Be welcoming. There's always room for more at the table
* Be positive - what's the point in doing otherwise
* Go, get out, DO! (you won't regret it)
* Don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff
* Building community starts from within, then reaching out with love
* Love conquers all!
* small, genuine acts of kindness matter - big time
* get OUT - on the water, snow, mt bike trail, and everything will be OK
Miss you Maddog...
I met you in college. You were roommates with my soon to be husband. Those were the days and you know what? You've stayed that young ever since. We played so many pranks on you. How come you never tried to get me back? Seriously you just smiled and laughed and acted like you enjoyed the prank as much as I did. From stringing all your shoes across the electrical lines, to sewing all your oxford shirt sleeves up with the tiniest stitch, to your Montana mission presentation, you are a person that can confidently laugh at yourself and that's why everyone feels so comfortable around you. Your presence will be felt for years to come. You have touched many. You make people feel like a best friend even when many years have gone by since seeing you. You've created a beautiful legacy. Thanks for your example of living life to The fullest. Love to your family. Nanette
Greg was one of the most energetic, positive people I've ever known. I was lucky to work with him through a few church callings and was truly inspired by him. I always wondered how he could do it all...magnify his callings, be a successful businessman, great father and husband, friend to so many, and relentlessly help others. What an amazing person and example! What an amazing family too! You're all incredible Ella, Makena, Emmett, Henry and Jan. Hugs, Heather
Greg, what an incredible impact for good you have made upon so many lives. As the coolest of cousins, I have always looked up to you, admired you, and appreciated your larger than life presence and personality, especially your ever present humor and smile. From long ago family gatherings and BYU days to more recent days and visits, the memories, love, and family bonds grow stronger.
Now, over these past several months, your example of positive thinking, love of life, courage, and grace under extraordinarily challenging circumstances have meant even more to me as I face my own cancer diagnosis and journey. While you’ve preceded us in that great transition from mortality, you will be in our hearts, and Jan and your family in our thoughts, prayers, and care. We know you will be close by in spirit.
I leave this tribute with a beautiful poem by Henry Van Dyke.
Love you, Maddog!
Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"
And that is dying...
Reading everything... recognize the theme here? Greg.. Constant.. consistent.. I will selfishly miss you and our "talks". Today I sat on the sidelines at the paddle out capturing all the moments with my camera.. kept thinkin.. man.. you have touched so many people.. SO much positive influence. Thanks for everything and I look forward to our next chat. Dude... I got the sweetest pics today.. Im sure you saw em.. Peace Bro.
Before moving to Santa Cruz, my brother Justin would rave about his awesome Bishop and his family, and then when I got to meet and get to know the Greg Madsen family, awesome was an understatement.
I will deeply miss seeing Greg’s smiling face in the hallways of the church. He inspired me to be better and not be afraid to smile, say hello, and really get to know others.
Right after I had my surf accident and had full facial paralysis I ran into Greg somewhere in the church and he told me his story of having Bells Palsy, which caused facial paralysis years before. He knew how to approach me about something very difficult at the time, he didn’t ignore my problem, he talked to me and he showed empathy, kindness, and love. That was just one encounter with Greg. Every time I saw him I walked away feeling better than I had before. He had a true gift of genuinely loving and caring for others. He blessed my life with his gift.
I’ve been thinking about the parable of the talents, and I believe Greg was one blessed with many talents, and he did not hide his talents but he tripled them. He was all in!
Today, was an Epic day celebrating Greg’s life. As I caught a party wave with 10 other people that I may not have known, but were all friends with Greg cheering and laughing with them I knew Greg was looking down and smiling with a huge grin. He was still connecting people together. His legacy lives on because of the way he lived his life.
What I loved most about Greg was that he loved God, his wife, and his family, because of this he was able to multiply his talents and invest in genuine relationships with others and inspire us all to be better.
From afar, from one who saw you in action but regretfully did not have enough down right time with you and your beautiful family, I way THANK YOU. I have read now and certainly witness the heartfelt way you lived your life and i will be working to that end myself more and more. Your influence even at your passing will stir a change in my heart. I have felt your zeal for life in person as well and it has always touched me. You are a light on top of the hill that can not be hid. I love your heart that sprang from within to greet others and to extend. You have love as your middle name and I am grateful for this opportunity to honor you. I love your family and your beautiful wife for I know of their suffering now without you. I know their hearts must ache and be incredibly open. I love who you are and always will be...not just based on our experiences together which were few but because of what I see here about you and your life and your gift to others. Thank you Greg. Thank you. With love, Anne Marie
I only met Greg Madsen twice, but the positive effect,influence and encouragement still lingers to this day , I was completely alone in Santa Cruz, I had no one and I had nothing, no money, no friends, no house, I think I was even sleeping out of my van and was extremely depressed,. Through knowing my dad, Greg found out about my situation and met me at a restaurant, paid for my meal, and just sat and talked with me for almost 3 hours,. He gave me some money for gas and then a week later invited me into his home to meet his family and have dinner with them, I'm not sure if he ever realized how incredible of an experience that was for me and how compassionate and loving and caring he was to me even though he didn't even know me,. And the Madsen family as well ,. I will never forget his extended hand towards me in my time of need, so much kindness and , service and comfort he offered. I will always always remember that , he was there for me when no one else was,
Anyone that knows Abe and I know how much we love and admire this family. We loved Santa Cruz because of the people we were privileged to know there. We came to realize very quickly that there is no greater example of love, charity, service, friendship, humility, acceptance, positivity and happiness than Greg Madsen. We learned so much from him and Jan in the years that we were blessed to live by them. Abe found a great mentor in Greg their friendship grew through their service to others. Jan has helped me through some tough times in my life with her listening ear and amazing advice. Greg and Jan's kids are amazing people and the perfect examples of how wonderful people can be when they are raised by enthusiastic, supportive, loving, and devoted parents. Abe and I have always said, and will continue forever saying, we want to be Greg and Jan when we grow up. What an amazing life. We love you Greg, and thank you for all that you taught us. You will be missed.
So moved by Greg's Day yesterday!
These words, thoughts, images came to me as I helped anchor the shore during Greg's Paddle Out :-)
Paddle Out (Greg Madsen)
Brothers and Sisters all paddle out
Circle Forming around Greg
Priesthood of the Paddle Out
Baptized anew in water and spirit
A most royal and loyal Gathering
Some even as if walking on water
To a very thin place
Where the heavens open
to touch water
and receive back
One of its' own
What happens in the circle
Stays in the circle
What is said in the circle
Also stays in the circle
I dare not ask
Spoken in confidence
of an excellent life - so well lived
And of the even brighter hope
Shouts of Hosanna
It is done
As Gods then
Up from the Watery Abyss
Back on solid ground
As fog rolls in to cover
What a great man. A friend to all.
My dearest Madsen Family. There are no words that can convey how I am feeling as I learn about the passing of Gregory William Madsen. Like most friends and family, I remember Greg's infective smile. He just made you want to be around him and wait for something amazing to be said. Usually, it was something that would make me smile. My favorite memory of Greg is when I would be sitting at the kitchen table, and I'd see the Cougar pull up into the cull-da-sac and out would pop Greg. He'd knock on the door as he opened it and announce to "Mama Terry" that he was here for his chocolate chip cookies! He may stay and visit, or he may be in a hurry and just leave after a quick hug and peck on mom's cheek.
It makes me feel a little less sad knowing that Gregory William and Mama Terry are together now talking about Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cocker Spaniels.
I loved/adored that boy. I love and adore all the Madsen's and am so sorry for your loss.
I am grateful to have been a part of Greg's life all these years and will look forward to remembering all the wonderful memories I have of him for a very long time.
Long ago, we called Greg Madgoon. So goodbye to the original Madgoon. You taught us all a lot. But mostly you taught us the epitome of being a choice son (or daughter) of our Heavenly Father.
For that, I am eternally grateful.
With love, Ann Marie Clawson Halverson
I say 'Amen' to all that's been said . . . Greg was an inspiration and friend to all, with an infectious smile, always the life of the party! Truly an amazing person with an equally amazing family. Sending hugs, kisses and prayers your way. xoxo
What I will always remember is the smile and true to form, that I was important. He always had a kind word. The last time I spoke to him, I sensed his vulnerability, but he still had the smile. His example as a disciple of Christ demonstrated by his love for others was a blessing to me and to all who had contact with Bishop Greg Madsen. He held such a wonderful place in our hearts. My prayers and blessings go out to Jan and the kids as well as his family. Know that we are truly blessed to have had him in our lives.
The few times that I met Greg (at plays, at PCS and once at his home), he struck me as such a warm and loving person that even now, here in India an ocean and years away, I can clearly remember the sense of the wonderful being he was in this earth-life.
His children are such great messengers of his life and love, and his wide circle of intimate friends and extended family are such great legacies, that I am filled with wonder at the life he lived.
And when I read lines like this in his health updates:
"I know that this challenge is for my personal growth and development and hopefully I will have the humility to use it to better myself and give service, empathy, and comfort to others who are in need and going through challenges of their own."
I am moved beyond words at his courage, faith and humility.
He was a very rare soul indeed, one who fully and joyfully lived his beliefs and embraced so many lives.
Ram Nidumolu, Bangalore, India.
Greg lived a blessed life. As we mourn our loss, we celebrate his life. A life cut too short. But, a life filled with love, family, friendship and faith.
I will miss you my friend.
Every memory I have of Greg is him with his big beautiful smile and undivided attention on whatever we were talking about. I always felt so grounded and happy after our conversations.
Thank you Greg for continuing to light our days with your joyful spirit.
And thank you Madsen family for showing us that every day is a gift through your warmth and smiles.
You are all such a blessing to me and my family.
Hard to put in to words what Greg meant to me. He was simply one of the worlds greatest guys and we all are blessed to have known him. He was an evolved person. He lived every day as if it was his last. He got the most out of life. I will miss him more than words can say. I will think of him often. I will ask myself what would Greg do in this situation and try to follow through.
I believe Greg did all that he could do in this life, there was nothing left. He mastered every task placed before him. I suppose it was time to him to move on to the next great adventure. I will see you soon my friend. Lini.
GREG "MADDOG" MADSEN. On August 1st, the world lost one of the finest humans to ever walk this planet. Greg Madsen has been a great friend for decades. We could go on for days about his attributes and could not even scratch the surface.
Greg had an incredible energy, a special love for every person and creature he ever met, a contagious smile, a great sense of humor, and an incredibly beautiful family. He just seemed to get this whole "life thing" right.
One day we spent hours talking in his home office and we decided to write a leadership book together. He had some special coating on a wall that allowed us to draw all our ideas all over it with dry erase pens. (This was a total Maddog thing.)
Over the following weeks, we started in working on the book and developing the concepts. I was so excited to research and explore this topic with him, and we really started to get into it. A couple weeks later came the shocking news that Maddog was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. He had never touched a cigarette his entire life! Dog was not the Marlboro Man. He did not need anything to look cool, he just was cool. He has always been one of the most fit, healthy guys I've ever met. True to his nature, he fought it like a super freak.
The entire time he battled cancer, he had a great attitude, optimistic outlook and I never heard him complain once. He had pure class and complete dignity.
When I told Dog about the MeWeDoBe concept he just went nuts. I had no idea, but behind the scenes he went to work and got an invitation for me to speak at a TED talk. After telling me about it, it got even better as he was my coach through the entire process. It concept shot up and every network profiled it. A few days ago I was on the Today Show talking about the MeWeDoBe thing, but it all started with the Dog working with me to get everything refined.
Remarkably, Maddog did all of this with stage four lung cancer, and yet he spent a significant amount of time helping me get this thing off the ground.
He did this kind of thing for many many other people. I'm sure that I'm only one of about 10,000 people that think of Dog as a best friend. I'm just glad that I'm one of them. I just love the guy and his family.
Leadership is not a degree, position, calling, status or title. Leadership is doing things in a way that others instinctively want to follow. Greg Madson was one of the world's great leaders. Maddog had a beautiful wife, four beautiful kids, a beautiful home by the beach, a great career, and lots of cool stuff. He was a great surfer and skier. But what made him the Maddog was a continual flow of pure love and cool energy for everyone around him.
When I think of people that I've known who I would like to be like, my Dad and Greg Madson top the list. I'm glad that I took a moment to tell that to him directly when he was here on earth.
The Bible makes it simple, and tells us that the first great commandment is to love God, and the second is to love other people. Greg Madsen simply hit the bulls eye. Dog hit the jackpot 'o love. He nailed it. He did not manipulate, he inspired. I am grateful to God that I got to see such an epic, ideal life up close. Maddog's life gives me something to shoot for.
Dog, I love you buddy. All I can say is that heaven must be perfect, but I'm sure that today it became even more perfect.
I miss you a lot and to be honest it hurts, but in the words of the great Ozzy Osborne ... "I'll see ya on the other side."