Ralph L. Madsen, 95, passed away Thursday, March 18, 2021. He was born in Minot, N.D., Aug. 20, 1925, to Magnus and Zella (Welch) Madsen.
Ralph and his family moved to Chehalis in 1936, when Ralph was in the 6th grade. They relocated to Centralia a few years later, where Ralph lived the rest of his life. He graduated from both Centralia High School and Centralia College. In 1951, he married Kathryn (Kay) Lucas. They were married for 63 years before Kay passed away in 2015. They raised two children, Sam (Sharon) Madsen and Mary (Gary) Schonack, both of Centralia. He has one granddaughter, Emily Madsen of Olympia.
Ralph owned and operated Madsen’s Shop & Supply, Inc. for 44 years, a business his father started in 1946. After retiring in 1990, his son and daughter took over at Madsen’s, but he continued to be involved for another 25 years. If you live in the area surrounding Lewis County and own a STIHL chain saw, chances are you bought it from Ralph.
Ralph and Kay’s home was a gathering place for family and friends. They both enjoyed hosting others and lively conversations. When away from home, you could often find Ralph visiting with customers around the woodstove at Madsen’s with a cup of black coffee and a cookie. It was one of his favorite activities.
He was a faithful member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Ralph regularly attended for over eighty years. He also loved music and was a good singer. He especially liked traditional Lutheran hymns. His favorite was Children of the Heavenly Father.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; Magnus and Zella Madsen; sisters; Betty Kisor and Donna Cordier; and wife, Kay Madsen.
He is survived by his two children; granddaughter; sister in law; Margaret Douglass, plus numerous nieces and nephews.
Due to COVID-19, only a small private burial is planned. The family requests donations in Ralph's memory be sent to the Immanuel Lutheran Church Memorial Fund. 1209 N. Scheuber Rd., Centralia, WA 98531.