Madelynn Louise Herman, age 99, of Eyota died of cancer at her home in Eyota on February 13, 2022.
Madelynn was born in Macomb, Illinois, to Theodore and Winifred Theilen. She graduated high school in Decatur, Illinois, in 1940 and joined the W.A.V.E.S. (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), of the US Navy in 1943. There she met and married Lyman Willcutt Menard in 1944 and they were later divorced. The marriage produced one daughter, Barbara (Menard, Brobst) Pickett. While in the Navy, Madelynn assembled aircraft gyroscopes, later became a courier (rode a scooter) and delivered top-secret documents to the Navy “brass.” To her delight, she was later recruited to the more favorable position of playing alto saxophone as the only woman in a Navy orchestra. Her solos included the then popular tunes “Tea For Two” and “Whispering.”
She graduated from Mankato Business College in 1947 and became secretary to the director of the Rochester State Hospital. She later worked as a secretary for Rochester Dairy and then became the Office Manager of the Mayo Clinic Rochester Child Health Institute working with Director Dr. C. Anderson Aldrich. Doctor Spock, author of the popular Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care book (not to be confused with Star Trek character Mr. Spock) also joined the Institute for a short time. In addition to working, Madelynn found time to pursue her passion of artistic pairs figure roller skating which eventually led her to the pinnacle of appearing in the World Games competition.
In 1954, Madelynn married Vernon Carl Herman of Dover, Minnesota, at the quaint Elmira Township Church south of Dover. The couple lived and farmed in the Dover-Eyota area for many years. They retired to Eyota, Minnesota, later to a condo in Rochester, and then back to Eyota, all the time enjoying several years of fishing and relaxing at their place on Lake Winnibigoshish and at their boathouse at the Minnesota City Boat Club. Her husband, Vernon, died in January of 2005. Madelynn was also past president of the Dover-Eyota P.T.A. during the Dover-Eyota consolidation and dedication of the new high school in 1961. She was a member of the Eyota American Legion and past Worthy Matron of the #98 Eastern Star in St. Charles, Minnesota.
Madelynn is survived by her daughter, Barbara Pickett of Eyota, Minnesota, two grandsons, Scott (Ivy) Brobst of Mandan, North Dakota, and Jeffrey Brobst of Wykoff, Minnesota. She is also survived by great granddaughters Blakeley (Brobst) Kantor, and Hannah and Tybee Brobst, and grandson Jayden Brobst, as well as nieces Lauri (Horn) Sliker and Wendy (Horn) Conners. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and two sisters, Kathryn (Roy) Horn and Ruth Ann Theilen. As per her wishes, she will be cremated with a private family service in the summer when she will be buried next to her husband, Vernon, at Evergreen Cemetery in Dover, Minnesota.
Schad & Zabel Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
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