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Madelyn Lina (Kerndt) Clark
July 18, 1926 ~ February 27, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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Madelyn Lina (Kerndt) Clark was born into a strict but loving German home on July 18, 1926, in Salida, Colorado. Her spirit left her body in the early morning hours on February 27, 2023, as she was peacefully sleeping.
She was one of seven children her parents raised: four brothers, one sister and a nephew, all of whom preceded her in death except for her sister Jaquelyn “Jackie” (Kerndt) Meek who lives in Overland Park, Kansas.
As a child, Madelyn was a very good dancer pleasing the crowd so much that they tossed coins onto the stage! As an adult she enjoyed playing the piano and crocheting and she was an excellent cook, especially well-known for her cinnamon rolls.
Right out of high school, Madelyn went to Denver and found work at a Federal Reserve Bank. With World War II in progress, the liberty notes from World War I were being called in and Madelyn helped to cash them in. She also sold bonds. She worked there for two years during which time she met her late husband, Joseph J Clark (“JC”) at a rodeo in Canon City. She was 20 when they married on December 8, 1946.
Soon after they were married, they moved to the San Luis Valley to the Sargent Community where JC had been born. They lived in a two-room house on JC’s father’s farm until they could build their own home in the Sargent Community. They would farm there for another 13 years during which time they lost their first child at birth. Several years later they had a girl, Cheryl. And several years after that, Madelyn gave birth to their son, Craig.
When farming was no longer a viable option, they moved back to Salida where they helped to manage a motel until JC found work with the Colorado State Reformatory. For eight years Madelyn worked for the Department of Agriculture conducting surveys. Not knowing what to expect at each farm, she always took her mom or JC with her.
Madelyn worked for many years in the gift shop at the Country Bounty Restaurant in Salida. She also worked at the Comfort Inn where she poured coffee and entertained the guests with her extensive knowledge of the area. She knew so much history about Salida and the surrounding area that tourists would stop in to ask her questions about Salida history. She really enjoyed those interactions.
When they could no longer live at home, Madelyn and JC moved into Columbus Manor, a Salida care center, until they could be transferred to the Colorado Veterans Community Living Center (CVCLC) at Homelake, near Monte Vista, Colorado, where they would spend their last years. JC preceded Madelyn in death on Christmas Eve, 2019. Their son, Craig, had died years earlier.
Madelyn is survived by her daughter, Cheryl Bridges, her sister Jackie Meek and a number of nieces and nephews.
Cremation was chosen and her ashes, along with JC’s, will be buried in the Fairview cemetery in Salida next to their son, Craig.