A trust fund of caring; Former banker passes away, leaves legacy of integrity
Published 10:55 am Thursday, July 23, 2015
Dale Madison didn’t start off wanting to be a banker, but after more than 50 years in the business, many people are glad he became one.
Dale, a banker at the Brownsdale First Farmers and Merchants Bank and on the corporate board of the Grand Meadow First Farmers and Merchants, passed away July 16, 2015. He was 82.
Dale’s wife, Shirley, recalled when he became the president of the Brownsdale bank in 1964. After coming to the bank to work in insurance, the president had stepped down due to health issues and Dale was called in to hold the bank together until there was a replacement found.
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“He proceeded to do that by spending many nights down at the bank until 11 p.m. or 12 a.m. going through books and trying to learn what banking is all about, because he had no idea,” Shirley said.
When he had been in the position about a year, the owners asked him to step in as the president, which he continued until he retired in 1998.
Dale’s daughter, Carol Madison, said speaking with people at the funeral and visitation gave a bigger perspective into how her father changed many people’s lives.
“To hear story after story just saying, ‘You have no idea how much your dad helped me,’ or ‘helped our family,’” Carol said. “And that was true, we didn’t have any idea.”
Over the years, Dale was involved with other aspects at the bank, volunteering on the Mower County Housing Authority and the Austin/Mower County Committee for Home Ownership. Even after his retirement, he was on the advisory board of the Brownsdale First Farmers and Merchants Bank, and he served on the corporate board of the Grand Meadow First Farmers and Merchants Bank. Dale was recently awarded the key to the city of Austin for his service in assisting lower income families by Austin Mayor Tom Stiehm.
“He was pretty honored by that,” Shirley said. “He had no idea that was coming.”
Carol said the honor meant a lot for her father, who showed off the key at a family reunion and to others. She said it was extra special because, unknown at the time, Dale received the honor only a few weeks before he passed away.
Dale was known for his ability to know when to trust someone with a loan, even if others may not. Shirley said in the 18 years Dale worked with the Austin/Mower County Committee for Home Ownership, he went through almost $2 million in loans. Dale’s son, Roger Madison, said it was common to hear people say his father gave them their first loan, even though he may not have had a good reason to.
“There was no question, there was not a banker that cared more about his clients than Dale did,” Roger said. “And that stretched into other parts of his life.”
Dale was also involved in missions and church activities, such as the Christian Businessmen’s Committee International and served as the president for the Missionary Fellowship Incorporate, an organization that raised more than $3 million for missions around the world. He was an active member of Grace Baptist Church of Austin, serving in various leadership capacities and teaching the senior high Sunday school class for 30 years.
“He always enjoyed supporting missionaries, so it’s always been a matter of helping people in one way or another,” Shirley said.
Dale’s son, Ron Madison, noted his father’s three legacies: a spiritual legacy, a family legacy and a business legacy.
“To know our father would be to see that all three of those were one thing, and that he wore three hats at one time,” Ron said. “He never separated them.”
Dale enjoyed building relationships with people of all sorts, whether young or old. Carol said her father was very trusted with both family resources and counsel, and Dale was an executer for a fair number of estates as well.
“And that stems … from his faith in God and his belief in Christ, you know, simply following the commands as Christ said,” Carol said. “So that’s something that he lived out in his life, not only through his family and through personal relationships but through his business endeavors as well.”