Madelyn Breckenridge of Tucson, Arizona passed away peacefully at her cabin in Flagstaff, Arizona on September 4, 2021 with family by her side. This was her favorite place. She was 95 years old almost 96.
Madelyn was born on October 19, 1925 in Canby, Minnesota to parents Alfred D. and Kunigunda (Bertamus) Bresson – Decendants of French and Luxembourgian immigrants who settled in Illinois, Minnesota, and Iowa.
Madelyn was the third child of seven siblings. They are Bernice Riley, Morris, MN; Florence Loher, deceased, Morris, MN; Nick Bresson, deceased, Menominie, WI; Blanche Van Kempen, Morris, MN; Kuni Gunda (Connie) Wanningman, Minneapolis, MN, and a step-sister, Alpha (Tootie) Reed, deceased, Saugerties, New York. She loved them dearly.
Madelyn was born on her family’s farm in Canby, MN. She walked across the street to a one room schoolhouse with her siblings even when the snow was high and no other children were able to travel to school.
In 1930 her mother, Kunigunda, died four days after giving birth to Madelyn’s youngest sister Kuni Gunda. Her Grandma Margaret Bertamus came to live with them for 3 years until Alfred married Hazel (Asher) Moore. After her father re-married, Grandma Bertamus left with Kuni Gunda. Madelyn and her siblings met their sister again 8 years later.
In 1938, the family moved to a farm in Morris, MN. Madelyn was twelve years old. Girls at this time normally did not continue with schooling after the eighth grade, but the school administrator came to her father and said she was too smart not to continue with high school. Madelyn then lived with a family in town earning $1 a week caring for their child and doing housework. She graduated in 1943 as valedictorian of her class and editor of the yearbook.
In November 1944, Madelyn went on an adventure for a year. She and friends travelled to Washington D.C. to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigations as support staff. She was a small town girl out in the big world. She was an asset to the FBI and witnessed the election and the funeral of FDR.
Madelyn married her classmate, Don M Breckenridge, in 1948. Together they had six children, Mary Breckenridge, Boise, ID; Jerry (Esther) Breckenridge, Flagstaff, AZ; Craig Breckenridge, deceased, Tucson, AZ; Robert (Kathy) Breckenridge, Tigard, OR; Patrick (Shelby) Breckenridge, Tucson, AZ; and John Breckenridge, Flagstaff, AZ. Madelyn has four grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, four step-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren.
In 1948, Don and Madelyn drove to Tucson, AZ to start their new married life. The car broke down in Tucson so this was the spot! They lived in a very small trailer for 2 years until they bought their first and only house. Additions to the house were made for six children. Madelyn’s lived in Tucson for 73 years.
Madelyn was a great seamstress as was her mother. She was a crafter and many gifts were made for every occasion. She worked as a medical stenographer at Tucson Medical Center and for the Tucson Unified School District as a School Lunch Cashier. She wrote in her journal everyday about her life, and her children consider them a precious legacy to read.
These are some of her children’s’ thoughts about their mother: Resilient, inquisitive, always interested in other people’s stories, very giving, avid back porch birdwatcher, respected mother-in-law, taught her granddaughters to knit and crochet, loved sports especially baseball, the first president of the newly founded Palo Verde Little League, avid coin collector, great cook, inventive problem solver, kept cost ledgers on everything, crossword wizard, card playing and puzzle aficionado, loved her grandchildren dearly and comforted them with humming and words, and she saved everything of her life story for us to read at this time and keep safe.
Internment will be in spring, 2022 in Tucson. She will be buried with her husband who passed in 1978, and her son, Craig, who passed in 2011.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hospice Care of your choice.