MADISON, Wis. – Dr. Renate Elisabeth (Krzikalla) Madsen, age 91, passed away suddenly on Monday, April 25, 2022. She was born on December 15, 1930, to Hans and Editha (Ruhl) Krzikalla in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany. Her pleasant childhood was interrupted in adolescence during WWII. Under the direction of her father, a prominent chemist, the family synthesized and delivered saccharine to nearby farmers in exchange for food. Besides losing her younger sister, she and her brother narrowly escaped the bombing of Dresden in 1945.
Renate was always an excellent student. The youngest in her class, she attended medical school at the University of Heidelberg where she fell for her Danish anatomy instructor, Dr. Paul Madsen. She left the comfort of her home to follow Paul to the USA. From overcoming initial loneliness and hiding her pregnancies during medical training to making a name in her profession, she always showed determination and perseverance. Over the next 33 years, she became a highly respected anesthesiologist at UW-Madison Hospital and a role model for many female doctors. She maintained her professional license and provided medical advice for many friends and family until age 90.
A natural extrovert, Renate made friends easily throughout her life. She was socially active with various sports, international travel, and support of the fine arts. She always looked forward to her regular Kaffeeklatsches. A highly energetic individual, she had keen observational skills and a brilliant and curious mind. She was outspoken, confident, strong, and loyal to her friends and family. Renate was one of a kind and irrepressible; a fine example of how to live one’s life. The entire family is eternally grateful for the educational and cultural opportunities she provided along with her strong family values.
Renate is lovingly remembered by her three children: Thomas (Nikki) Madsen, Dr. Karin (Dr. Peter) Drescher, Annette (John) White; eleven grandchildren: Kristina (Ryan) Lowery, Paul (Michelle) Madsen, Erik (Ashley) Madsen, Gregory, and Thomas Madsen; Anna, Maximilian, and Sophie Drescher; Maggie, Elise, and Laura White; five great-grandchildren: Ryan, Abby, Claire, Henry, and Ellie Madsen.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 58 years Dr. Paul Madsen, and her siblings Gerda and Reinhard Krzikalla.
On Sunday, May 15, 2022, at the Oakwood Village Prairie Ridge Chapel, 5565 Tancho Dr, Madison, WI a memorial service for family and close friends only will be held from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM followed by a reception in the Oakwood dining room until 5:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Paul and Renate Madsen Faculty Fund for Scandinavian and Germanic Studies at the University of Wisconsin Foundation, US Bank Lockbox 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278 or online to: supportuw.org/giveto/madsen-professorship
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
2418 N Sherman Ave.
To send flowers to Dr. Renate Elisabeth Madsen’s family, please visit our floral store.
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