Chicago Automobile Trade Association

In Memoriam: Max A. Madsen

August 7, 2020
Max A. Madsen, who at his height operated four family-owned dealerships, died July 26 at age 91.
Mr. Madsen was raised in Park Ridge, the son of first-generation Scandinavians who ran a family farm. He served as a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1954, then began a more than 50-year career in the automotive industry, beginning in the 1960s at Ed McKeown Chevrolet in Glen Ellyn. He later moved to Hanley Dawson Cadillac in Chicago, advancing to a managing partner.
The first Max Madsen Mitsubishi opened in Downers Grove in 1987, and it became one of the country’s most successful Mitsubishi franchises. The dealership currently is in Aurora.
Mr. Madsen enjoyed playing competition bridge, and he reached the prestigious level of Gold Life Master. Notable opponents included Charles Goren, the leading American bridge personality in the 1950s and ’60s; and actor Omar Sharif, one of the world’s top 50 contract bridge players. He continued to win national championships into his 80s.
Mr. Madsen was a regular supporter of local farmers markets, a trait he took from his mother, who baked as many as six pies a day to feed workers on the family farm during the decade after the Great Depression.
Survivors include Robin, his wife of 43 years; sons Terrance and Kevin; a daughter, Jody; step-sons Scott Grove and Adam Grove; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Services will be private. Review and add to the guestbook. Memorials appreciated to the Air Force Aid Society.


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