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Madeline Henley

Just four days short of her 97th birthday, Madeline (Fravel) Henley passed away on Saturday, May 6, 2023, alighting peacefully in the arms of God and her long-awaiting husband.

Madeline was born May 10, 1926, in Geneva, Indiana. She was raised during the Great Depression and was known for her thriftiness and appreciation of all that came her way. Madeline began employment as a young teen to help her parents support their household and often helped her mother care for the little ones. She met William Henley when they were 16 and the couple was wed December 31, 1946, moving to Chicago so that Bill could attend business school. Madeline supported her husban throughout his lifelong career as a Montgomery Ward store manager, often working alongside him. The young couple moved with various retail store assignments, living in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin, where Bill ended his management career in Rhinelander. Madeline and Bill then returned to Geneva, where they built their retirement home on Rainbow Lake. The two lived in their lake home together until Bill’s passing in 2014.

Madeline continued her lifelong philosophy to accept whatever circumstances came her way and “carry on” to the best of her ability. Over the next nine years, well into her 90’s, Madeline successfully lived alone, cleaned and cared for her home, cooked her meals, and drove to get her groceries. She was supported through this time by her devoted brother Richard and his wife Sandy. Madeline took great pride in her success and was determined to live through her days using her fortitude and perseverance. She enjoyed her flower garden and the many gifts of fresh vegetables from Fred and Sandra next door. 

Having been a seamstress and making her daughters’ clothing in years past, she was pleased to help make her great-granddaughter a little pink baby dress in her final days. She loved getting regular updates on her grandchildren’s and great-grandchildrens’ progress in their lives.

Madeline is preceded in death by her parents, William and Ruth (Christman) Fravel; her siblings: Agnes (Keith) Stewart, Dorothy (Jack) Madden, Charles (Rose) Fravel, Bob (Barbara) Fravel, and Garnet (Tom) Bulger; her nieces Annette Fravel and Ally Fravel, her nephew Lonnie Fravel and great-nephew Vincent Fravel.

She leaves behind her youngest brother, Richard (Sandy) Fravel of Geneva; her daughters: Judith Fogler of Normal, Illinois; Diana (Jim) Mikkelsen of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Nancy (Steve) Anderson of Ladysmith, Wisconsin; her grandchildren: Tammy (Tyler) Kraemer of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and their children Kai and Cary; Chanda (Wes) Hagen of Santa Maria, California; Rob (Anna) Fogler of Bloomington, Illinois; and Ben (Niccole) Anderson and their daughter Emerie of Portland, Texas. Also special to Madeline have been her friend Jack Ryfe of Florida and Fred and Sandra Affolder of Geneva.

Madeline’s daughters give gratitude for the incredible support and care she received in her final days from the following: Tom, PTA, of Interim Home Health Services; Dr. Kaminini and his dedicated team of nurses and caregivers at Adams County Memorial Hospital; and the compassionate staff members of Heart to Heart Hospice.

Graveside services will be held for Madeline on Monday, May 15, 2023 at 2:30 PM at the Riverside Cemetery, Geneva, IN.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations in memory of Madeline to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, to which Madeline was a regular contributor.