Benjamin James Madden

November 1, 1968July 9, 2018

COLUMBIA - A service to celebrate the life of Benjamin James Madden, 49, will be held 11:00 am Friday, July 13, 2018 at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street. The family will receive family and friends from 10:00 am until 11:00 am at the funeral home.

Ben was born in Madison, Wisconsin, on November 1, 1968, and grew up in Rock Hill, SC. He was a graduate of Clemson University with an MBA from the University of South Carolina. He had a quick mind and an encyclopedic knowledge of sports and history. At Clemson, he was a member of the United Nations Debate Team. He enjoyed running, kayaking, coaching children’s soccer and spending time with his family, especially playing chess with his son.

He worked for the South Carolina Department of Education as the Commodities Director.

Ben is survived by his wife, Kathleen Robbins and son, Asher Madden (age 9), mother, Harriet Baer Madden, father, James Madden, siblings, Gabe Madden (Seema), Norah Sinclair (Bryan), Anna McIntosh (David). He was a devoted father and husband and beloved uncle to Thomas, Lewis, Luke, Ella, Laith, Shaun, Steele and Charlie. He is also survived by his mother and father-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. Jim Robbins.

Ben had a presence of quiet confidence. He was adored by his family and friends. He has left us with gifts of kindness, strength, compassion and steadfastness. He loved life and had an easy smile.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Ben’s honor to: Cutler Jewish Day School, 5827A N. Trenholm Rd, Columbia, SC 29206 and Sandhills School, 1500 Hallbrook Dr, Columbia, SC 29209.

Memories may be shared at


  • Vistation

    Friday, July 13, 2018

  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, July 13, 2018


Benjamin James Madden

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carolyn Rightsell

July 14, 2018

Ben and i held similar positions in different school districts before he went to the State Department of Education.
I enjoyed interacting with Ben at state sponsored training and when we shared operational advice. He was always thoughtful, kind and in general a person who put others at ease. He made our world a better place to live in. He will be missed by so many.
My deepest condolence on the loss of one so dear to all of you.
With sincere sympathy.
Carolyn Rightsell

Julie Peles

July 13, 2018

My thoughts and prayers for Kathleen, Asher and other members of Ben's family. Ben was full of wit and always had something positive to say. He was a man of honor and had a tremendous love and pride for his family. I always thought it was precious to see the joy on his face as he talked about them at every opportunity. I had great respect for Ben and knew if I ever had a question or needed help with child nutrition, Ben was on it. He will be sorely missed by all.

Chris Ayers

July 13, 2018

I worked with Ben when we were teenagers at Camp Cherokee. He was often in my area (PV in the beginning, then BC for many years) and always made Camp fun and meaningful for the kids. Ben was the master of quicky comebacks and he kept us laughing. His sister Anna was always so sweet to us, and the two of them never minded hanging out together. Ben was a cool guy whom we respected and loved. He was one of us. My family & I grieve for him and will keep the Madden family in our prayers.

Laura Farmer

July 12, 2018

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Ben and I were School Food
Service colleagues. He was such a gentle soul, always so helpful and kind. May God hold each of you in the palm of His hand in the days ahead and surround you with His comforting presence.

Thaisha Tate

July 12, 2018

I was profoundly saddened by the news and send my deepest and sincerest condolences to Ben’s wife, son, other family members, friends and colleagues.

Ben and I worked together at the SC State Department of Education for about 3.5 years and approximately 1 year of that time he was my direct supervisor in his role as Acting State Director.

Ben always had a modest disposition, treated everyone with the upmost respect and displayed professionalism at all times. He had a positive impact within the Office of Health and Nutrition that I am sure will be missed greatly.

On a personal level, I will always remember him being supportive during my transition from SCDE to my current position at USDA which meant and will always mean a lot to me. His untimely death is a reminder to me to continue to cherish family, as I know he did so much.

I have been saddened beyond words at Ben's passing and will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Anna McIntosh

July 12, 2018

Beth Powers

July 12, 2018

Dear Kathleen, Asher, & Family,
You are beautiful and loved and so is Ben. Thank you for all of our beautiful memories. Please know that you are not alone and I (along with so many friends and family members) are here if you need us. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Ben is a beautiful soul and I know that his light and his love for you lives on.

Robert Burress, SCDSS

July 12, 2018

9 July the world lost an extremely compassionate man with an infectious smile, while heaven gained a guardian angel. I worked with Ben for the last year on Mass Care and sheltering for South Carolina. There are no words for the loss and shock at the moment we got the news. His passion and dedication to helping make lives better will forever impact us all. We are forever going to live in the shadow of the great impact that he has had assisting the world to be a better place. After seeing the pictures of all the great memories from other family and friends, the ones that stand out most are the ones of him with Asher. I can see his same smile and joy in Asher. Our deepest condolences and we miss him greatly.

Anna McIntosh

July 11, 2018

Carole Erb

July 11, 2018

In the work Ben was doing, he dealt with a lot of companies who sold products to the School Districts in the state of South Carolina. His work was very important - and he knew his business! He was a well respected member of ACDA (the American Commodity Distribution Association,) and will be missed by all.
The family and co-workers of Ben will be in my prayers.