OBITUARY

John Michael Mader

October 16, 1925December 24, 2020
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John M. Mader, age 95, of DeSoto, TX passed away December 24, 2020 at St. Joseph Village in Coppell, TX with his oldest daughter Kathleen Grondin at his side. He was born in Dedham, Iowa to Franz Xavier and Lillian (Hagen) Mader, the fifth of 6 children. John enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1947 and met his wife Alice F. Clampet in 1952 while they both served at William Beaumont Hospital on Ft. Bliss, El Paso, TX. John served 2 tours in Korea, a tour in France, and was also stationed in California, Michigan, and Texas during his military career. He retired from the Army in 1967 after 20 years of service. John was introduced to computers while in the Army and continued in this field as a civilian, working for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) for 23 years, including a 6-year stint in Anchorage, AK. He retired as a computer programmer from AAFES in Dallas, in 1990. During his retirement, John volunteered his time with the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Lancaster, TX (where he was a parishioner for 35 years), and with Meals on Wheels and the DeSoto Independent School District. Throughout most of his life John was an avid bowler and took up Bridge and Pinochle during his retirement years, but he was best known for his love of team sports. He is preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Alice, by his four brothers, August Mader, Paul Mader, George Mader, and Frank Mader, and his sister, Frances Badder. Survivors include his six children, Kathleen Grondin, Rose Marie Abbott (Mitch), Mary Ellen Muehlstein (Scott), Michael Mader (Sonia), Theresa Mader (Dan) and Mark Mader (Kim), 18 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and a large extended family of nieces and nephews. The family will hold a private Mass of Resurrection at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Coppell, TX for immediate family with live streaming capability on Thursday, Jan 14th at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the St. Vincent de Paul Society c/o of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (1537 Rogers Ave Lancaster, TX 75134), or your local Meals on Wheels.

  • DONATIONS

  • St. Vincent de Paul Society c/o St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
  • Your Local Meals on Wheels

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, January 13, 2021

  • Rosary Service

    Wednesday, January 13, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Thursday, January 14, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Thursday, January 14, 2021

Memories

John Michael Mader

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Mary Ellen (Mader) Muehlstein

January 16, 2021

Dad taught all six of us kids to drive in our 1967 Chevrolet Bel air station wagon. My brother Michael and I happened to be close enough in age that Dad decided to teach us together. He often took us across the street from our house in Alaska ( in the Mormon Church parking lot) to drive around, practice parking and "do donuts" if there was snow or ice. When Michael was behind the wheel, Dad sat back, calm as can be, reading the newspaper while he went through the driving instructions. When it came to me, Dad sat as close as he possibly could---just in case he might need to grab hold of the steering wheel, or pump the brakes! I remember being in tears most days after our driving lessons. I thought he believed I was automatically not as good of a driver as my brother, because I was a girl. But Dad of course was right to be extra cautious...One of the first times I took that station wagon out for a drive on my own, after I had my license, I backed right into our yard fence! I may have added my dent to that car---but I wasn't the only one who did!

Michelle Browning

January 16, 2021

When I think of Grandpa, I will always remember:

Christmas on Mantlebrook, and reading "Twas the night before Christmas" (which will now forever hold a special meaning and remembrance)

Playing cards and eating snacks (nuts, popcorn, chips and dip)

Scruffy beard (his 5 o'clock shadow) and bear hugs

"See my finger... See my thumb...see my fist? You'd better run!"

Telling me I had a good pitch at age 7 or 8 (maybe an untapped talent)

Communicating to me shortly after the stroke that he could still read and understand, but he couldn't say his words

Piles of magazines on the coffee table

Night owl

Lemonade

Teaching me about "empty calories" after I attested to my second stomach just for dessert

Batteries in the freezer (and the tongue test)

Spring Creek Barbeque (presumably a favorite because of the coupon)

Pepper

Picture of the Pope at the entrance, Bless Us O Lord by the kitchen table

"Happy Birthday" (we visited to celebrate his birthday after his stroke, and he always clearly said and sang the song along with us)

Theresa Mader

January 16, 2021

Here is a "post stroke" memory.

While I was staying with Dad a few months after his stroke, the Wednesday paper came with all the grocery store inserts. At the end of lunch I told Dad we probably needed to go shopping on Thursday and said he should look through the inserts to see what was on sale and what we should buy, thinking he would only look at the Tom Thumb insert. After 45 minutes I was wondering what he was doing. When I checked he was trying to make a list and having great difficulty, so I suggested he just circle the items. Another 45 minutes later he was done. It was then that I realized he had gone through Tom Thumb's, Kroger's, Albertson's, Sprouts' and ALDI's advertisements.

I wasn't sure if he wanted to go to all 5 stores or if he was just marking items he wanted. Yep, he wanted to go to all 5 stores. So we did. He even told me which order we should hit them. Four hours later we were done. After the first three stores (Albertson's, Sprouts and Aldi) he indicated that we should go home. I thought we were done for the day. NOPE. He was worried about the milk we bought and thought we should put it in the refrigerator! After the groceries were put away he looked at me with a gleam in his eyes and said "ready"? So off to Tom Thumb and Kroger's we went.

Michelle Browning

January 13, 2021

I know I didn't visit or call as often as I should or could have. I know Grandpa delighted in visits from us all. Christmas eve, when I didn't realize what was imminent, we blessed our food, and I had a beautiful memory of Grandpa come to mind: While I was co-oping, I occasionally visited Grandpa. On one of those occasions, he had made me a steak dinner with potatoes and corn. It was a beautiful gesture made with so much love. Sometimes there was an awkward silence, not knowing what to talk about, but we both enjoyed our time together.

Another somewhat timely memory is New Year's Eve 2003 (ringing in 2004). I was staying at Grandpa's as I transitioned from college to career in the area. Grandpa was celebrating playing cards with friends. I couldn't help but wonder if he was ok when it got to be well past midnight (probably near 1 am) before he got home... You'd think it would be the other way around!

I love you Grandpa!

Kathy G

January 13, 2021

As I was leaving for college for the first time, Dad hugged me, told me he loved me, and said "Have fun." What?? Have fun?? Not "study hard," or "get good grades," or "be careful," or "stay out of trouble," but "Have fun." I guess he knew that's what I needed to hear.

Rose Marie Abbott

January 12, 2021

Dad's love of sports carried over into his Speech Therapy after he had his stroke in 2013. That October, I was in Texas visiting him and he was following some baseball games between his favorite team, the Cardinals and the team, Janie, his speech therapist, was rooting for. One day, when it was time to get ready for his speech therapy appointment, Dad seemed to be taking an extra long time to get ready. When he came out of his bedroom, he had his St. Louis Cardinal's baseball cap on along with his Cardinals' jacket. The Cardinals had beat Janie's favorite team the night before and he was prepared to communicate this victory, if not in words, certainly in bold gestures! Janie let out a big laugh when he arrived for his appointment, as did I when I saw Dad exit his bedroom that day. What impressed both Janie and I was how well he put all of this playful communication and humor together. He was attentively following the match up, keeping track of who was winning, coming up with a plan to communicate that the Cardinals had won the night before! The executive brain functions that he used in this one simple gesture were extraordinary for someone who was recovering from a stroke. On that warm October day, he hit one out of the ball park in the World Series of rehab!

Rose Marie Abbott

January 12, 2021

Road trips were a recurring event when we were growing up in a Military family. I remember that Dad would keep a bag of lemon drops next to him while we drove onto the next transfer station. Fast forward to when Dad was well into his 80's, during a phone conversation, Dad told me he was going on a road trip to San Antonio from DeSoto. I asked him if he was going to bring some lemon drops. He asked why and I told him I remembered that he always had lemon drops next to him when we traveled. I also gently suggested that he bring that cell phone that was always on the kitchen counter. A week later, I returned home from work and there was a message on my phone recorder: "This is Dad. Nothing wrong. Just calling to let you know that I made it home ok. I brought some lemon drops and that phone. Ok. Nothing wrong. This is Dad." I was surprised he took me up on my suggestions but more touched that he called to let me know he arrived home safely.
Dad was an easy traveler. For his 80th birthday, several of us took Dad to Arizona for Spring Training. Kathy, Michelle, Mitch and I took a side trip with him to the Grand Canyon with a stop in Sedona. In 2003, he came up to Tacoma with Katie and he went with the flow again, taking a ferry to Victoria, Canada, taking in the sights of Seattle and a baseball game, going on a picnic. He stopped in Tacoma a few years later on his way back from Alaska after a visit with Michael. It was also fun to meet up with Dad in Las Vegas when Matthew got married. Good times, Dad...thanks for the memories.

Mark Mader

January 12, 2021

Dad was very shy and humble. He always enjoyed company but was not comfortable carrying a conversation. He enjoyed listening to conversation especially if it was lively but seldom participated unless it was to laugh.

We would watch sports together - sometimes without many words being spoken. It was comforting being in the same room and quietly watching with him.

He always lit up when he saw his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He would let them sit on his lap, read stories, lift them up upside down, lift them onto his feet, play “tummy muscles”, piggy back rides, etc. With Justin, the rougher the better. Annamarie would run to him as soon as she would see him. She did not talk much as a toddler and they would often just sit together quietly with no words being spoken.

Mark Mader

January 12, 2021

Dad was a good athlete and believed in staying fit. He was an avid bowler with a very strong average and enjoyed his men’s league and a mixed league with Mom. I watched him play baseball once while we lived in Alaska. It was on one of the opening days for Little League, and he got recruited to fill in for a Dad’s vs Boys game for one of the upper leagues – probably the Babe Ruth league. I remember being impressed with his athleticism. He was really good but very raw. Probably from never being coached. I think he played some form of ball at the orphanage. I remember when he was fixing (sewing up) one of my baseballs he told me that they only had one ball and one of the nicer nuns would sew it back up for them when it would split its seams. (I asked him about this later, when I was an adult, and he couldn’t remember. So maybe I just imagined this.)
He always made time when I asked him to play catch or work on my baseball skills. Toward the end of the sessions he would throw pretty hard at me – grounders, line drives etc. I remember the strings on my mitt snapped once and the ball hit me in the chest. Another time the ball went off my knee and bounced all the way back to him. I remember my sisters being concerned for me, but it made me better. In retrospect it built courage not only in sports but in life. I got him back though……he was 80. I was working with Justin on T-ball in my yard. Dad picked up a mitt and we started to throw. I was impressed with how much pop he had in his arm and began throwing a little faster just to see what he still had. He missed catching one and it hit him in the chest. That’s when I remembered he just had cataract surgery and his vision wasn’t all there.

Scott Muehlstein

January 11, 2021

Dad ( Grandpa John) and I shared a love for sports and especially the St. Louis Cardinals. As a gift for his 80th birthday, I took Dad to a Cardinals game in Houston against the Houston Astros. After the game we came back to my family's farm in Moulton and spent the night.---Dad enjoyed riding around the farm with me and checking our pastures for new baby calves.

I knew every time we visited Dad, I could stay caught up on games, because he was sure to have the Sports channels on. I couldn't ever get Dad to love the Aggies quite the way I do, though.

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