Marilyn Marie “Lynn” <I>Wright</I> Mader

Marilyn Marie “Lynn” Wright Mader

Orange, Orange County, California, USA
Death 15 May 1984 (aged 53)
Buffalo City, Buffalo County, Wisconsin, USA
Burial Buffalo City, Buffalo County, Wisconsin, USA
Memorial ID 13831461 · View Source
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My mother, Lynn was the only child of William Edwin and Dorothy Smith Wright, Jr. William and Dorothy were married at age 16 and 17, respectively. After nine years of marriage they moved to California from Pennsylvania and became parents. They divorced very shortly afterward. Lynn's mother moved back to Pennsylvania, leaving Lynn with her father and his extended family in California.

Times were tough, The Great Depression was eating away at the American way of life, and William and his tiny daughter found themselves homeless. They were taken in by William's sister, Louise Anna Wright Hodgkiss and her family, including a daughter, Noma. Noma and Lynn spent some time as "sisters", until William's binge drinking and appetite for visiting the senoritas south of the border made them homeless again.

William remarried briefly and divorced. But in 1937 he wisely married Mabel Lewis, a beautician, who brought with her a daughter who would become Lynn's true sister. Mabel was a kind and loving woman who would treat Lynn's children as her own grandchildren.

Lynn was a vibrant, beautiful "Wild Child" with black hair and sparkling dark brown eyes. She always worked as a teen, waitressing, working in a nursing home, and at a door knob factory.

In high school Lynn was the songstress in Anaheim Union High School's "Colonist Swing Band", and was involved in the school chorus. At age 17, Lynn briefly married Charles Devney, but divorced him shortly thereafter.

Then, Lynn moved to Clarksville, TN and began work as a waitress in a cafe there. In 1955, at the cafe, she met a handsome young Army officer, stationed at Ft. Campbell's Jump School. Gene Mader stole her heart, and they were married on 2 February 1956~~just before Lt. Mader was due to deploy to Germany. "Their Song" was "The Tennessee Waltz".

The couple had their first child, Michelle in Germany, and two sisters followed in stair-step procession back in the US. The family had many adventures as Gene's Army career progressed. Lynn, no longer the "Wild Child", was a responsible, loving and tender mother to her three daughters. She often was the sole parent, and was a proud Army wife.

My sisters and I remember dancing like little fairies through Mom's freshly planted pansies. We quickly learned why flies hate flyswatters so much! Mom also rescued stuffed bunnies from thunderstorms, and pierced our ears with a sewing machine needle, ice and a potato. She sat with friends on occasion, having coffee, as all of the assembled children screamed through the glass patio door to be let in. The Real Housewives of Madison, Wis. were unmoved.

She helped us attach our hobo bundles to the end of sticks when we were determined to run away. She waved good-bye to us, reminding us that we weren't allowed to cross the street. We never thought to pack food.

She became my best friend and confidant as I grew up, I knew her soul, and she knew mine. She always knew the right thing to say when I went to her for comfort.

Mom started smoking when she was 11 years old~~long before the dangers of smoking were known. As an adult her greatest fear was of getting lung cancer. That didn't stop her habit, though. In 1982 she was diagnosed with lung and brain cancer. She faced her illness with incredible courage and quiet grace.

We watched her waste away slowly, and it broke our hearts.
Lynn was a courageous soul, a gentle soul, and is sorely missed. Her passing left a hole in the souls of the people who loved her so. She is close...just behind the veil. And sometimes the veil is lifted, and she is with us.

Mom, Dad has finally come to be with you again! In fact, I do believe I can hear the faint strains of "The Tennessee Waltz".....

Family Members


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  • Created by: Git `Er Dug
  • Added: 2 Apr 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13831461
  • Git `Er Dug
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Marilyn Marie “Lynn” Wright Mader (31 May 1930–15 May 1984), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13831461, citing City of Buffalo Cemetery, Buffalo City, Buffalo County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Git `Er Dug (contributor 46834117) .