Jack Mader was born in Madison on March 5th, 1939 to Lawrence and Erma (Boldt) Mader. He passed away at Banner Del Webb Hospital, Surprise AZ on December 24, 2020 after suffering a massive heart attack.
Jack was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison. He grew up on a farm south of Orland and attended Ramsey Grade School and graduated from Orland High School in 1957. Jack attended General Beadle College even playing on their basketball team before joining the workforce. He joined the Army National Guard and served his country.
Jack's love for speed and cars led him to build race cars. He teamed up with Tom Meehan early on and the 2 of them were the best of the best. His cars won many championships at local tracks including Madison, Husets, the State Fair and Jackson MN. A few others like Roger Larson piloted his cars after Tom moved to Mpls. He loved this time of his life and shared it with his family. Jack and Tom were lifelong friends and were inducted into the Husets Hall of Fame in 2007, a great honor he talked about a lot.
He worked at Perwitz Gas Station and later worked 13 years for Jerry Prostrollo. Jack's love of mechanics and people eventually brought him to open Jack's Service in 1978. While owning Jack's Service he also worked as a dispatcher at East River Electric for nearly 25 years.
Jack had a passion for farming and he especially loved doing hay. On beautiful summer days he would impatiently finish his shift at East River, then instead of coming home to sleep would jump on his tractor and enjoy the wide-open spaces of the hay field.
Jack loved being and working outdoors; his childhood was spent doing chores and playing in the fresh air of the "Valley," and that love of being in God's beauty never left him.
Jack operated a custom farming business with Tim Bird being his right-hand man. Jack continued to farm until his death working with Tim Bird who worked for Jack for over 33 years.
After his old shop burned in 2005 he built a new building that included a table and chairs; he spent hours there visiting with everyone who stopped by. On rainy days the lot would be full of farmers stopping by and sharing stories. He used to tell the guys that wondered why he didn't have coffee, "If I had coffee you would stay all day and I would never get anything done!"
Jack spent many hours, days and years restoring old tractors and his legacy leaves buildings full of beautiful tractors. Taking a rusty, nonworking tractor and having it look and run better than new was a very unique skill. He loved making things different and a few years ago make a couple special tractors for his wife Bev. He made a low rider out of an Allis Chalmers and painted it red. He loved to show it at Prairie Village. He always dreamed of restoring a tractor for each of the grandchildren and no matter how hard he tried to keep up, he always commented they are coming faster than I can restore. He restored a two seat Farmall, painted it pink, gave it eyelashes and this became Bev's and the granddaughters' tractor.
He loved Prairie Village and loved showing his tractors and spending time there and sharing this time with his children and grandchildren. Jack was responsible for allowing many visitors to take a stroll down memory lane as they reminisced about having the same tractor when they were young (but never having looked so good). He also found time to help get a float ready for the girls who participated in the Miss Prairie Village Pageant and was always there to drive them in the parade.
Jack married Darlene Strom and together they enjoyed their 4 children: Wayne (Kathy) Mader and grandchildren: Alex (Megan), Sam, and Austin. Tim (Ann) Mader and their children Christian, Micah and Isaiah. Kim Kern and children Karli (Dave) Ellens and great-grandchildren Juliet, Luella and Sophie. Kennedy and Kenzie Kern, Lori Mader (John) and children Carson and Courtney.
He married Bev Schlim Strom on April 20, 1990 and became the best stepdad in the world to Stacey (Rick) Hennen and grandchildren Sam, Seth, great-grandchild Averi Hennen, Shane (Rachel) and Summer Hennen. Lisa (Paul) Heilman and grandson Mason, Chris Strom and Corey (Brenda) Strom, children Joshua, Jorgen (great-grandson Owen) Ryker Vosberg and granddaughter Ashlyn Strom. His farming partner for over 33 years Tim (Jeni) Bird and many special friends. He is also survived by his brothers, Lawrence Mader Jr., Jim (Connie) Mader, Lyle (Karen) Mader and a host of nieces and nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a host of aunts and uncles.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date due to COVID.
In lieu of flowers Memorials may be directed to Prairie Village, PO Box 256 Madison, SD 57042, SD Chapter 21 IHCC, Tom Stowsand 46448 262nd Street Hartford, SD 57033 or St Peter On The Prairie PO Box 314 Madison, SD 57042.