Madge Lucille Householder, 1912 – 2014
Madge Lucille Householder
1912 – 2014
Madge Lucille Householder passed away May 30. She was 101. Madge was born Dec. 1, 1912, in Mason City, Iowa.
To quote Madge, “Growing up, we didn’t have nothing." Madge did have a sense of adventure though! When she turned 18, she and another young woman took a road trip in Madge’s beat up Model A to Yellowstone National Forest. The car had no top and the floorboards were missing as well. Their trip lasted 11 days, bringing them over the Grand Tetons twice, but that wasn’t the headline. Madge exclaimed during their round trip adventure they had more than 14 flat tires which the young ladies either patched themselves with pieces of rubber bands: they broke off a piece and shoved it in the inner tube hole then stuck a strip of electrical tape over that, or conned the various hitchhikers they picked up to fix the flat.
Madge confided to her granddaughter nearly 80 years later, “The roads were real wild back then. Nothing was paved and nice like it is now.”
That was just the beginning. Madge’s adventure and humor led her through a life books could contain. Her sense of style that used bold color and wild animal print put her easily 50 years ahead of her time, and alone would fill just one book, while her wild hat collection could certainly fill another.
Madge married Bernard “Budgie” Householder in 1936, and then followed him to California, where he had been stationed for training in the Navy. The just recently married bride would be away from her husband for years. During his time away, Madge stayed busy by working full time as a bookkeeper for the department store Woolworth's until her retirement years later.
In 1945 they purchased a home in La Crescenta, and the following year, 1946, Madge had her first and only child, a daughter. Madge is also survived by a granddaughter and great-granddaughter.
In her 30s and 40s Madge and family enjoyed water skiing so much they bought a Chris-Craft boat and would enjoy weekends camping and skiing at Bass Lake, always with their dogs in tow.
Following her daughter's love of horses, they purchased a home in 1955, with horse property in the San Fernando Valley and participated heavily in their local ETI Corral 20.
Madge’s style was undeniably unique, even in parade gear. She drove her mare Buttercup in a custom red surrey lined with fringe hanging from the top. When not driving her paint mare, Madge could be seen cruising around town in her two-toned orange and black 1964 Camaro.
In 1973 Madge and her husband bought three acres in the then little known Bear Valley Springs. None of the roads were paved and theirs was only the third residence in the gated community. During the first several years the power was more off than on and holidays were often only lit by the fireplace.
Among other amenities, Bear Valley Springs had promised 50 miles of horse trails which were reportedly still being planned. Madge and two other BVS residents were instrumental to the completion of the promised trails. The purchase of a trail dozer was key to the building and continued maintenance of the trails for decades to follow.
Madge immediately put the trails to good use by organizing wild flower walks or "Forest Hikes or Forced Marches," depending on who you talked to and the duty they were given task to. Regardless of the use, Madge used the trails daily by hiking and riding until she was far into her 90s.
Madge held great love for all of God's creatures, and this included dogs. She had raised and showed champion dogs but later was known for taking in strays. There was no part of her adult life when she didn’t have one dog or more. A wagging tail and the pitter-patter of feet were always welcome and part of life in the Householder home.
Madge also really loved people. A grocery store trip could take hours because she greeted each and every person she passed. Her smile was heartfelt, often being contagious by itself and was almost always accompanied by a kind comment or genuine praise. To witness it firsthand always felt like a direct blessing and has left more than one friend or stranger alike with a positive and a lasting impression.
Though her love for horses and dogs was unquestionable, her marriage to Budgie just shy of 75 years is a love story to which there is no equal. So singular and rare… there simply are no words to express the depth of their love or the committed devotion they shared for each other.
Madge will be laid to rest next to her husband Budgie at 2 p.m. on June 27 at the Bakersfield National Cemetery in Arvin. A memorial service to follow at 3:30 p.m., will be held at the Wood Family Funeral Service Chapel in Tehachapi.
In lieu of flowers and because of her great love for dogs, the family requests memorial donations be made in Madge's honor to Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue, 785 Tucker Rd. Ste. G #411, Tehachapi, CA 93561.
Wood Family Funeral Service, Inc. was entrusted with her care. For condolences please visit woodmortuary.net.