John Madgett
John Madgett
  • February 8, 1929 - January 7, 2018
  • Overland Park, Kansas

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John Orwall Madgett Jr. passed peacefully in his sleep Sunday January 7, 2018. John was born on February 8, 1929 and graduated from Central High in St. Joseph Mo. In high school John played football, ran track, and played drums in the band. He attended St. Joseph Junior College and took extension courses through Kansas State University. At the age of 17 he entered the Marines in August 1946 and served as an aircraft mechanic with an honorable discharge and rank of corporal in March 1948. He married Patricia Kennedy in February 1951. He was called back to the Marines in April of 1951 as a drill instructor and was honorably discharged with the rank of Gunnery Sargent in April of 1952.

John worked for Armour & Company in Kansas City Kansas in the Industrial Engineering Department from 1951 to 1953 with a leave of absence for active duty. Then he worked at the grocery store owned by his father in law Byron Kennedy from 1953 to 1957. John and Pat moved to Raytown when he accepted a job as a time and methods engineer and supervisor for Modern Art Products in Kansas City Missouri. He began working for Midwest Terminal Warehouse Company at the barge terminal as a structural engineer in 1958 and later took charge of their warehousing activities as well He served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Midwest for several years until his retirement in 2000. While working with Midwest, he became a leader in the fight to maintain navigable waterways on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. He was also a skillful Union negotiator. John was very active in the Greater Kansas City business community and was named Man of the Year by American Warehouse Association, in 1989. He was an advisor to the Port Authority, co-chaired the Chouteau Bridge replacement committee, and was president of the Mo-Ark River Basin Association 1985-87. He worked with the KSMFD on the HasMat71 committee, and received a Civilian Distinguished Service Award from the city of Kansas City and the KCMFD for acts of dedication in fire safety. John received an award for working with the US Corps of Engineers and fire and police chiefs during the 1993 flood. He was a past president of the Northeast Industrial Association and their person of the year for 1995, past chairman of the water Resources Committee, and served on the Advisory Council of the Clay County Sheriff’s Department. He was also active in MOKAN AAU swimming and Scouting.

John enjoyed sailing, fishing, and oil painting.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years Patricia, three daughters, Gretchen Thurman, Cathy Young, and Katie Kidd, one son Michael Madgett, nine grandchildren, Megan Hutchin, Sarah Robbins, Tyler Young, Rachel Talkington, Kennedy and Nick Madgett, Alexandra Gonzalez, John and Anna Kidd and eleven great grandchildren, Emma and Ellie Hutchin, Cole, Landon, and Delaney Francis, Hank Robbins, Evelyn, Reid, and Norah Talkington, Max and Isaac Young.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Alzheimer’s Association or Vitas Hospice.