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Douglas Kent Madsen


Posted By: Sarah Fletcher (email)
Date: 2/26/2024 at 08:20:12

Professor Emeritus Douglas Kent Madsen, age 85, died peacefully on February 8, 2024, at UIHC. His wife and daughter were with him. Doug was born in Spokane, Washington, on November 5, 1938, the third child of Louise (née McArthur) and Arthur L. Madsen. From the beginning, he and his siblings, Arthur Jeffery and Jean Louise, were very close and looked out for each other. Doug said that in more ways than he could count, they made his life immeasurably better. He detailed this in a memoir that he wrote for the family, “Growing Up with Art and Jean.”

After graduating from Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane, Doug attended Stanford University, where he was a history major, a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and a midshipman in the Navy ROTC program. Following college graduation, he was commissioned as an ensign and served on an aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Hancock, from 1961 to 1963. It was an experience he valued. His specialized fields were Electronic Countermeasures and Air Control.

While still a midshipman on a summer training cruise, he met Joanne Springstun in Seattle. They later married on January 30, 1963. After an honorable discharge from the USN, Doug became an administrator in the Stanford University Financial Aid office. He soon decided to enter graduate school and earned a PhD in political science from UCLA.

In 1971, Doug joined the Department of Political Science at the University of Iowa, where he was a faculty member for almost 40 years, including taking a turn as chair of the department. His primary areas of interest involved voting behavior, charisma, public policy, the politics of “us against them,” and biochemical markers in whole blood serotonin. He enjoyed teaching and mentoring and was the recipient of a Collegiate Teaching Award.

One of Doug’s greatest joys, shared with Joanne, was the arrival of their daughter, Ingrid Nicole Madsen. Throughout life, family was his main priority. He and Joanne had just celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary at dinner out with Ingrid. He had a life-long love of music and was an avid home remodeler, gardener, and international traveler. He especially enjoyed meeting and spending time with relatives in Norway. He was predeceased by his parents and his siblings, Arthur J. Madsen, MD, and Jean Madsen Casey. We are grateful for the care he received from all the kind souls in the UIHC palliative care team.

Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service

Johnson Obituaries maintained by Cindy Booth Maher.
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