Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Renowned broadcaster eulogized

Published: Saturday, April 19, 1997

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Arch L. Madsen, 83, renowned for his accomplishments as a radio and television broadcaster and devout member of the Church, died Monday, April 7, in Salt Lake City of a sudden illness.

"But he really died in July of 1995 - when [his wife] Peggy died," said President Gordon B. Hinckley who paid tribute to him during the funeral on April 12."Peggy made something of him," he continued, noting that the couple met when she walked in the store of Radio Supply Co. on Exchange Place and found him pushing a broom gathering up the dirt on the floor. "From that time on something happened to Arch to lift him out of the ordinary to the man that he became," President Hinckley said. "What a marvelous influence she had upon his life.

"How far he has come. How greatly his influence has been felt across the world for good," said President Hinckley, who described Brother Madsen as having been a "scrawny, crippled little boy [who had contracted polio] who lived in poverty, malnourished and without any real hope of becoming anything," but who rose above his condition to become "well-known, honored, respected and admired."

"He did not go to school very far. He was a boy who walked with a limp. He learned to play the violin and that gave him some status. . . . Then he got interested in radio - a little crystal set that did not work very well - the one tube set that was given him which became the treasure of his life. That led to his career in the broadcasting field from one thing to another on up the line. He was conversant with the latest technology and kept abreast of everything that was going on."

Among his accomplishments, Brother Madsen was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 to the nine-member Board for International Broadcasting overseeing the operation of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.

During his 53-year career, he served as president of KSL radio and television stations, and formed Bonneville International Corp. and served as its president and CEO until 1985.

In the Church, he served twice as bishop, in the Provo/Orem area in Utah, and in Washington D.C., and four times as stake high councilor and as a regional representative.

Brother Madsen was born Dec. 4, 1913 in Lakeview, Utah. He married Margaret Dee Higginbotham who died July 12, 1995. The funeral for Brother Madsen was conducted in the Salt Lake Monument Park Stake Center. Other speakers included Alan L. Madsen and Erik H. Madsen.