Donald B. Madsen
La Grande March 7, 1930-January 15, 2017


Donald B. Madsen, longtime Hermiston resident, was born on March 7, 1930, in Los Angeles to parents Bert and Emma Hall Madsen. He died on January 15, 2017, in La Grande at the age of 86 years.

Don was raised and attended schools in Monroe, Utah, and later Bountiful, Utah. He attended Davis High School, participating in football, basketball and baseball and graduating in 1948. While at Davis High School Don met the love of his life, Laurel Joyce Sibbett, and they were united in marriage on June 30, 1950, in the Salt Lake City Temple. He attended and played both basketball and football at Weber College and then later at the College of Idaho, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in education. Don then earned his masters degree in education at the University of Oregon.

He started teaching and coaching in 1952 in Parma, Idaho, later in Caldwell. Idaho, and Dayville, Ore., before moving to Hermiston in 1956. Don taught history and driver’s ed, among various other subjects, as well as coaching basketball and football. He retired from teaching in 1990 after 33 years in the Hermiston School District. After retirement he coached for one year as the boys varsity basketball coach at Riverside High School in Boardman. He then coached basketball at BMCC for several years with longtime friend Larry Bartee.

Don was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving a church service mission with his wife at the Willow Creek Branch for two years in Lexington and Heppner. He also served in various other callings including ward clerk and Stake High Councilman. He enjoyed coaching at any level, supporting his grandchildren in their activities, and hunting. There wasn’t a child or animal that didn’t enjoy his gentle manner.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Joyce Madsen, La Grande, Ore.; sons Michael Madsen, Hermiston, Ore., and Mark Madsen and wife JoAnna, La Grande, Ore.; grandchildren Ashley (Greg), Allison, Steven (Danielle), Anne (Jake), Soren (Lacey), Seth and Sophia; great-grandchildren Kole, Emery, Tyler, Elizabeth, Angel, Charlotte and Sawyer; and several nieces and nephews.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, brother Mac Madsen, and sister Judy Forster.

A viewing and funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2017. The viewing will be at 9:00 a.m., to be followed by the funeral at 10:00 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1035 S.E. Ninth St., Hermiston, Ore. Burial will follow at the Hermiston Cemetery, Hermiston, Oregon.

In lieu of flowers please make contributions in memory of Don to the Hermiston Booster Club.

Please sign the online condolence book at

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon, is in care of arrangements.

Sign A Guestbook

Offer a personal message of sympathy...

By sharing a fond memory or writing a kind tribute, you will be providing a comforting keepsake to those in mourning. If you have an existing account with this site, you may log in with that below. Otherwise, you can create an account by clicking on the Log in button below, and then register to create your account.

(0) entries

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.