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Rick "J.R." Madsen

August 23, 1956 ~ July 9, 2021 (age 64)


Rick “J.R.” Madsen, 64, of Poway, California, passed away on July 9, 2021, from complications of congestive heart failure. 

Rick was born on August 23, 1956, to Gloria and Lyle in Colorado Springs, CO. Rick spent his childhood mainly in California, where he was lovingly co parented by Janet Madsen, and decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a career in the automotive industry. This decision is what led him to attend college at Northwood University in Midland, MI, due to their tailored program in automotive marketing. It was there where he met his wife Julie (Little) Madsen on a lively disco dance floor and went on to marry her on September 20, 1980. 

After graduation, Rick and Julie moved to San Diego, CA where he began his 44 year career in the car business. His colleagues at Poway Honda referred to him as Captain! 

In 1982, the couple welcomed their first child Amber and went on to add a son Jeffrey in 1985 and another daughter Heather in 1988. Rick’s work colleagues claim that he had such a vast amount of pride and joy in his children. He would often talk to potential customers about his children’s professions as a teacher, a Naval construction engineer and a nurse to try to connect and bond with them, earning their trust for a sale. 

Throughout his life, Rick loved decorating his home for Christmas with thousands of twinkling lights, even risking life and limb to fly a floating star as a “weekend bonus” for all of his admirers. He was widely referred to as Clark Griswold from Christmas Vacation fame and was completely devoted to bringing joy to families during the holidays. He took great pride in his yard work, was a die hard Padres and Chargers fan and loved television shows with lots of drama and police action. He also enjoyed playing cribbage, partaking in neighborhood monthly game and dinner nights and eating layered Aussie fries at the local Outback Steakhouse. Rick loved working where he lived and was the president of the “Stay Local” club. 

Rick was preceded in death by his mother Gloria. He is survived by his wife Julie (Little) Madsen; daughters Amber Bassett (Damon Bassett), and Heather Madsen (Tyler Jackson); son Jeffrey Madsen (Shiori Madsen) and three beloved grandchildren Audrey Bassett (7); Mason Bassett (3); and Maya Madsen (4); and stepmother Janet Madsen and father Lyle Madsen. He also is survived by half siblings including Lex, Kyle and Damian Madsen, and step siblings Bobby and Lorrie Gaines. 

In lieu of flowers or meals, monetary donations would be put towards Rick’s celebration of life event, yet to be scheduled, and can be gifted to his wife Julie.

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