Mary Jane Madsen, 75, of Iona, died October 31, 1999, in an automobile accident with her husband.

She was born March 8, 1924, about four miles from Pingree, Idaho, on the Snake River, where her paternal grandparents homesteaded the land, to Thela Maud Whitney and LaFayette Shepherd Rich. She attended schools in Pingree, Boise, and Salt Lake, and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in speech and debate. While at the university, she served as vice president of the student body, editor of the Yearbook, debate manager, and was named Woman of the Year in 1945, and was listed in Who's Who in American Colleges.

She married Dr. Frank K. Root, Jr. September 17, 1944 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Together they raised six children in the San Francisco Bay area and later in Boise, Idaho. In 1994, she maried Dermont Madsen in the Idaho Falls Temple. Together they served a mission in the Washington D.C. Temple. Mont and Mary Jane enjoyed fishing, playing Scrabble, being with their children and grandchildren and being with one another.

Mary Jane was a member of the LDS Church. She served as Seminary Teacher, Young Women's president and Relief Society president. She served missions in Arizona, Temple Square, New Mexico and the Washington D.C. Temple. She had a great love for the Navajo people. The song she lived by was The Time to be Happy is now. The place to be happy is here. And the way to be happy is to make others happy and to make a little heaven down here!

Surviving are: daughter, Maggie (Robert) Erickson, Iona, ID; daughter, Holly (Douglas) Erdman, Boise, ID; daughter, Mary (David John) Jones, Provo, UT; son, Frank Kind (Darlene) III Root, Boise, ID, daughter, Ginny Root, Boise, ID; son, David Rich (Nikki) Root, Providence, UT; sister Verla Degattis, Highlands Ranch, CO; 27 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Whitney Rich and Dean Rich, and a granddaughter.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 4, 1999, at the Iona LDS Stake Center (Ririe Highway and Iona Road) with Bishop Marvin Robison of the Iona LDS 2nd Ward officiating. The family will visit with friends on Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and for one hour prior to the services on Thrusday, both at the church. Burial will be in the Iona Cemetery under the direction of Wood Funeral Home, 273 North Ridge Avenue, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402-4092. Phone: (208) 522-2751, Fax: (208)552-5413