Madonna Faye Widman, 82, of Clyde, Ohio entered eternal life on January 12, 2021. Feisty with a heart of gold, she was fiercely loyal and had an infectious laugh. Above all, she loved being a mother, grandmother, homemaker, teacher, and farmer’s wife.
Madonna was born on March 5, 1938 in Tiffin, Ohio to Granville Clifford and Arlene Ella (Chaffee) Kirkwood. Joining her older sister Carole, Madonna enjoyed a wonderful childhood and was known for her spirited, can-do personality. She taught herself to play piano at a young age, and played by ear until taking formal lessons in upper grade school. She graduated from Melmore High School in 1955 where she was head majorette and involved in chorus. Madonna married her high school sweetheart, Vincent Widman, on April 7th, 1956.
She worked as a secretary for Seneca County Soil and Water Organization until she and Vincent started their family. After the birth of three children, and with the support of Vincent, Madonna attended Bowling Green State University to major in Elementary Education. She completed her degree in four years, and then had three more children.
She realized her dream of becoming a school teacher in 1979 when she happily joined the staff of Immaculate Conception in Bellevue. As a first grade teacher, she educated the young minds and faithful hearts of hundreds of children for 24 years. Upon her retirement from teaching, she was asked to serve as interim principal and did so for one year.
Madonna was a proud Catholic. She loved her faith and had a servant’s heart. She was actively involved at St. Aloysius in Republic, and then Immaculate Conception in Bellevue. At both parishes, she made altar banners, vestments for clergy, and chalices for Holy Communion. She planned masses, was a musical cantor, and sang in the choir. She also served as the CCD director at St. Aloysius and St. Stevens for several years. While teaching at Immaculate Conception, she wrote and directed numerous musicals, and designed and sewed costumes for these and other events at the school and church.
After retirement, Madonna continued to stay involved at Immaculate Conception. She loved crafts, and enjoyed creating thoughtful gifts for the Immaculate Conception teaching staff and members of the choir. She served on the board and as a volunteer for Pass It On, a local non-profit organization that provides clothing for those in need. She also served on the board of the Bellevue Public Library for many years. Vincent and Madonna were active with the Farm Bureau Council and often volunteered at the Seneca County Fair while their children were involved in 4-H. Madonna was an avid family historian, and enjoyed collecting genealogy for both the Widman and Kirkwood families going back many generations.
It brought Madonna great joy when her entire family was gathered on holidays at the farm. An avid cook and baker, recipes were merely suggestions as she would often substitute ingredients or tweek recipes as she saw fit. When her children began hosting holiday gatherings, she still showed up with mountains of food to share.
Madonna was preceded in death by her parents, Granville and Arlene Kirkwood, her sister Carole Widman, and her son Paul who died in 1983 at the age of nineteen. She is survived by her husband of nearly 65 years, Vincent, children and grandchildren, Robert (wife Marilynn and children Sarah, Eric, and Melissa), James (wife Glenda and sons Joshua, Scott, and Jacob), Ronald (wife Leslie and daughters Helen, Lauren, and Gretchen), Donna (husband Brad Johnson and children Ella and Charlie), John (wife Heather and children Brody, Garrett, Carson, and Hayden), along with nine great-grandchildren. She will be missed by many relatives and friends, as well as her beloved dog Molly.
The Widman family would like to thank Madonna’s home healthcare aid, Joanne Perkins, who has been a faithful sidekick and friend to Madonna for the past fifteen months. They are also grateful for the staff at Bellevue Hospital, especially Sharon Fuchs, who lovingly cared for Madonna during her short, but courageous battle with COVID-19.
As an expression of love and concern for the Bellevue Community, private family services will be held. Foos & Foos Funeral Service, 151 Yorkshire Place, Bellevue is in care of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of the following organizations, both of which were close to Madonna’s heart:
Immaculate Conception School (Checks may be mailed to: Immaculate Conception School, 304 East Main Street, Bellevue, Ohio 44811; Memo: In Memory of Madonna Widman; or visit https://www.icssaints.org/support-ics/make-a-gift. List Madonna’s name in the “special instructions for this donation.”)
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Heart Center (https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/giving Select “Heart Center” in the pull down menu and fill out tribute information for Madonna)
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