Longtime Knights and Dames will remember Richard “Dick” Madden’s dedication to the Order of Malta, our former Western Association president and co-founder of Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California, who died on June 25th at the age of 87 surrounded by Joan, his wife of 58 years, and the rest of his large and loving family.
Dick was interested in so many things. He was an alumnus of Princeton University, the University of Michigan Law School and New York University, building his expertise in both business and law. He also served in the U.S. Navy, proving he was as tough as he was smart. His long career, took him through the ranks of Mobil, teaching at NYU, and ultimately to the Potlach Corporation where he was the chairman and CEO for 23 years. He shared his expertise by serving on many Boards, leaving his mark on each one.
Dick was a Knight of Malta and, following his retirement from Potlatch in 1994, he became active in the Order of Malta which has as its’ purpose serving the sick and the poor. He served as President of the Western Association for six years, among other work with the Order. It was under his leadership of the Order of Malta that decided the clinic’s placement, as he was the one who adamantly insisted on the placement of the clinic at its current location at the Cathedral complex in Oakland.
To know him was to see what a life spend dedicated to helping others really meant. For 14 years, he and Joan traveled to Lourdes in France with sick people and other Order of Malta members on the Order’s annual pilgrimage. Dick served as Hospitaller for 6 years, founded the Parish Nurse Program and the Good Samaritan Program, as well as co-founded the Northern California Clinic.
In addition to his role as president, Dick became Vice-Regent of the Order’s Sub-Priory of Our Lady of Philermo and was awarded the Grand Cross in Obedience and the Grand Cross of Merit. He also met with and groomed various Knights from Northern California who would eventually be the founders and officers of the Cathedral Clinic Corporation.
He was a man who believed in service and giving back—and he certainly did that with the Order of Malta. He often said that the most rewarding aspect of membership in the Order of Malta was helping others in need.
With all of this Dick also found time to live an active life, full of travel, sports, and as a father and loving husband. We all hold his friendship and guidance to the Order of Malta in high regard. He is sorely missed.
Donations in Dick’s memory can be made to: Order of Malta – Western Association, USA, 465 California St., Suite 818 San Francisco, CA 94104-1820