Nature 10

Regina Kay (Bussen) Madsen

November 1, 1947 ~ May 31, 2020 (age 72)

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Obituary

Regina Kay (Bussen) Madsen, 72, of Parker, CO, passed away on May 31, 2020 in Littleton, CO.  She was born in Goodland, KS in 1947 and grew up in Wallace, KS as the oldest of 10 siblings.  She graduated from Wallace County High School in 1965 where she was an honor student and participated in several activities such as Glee Club, Scholars Bowl and Student Council.  She continued her education to achieve an Associate Degree at Colby Community College (KS) in 1967.  On May 6, 1967 she married Gary Madsen of Colby, KS and they had two children, Bryan and Pamela, but later divorced.

Even with her deep roots and family in Kansas, Regina’s heart was leading her elsewhere and she moved to Castle Rock, CO with Ed Case in 1986, where they married.  Gina thrived on adventures in nature and especially the mountains, where her biggest challenge was to stay on the trail and return to the campsite before dark.  She wanted to know where every trail and dirt road lead and always wondered what was beyond the next ridge.  After Ed’s death, she met Walt Newton at a widows and widowers support group in 2004 and they became a couple in 2007, making Walt the happiest man ever.  Their adventures continued with road trips to Taos and Moab and many Colorado camping trips in their RV.  Regina also travelled to France with ladies from the support group and took a European river cruise with Walt in 2015.  She was an avid outdoorswoman, enjoying hiking, camping, bird watching, gardening and nature conservation, and had a deep and enduring love for her grandchildren.   Regina supported numerous wildlife and nature organizations. 

After several strokes, she had open heart surgery in 2015 to have her 30+ year mechanical mitral heart valve replaced with a tissue valve and recovered to the point where she was able to take the river cruise in September with no problems, proving just how stubborn and determined she could be.  Regina and Walt moved to Parker in 2012 and enjoyed their life together, making many new and dear friends at a support group for stroke survivors.  Regina and Walt were polar opposites in many ways, but their love was strong enough to overcome their differences.  

Regina suffered a devastating stroke at home on Wednesday May 27, minutes after returning home from an all-day outing to get her hair done, have coffee with a friend, shopping and picking up dinner on the way home.  She was taken to a hospital in Parker and then transferred to Littleton Adventist Hospital to be treated by a specialist, but complications from bleeding on the brain made a critical problem worse and a ventilator was required for life support.  Pam arrived Friday and Bryan on Saturday.  They were able to spend time with their mom and along with Walt, say their goodbyes before she passed peacefully on Sunday afternoon.  She is in a better place now but left a huge hole in the hearts of those who love her.  May she continue her adventures in her new home.

Regina was born to Rosalie and Lawrence Bussen of Wallace, KS.  She is survived by her significant other, Walter Newton, Parker, CO; her son, Bryan (Briana) Madsen, Olathe, KS; her daughter Pamela (Richard) Thompson, Claflin, KS; her grandchildren, Cody, Cayley, Colby, Carlie and Dezaray Madsen, Olathe, KS, and Riley and Cale Thompson, Claflin, KS.  She was also a grandmother to Aurelia and Tycho Scott, Centennial, CO, Walt’s youngest grandchildren.  Surviving siblings include brothers Rodney, David, Darius, Kevin, Daryl, Terry and Marty Bussen, and her sister Cecilia Nicolet.  She was predeceased by her parents, Lawrence and Rosalie Bussen, sister, Diana Bauman, and grandson Jacob Madsen.

Donations may be made in her memory to the American Stroke Association at www.stroke.org.

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