Madelyne was a loving sister, wife to two husbands, mother of two sons, and grandmother and great-grandmother.
She was generous, enjoyed hosting guests, and lived a full life including career, travel, gardening, sewing, church, the beach house, and family. Her energy and positive humor will be missed.
Madelyne passed away peacefully on March 2, 2018 at Falls River Village, where she had been living for several years. Madelyne was born in Athol, S. Dak., on June 15, 1929, to the late Francis and Lillian McNiff. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Preston, Minn., where she grew up on the family farm and graduated from high school in 1947. After her graduation, like many of the women at that time, she was a telephone operator in Rochester. She then attended beauty school in Minneapolis and upon completion, returned to Rochester. In June 1950 she married John Balcome of Chatfield. In addition to raising two sons, she was the credit manager at Dayton’s Department Store in Rochester for a number of years before moving with her family to Raleigh, N. C. in 1965. There she was the credit manager at JC Penney’s store in North Raleigh for several years. After John passed away in 1981, she worked in the credit department at Amoco Oil in Raleigh and eventually retired from there.
She and Jim McGowan were married in January 1984. After Jim retired they especially enjoyed travelling, going on a number of cruises and particularly enjoying several trips to Ireland, where they were able to trace their family histories. She participated in a number of activities at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church, including the Altar Guild. They were very active in the Friends of Ireland and never missed a St. Patrick’s Day parade. She was an accomplished seamstress who often could be found at nearby assisted living facilities helping the residents with their sewing and garment repair needs. She was an avid bowler and line dancer before health issues forced her to cut back on those activities.
She was predeceased by two sisters and a brother as well as by a stepson, David McGowan.
She is survived by Jim, her husband of 33 years; her sons Stephen (Deborah) of Charlotte, N. C., and Thom (JoAnna) of Raleigh N. C.; four grandchildren: Matthew Balcome (Danya), Kelly Balcome, John Balcome (Meryl), and Jason Balcome; great-granddaughter Eliana Kay Balcome, two stepsons: James McGowan (Peggy) of Jackson, N.J., and Kevin McGowan of Cary N.C.; four stepgrandsons: Jimmy McGowan, Danny McGowan, Christopher McGowan, and David McGowan; two stepdaughters-in-law, Lib McGowan of Cary, N.C., and Maria McGowan of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; two sisters, Veronica Fust and Mary Lettenmaier, both of Minneapolis; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Family will have a memorial service at a later date.
At the time this was prepared, three days later her husband James McGowan passed away at the same facility.