Madonna Helen Gisch was born June 12, 1942, the daughter of John R. and Mary (Mescher) Gisch, in Algona. She was the oldest of three daughters and attended St. Cecelia's grade school and Garrigan High School in Algona.
She attended North Iowa Community College in Mason City, and received a BA degree in home economics and a teaching certificate from Mankato State University in Mankato, Minn. She attended Iowa State University working on a masters degree in sociology. She taught home economics in Minnesota schools for several years. Madonna worked for several other businesses in Minnesota and Iowa and was a reflexologist and massage therapist.
For eight years, from the summer of 1999 to May 2007, she assisted her nephew, Alex Wibe in caring for his children Kayla, Alexis, Cyndi and Logan Wibe, both in Corpus Christi, Texas and in Virginia Beach, Va. Throughout this time she was periodically the sole caretaker while Alex, a naval officer, was on deployments, one for nine months and one for six months. She was the sole caretaker while Alex was on assignment for shorter periods. During this time she encouraged Alexis and Cyndi in Irish Dance school and Logan in martial arts.
In mid-2007 she returned to the Midwest spending time between Minneapolis, Marcus and Swea City, staying with her sister and brother-in-law, Rosemary and John Wibe and her other sister, Virginia Guerdet. She became ill in late 2011 and returned to Marcus to reside with Rosemary and John.
Madonna was unconventional and lived life her way.
She had many friends around the country in New York and Missouri as well as in Minnesota, Iowa and Virginia.
Her character and company was enjoyed by her daughter, Cindy Freedman her husband, Jeff, and their children Chloe, Zoe and Beau; her sisters, Rosemary Wibe of Marcus, and Virginia Guerdet, of Swea City; her nieces, Rachel Holmes, of Marcus and Angie Kollasch, of Swea City, and several nephews including Dominic Wibe, of Newhall, Alex Wibe, of Virginia Beach, Va., David Guerdet, of Armstrong, and Tony Guerdet, of Chicago, Ill. In addition she is survived by several grand nieces and nephews. Among her close friends were Ariana Solana of Virginia and Barbara McMichael of New York.
She was preceded in death by her parents, several cousins and a nephew, Daniel Guerdet.
There will be a graveside committal service at 3 p.m. Monday, July 30, at Calvary Cemetery in Algona. The Earnest - Johnson Funeral Home of Marcus is assisting Madonna's family with funeral arrangements.
Expressions of sympathy may be directed through www.mauerjohnsonfh.com