Neil B. Madsen
February 08, 1928 - March 22, 2017
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Dr. Neil B. Madsen, 89, of Victoria, BC, passed away peacefully March 22, 2017. He was a devoted husband, beloved father, scientist, Rotarian and outdoorsman. He was born February 8, 1928 in Grande Prairie, Alberta to Anders and Rose Madsen. He is predeceased by his loving wife of 46 years, Laura. Neil is survived by sisters Jean Stewart and Elizabeth Golosky; daughter Maureen, son Ian (Erica) and grandchildren Olivia, Talia and Julian Neil; stepsons Bill (Kitty), Jan (Ina), Preston (Lynda), and step-grandchildren Jennifer, Dimitri (Kristina), Kirstin, Morgan, Nikolas and Hamishe.

Neil distinguished himself in the field of biochemistry at the University of Alberta. He was a great scholar of world-class stature. His legacy in science is well entrenched in the historical record. After receiving the Gold Medal for academic excellence in his class in Agriculture at the U of A, he began Masters studies in 1950. He received his Ph.D. at Washington University in 1955, under Nobel Prize co-winners Carl and Gerty Cori. He subsequently did postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of another Nobel Prize winner, Hans Krebs, at Oxford. His life work was glycogen phosphorylase. He and x-ray crystallographer Robert Fletterick made the discovery of the detailed, complicated structure of that enzyme, crucial to human and animal metabolism. Later on, Neil did related work on glycogen-debranching enzyme. He collaborated with other researchers around the world, and had many Canadian and foreign doctoral and graduate student, and post-doctoral fellows benefit from guidance in his own lab in Edmonton. He was also president of the Canadian Society of Biological Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a recipient of the Order of Canada and the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal. He retired in 1993.

After 31 years he and Laura retired to the city of Victoria, BC. Neil was afforded the time to pursue the hobbies he enjoyed most: his gardening, roses in particular, boating and fishing. Neil was an active member of the Oak Bay Rotary Club. Always the smartest man in the room, his generous soul made an impact on those who knew him. A loving father who will be missed forever.

The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Trillium Douglas Care for their compassion and care. In lieu of services and flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Times Colonist from Apr. 5 to Apr. 7, 2017.
Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
April 6, 2017
Neil was a scholar who had an impact of major proportions on his research field. He was also a very kind and caring person; a treasured colleague at the University of Alberta. We are fortunate to have shared much with Neil and Laura. They will be missed.
Jean and Dennis Vance
April 5, 2017
We will all miss seeing Neil at Rotary - he was a true Rotarian in every sense of the word. Condolences to the family.
Joan Firkins
April 5, 2017
I'm so sorry to read about your Dad Maureen. I know he will be missed and I hope you find comfort in memories and knowing that he had a remarkable life and positive impact on so many people.
Susan (Irving) Stanton
April 5, 2017
Neil was a superb scientist a great friend and a significant player in developing the powerhouse of biochemistry in Alberta His wise counsel scientific acumen compassion and generosity will be missed by all.
Cyril Kay
April 5, 2017
Neil was a wonderful mentor to us when we were graduate students and a perceptive and generous mentor as a colleague. His intelligent interest is so many areas of life, and his dry humour, will always bring a smile with our memories of Neil. A special man.
Cathy & Bernie
April 5, 2017
With sympathy to the family from an old colleague.
Larry Fliegel
April 5, 2017
Neil was a truly great (in the real sense of that word) scientist and human being and will always be remembered with pride at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton. On behalf of that Department in Edmonton we all salute you Neil and very best wishes to your surviving family.
Charles Holmes, Chair, Biochemistry, U. of Alberta
April 4, 2017
Our deepest sympathy to you Maureen and your family. May spirit wrap you in his loving arms and bring you comfort.
Melinda Banszky, Hollis (Le Fevre)
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