Madelen Winifred Worley
  July 28, 1924 - March 9, 1980  

Madelen - about 8 mos. old

Madelen Winifred Worley was born on July 28, 1924 in Monte Vista, Colorado.


[From Mildred Worley's journal] One day when Madelen was maybe three years old, I left her with Charlie. He decided to go to a neighbor’s for some reason. He told Madelen to get a clean dress. She chose an old organdy, outgrown and shabby one. They dressed her in it without a slip, and away they went. I was so embarrassed! Neither of them saw anything wrong with her costume.


She always wanted to be where the action was. The Veterinarian came to vaccinate pigs. Pigs always squeal piteously when caught, whether anything is done to them or not. Pretty soon the men saw Madelen sitting on something crying. Dr. Wadleigh asked her what she was crying about. Of course she was crying for the pigs. He convinced her they were laughing, not crying. She laughed with them the rest of the time.


She started to school at Sargent when she was six years old. Edna Turney was her first grade teacher. It took a while to adjust to the discipline of the school room. Miss Turney said Madelen would get up and just stand in the aisle, without permission, of course. She adjusted, and was always a good student. Spent twelve years at Sargent. Some of her classmates did also. And several of them went on to college together at Fort Collins and graduated there together.


There were several families near us with children when Madelen was in the lower grades. Two Davis girls, four Fry girls, Twila Worley, there was a boy in each family, but I don’t remember whether they played with the girls. Madelen loved to ‘organize’ plays and would spend nearly the whole day gathering props, setting the scene, etc. An empty granary was their theater. Once, anyway, the group gave a play for the parents, and anyone else who could come. I wish I could remember what the play was. Probably an original number.


Those girls played rough – climbed the big old trees like monkeys. They had a teeter totter, which they played on with spine jarring thumps, jumped off low buildings and straw stacks. Until one day Madelen sprained an ankle quite badly. I hope that ended that activity, but don’t remember that it did.”


During 9 of her school years, Madelen took piano lessons and learned to play quite well. She always said that she worked hard at it but didn't really have the natural ear for it like some people did.


Madelen graduated from Sargent High School in 1942. She attended Colorado A&M College (later known as Colorado State University). Since it was wartime, the population of the college was very much female. Madelen was on the college newspaper staff and majored in Chemistry. After the end of the war, many of the WWII GIs came to campus to study, and Madelen met Serafin Frank Rey. After Madelen graduated with a B.S, in Chemistry, she began graduate school and Frank studied Animal Husbandry. They married in Madelen's grandparents' house in Monte Vista on August 3, 1947. Madelen earned a Master's degree in 1949 and Frank graduated with a Bachelor's degree in 1950.


Carole Ann Rey was born on September 26, 1951. Frank, Madelen and Carole Ann lived in Denver in the basement apartment of a house belonging to the Robert Starr family. They, too, had a baby not too much older than Carole.

Carole writes: "We weren't in Denver too long after that. We moved to Monte Vista so that Dad could help Grandpa (Charlie) with farming and ranching. After about 3 years, Dad decided that he really did not want to be in the ranching business. Mom had an 8 or 9 month stint in Kansas City, KS doing research, and after that we moved to Tulsa because Dad got a job at Carter Oil Company.  Eventually, Mom took a job there, too, and we stayed in Tulsa until the company decided to move to Houston in 1964. Mom didn't stay with the oil company. She decided that she wanted to be a teacher so that she could have more time off of work with me. She had already begun some education classes in Tulsa, and continued them in Houston. She began her teaching at Memorial Junior High and the next year, began teaching Chemistry at Memorial Senior High. After a few years, the Spring Branch District built a new high school to relieve Memorial and Mom went to Westchester as a Chemistry teacher and became Department Chair. She worked very hard and loved being a high school teacher.


In 1971, Dad and Mom bought a plot of land near Cuchara, Colorado, where we began to build a summer cabin. Mom and I were able to stay several weeks there in the following summers, and Dad spent whatever vacation time he had there, too. We all helped with the finishing of it - but Dad did the bulk of the work. He built the fireplace, the shed, the deck, the kitchen table and the bar -- just to name some. We loved going there.


In 1972, Mom learned that she had breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and endured chemotherapy for the next 8 years. She continued to teach for most of those years -- until she just did not have the energy and stamina to do so. She made one last trip to the cabin in the fall of 1979. The aspen leaves were golden and she really seemed to try and take it all in. She died on March 9, 1980. She was only 56 years old.


The outpouring of love Dad and I felt from her former students, colleagues and friends was overwhelming but not really surprising. It just verified what we knew all along. She was a kind and gentle soul who never had a bad word to say about anyone. She was smart and continually had former students come back to thank her for the foundation she gave them. She was always doing something for others.


Mom willed her body to science, and after a year, Dad took her ashes and scattered them in Colorado. I miss her terribly and think about her every day."


Frank Rey died September 15, 2009 in Casper, Wyoming.


Child of Madelen and Frank Rey:


    Carole Ann Rey was born September 26, 1951 in Denver, Colorado.



Frances, Twila & Madelen

Zoe Cunningham (grandmother) with Madelen

Sargent School building

Madelen in college Chemistry class

Madelen with bulldog

Master's Graduate

Wedding - August 3, 1947

1st Anniversary - 1948

Madelen, teacher - 1974

Mildred, Carole, Charlie - 1954







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