MADISON - Dale A. "Buzz" Nordeen, age 91, of Madison, passed away on July 8, 2019, at Agrace HospiceCare.
He was born to the late Frank and Pearl (Day) Nordeen on December 23, 1927, in Madison. He graduated with a War diploma from West High School, where he quarterbacked their football team. He served from 1944-46 in the US Navy, returning to Madison where he graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin in 1950 with a B.A. in Accounting. On August 26, 1950, Buzz married Nora Ellen Haley of Madison. Together, they raised their family of 3 children until the time of her death in 1986. On April 9, 1988, Buzz married Katherine "Kit" Saunders, associate director of the UW Athletic Department. Buzz and Kit enjoyed 31 years of marriage, where they spent time traveling, playing tennis, and attending almost every UW Women’s sporting event. Kit was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2006, and Buzz continued to show his love and devotion through daily visits to Kit at Oakwood and contributions to Alzheimer’s research.
Buzz’s career history began with his first job as a grocery delivery boy collecting food rationing stamps during WWII, working summer jobs at a local canning factory, Allis Chalmers, and on the Milwaukee Road Section crew. While attending college, he worked nights in the mailroom at Oscar Mayer. He received his business training at GE in Schenectady from 1950-53, continuing to work and study for two years to receive his CPA while at Ernst, Ernst and Miller in 1955. He joined the First Federal Savings & Loan Assn. as an auditor in 1955 while managing the development of the 660-acre University Hill Farm Project from 1956-58, at the same time obtaining his license to sell real estate and insurance. From 1956-60, Buzz served as the Assistant Treasurer of First Federal, then Vice President/Treasurer 1960; Director 1961; reaching the level of President of First Federal in 1962; later holding the position of President and Chairman of the Board, before retiring in 1989.
Although Buzz accomplished many great things during his professional career, family always came first. Buzz could often be found riding his tractor around the trails at his hobby farm, and his family often joined him to take joy rides on the golf cart and walk through the trails. Buzz was proud of his family, and it showed through his ability to update you on the activities of each member of his extended family.
Preceding Buzz in death are his parents; his wife, Nora; and his two brothers, Lon Owen and Norman Lee. He is survived by his wife, Kit, three children; Katherine (Bill) Snyder of Sparta, NJ, and children; Sara (Ollie) Tetlow, Blair (John) Simonetti, and Sondra (Paul) Koes; Christopher (fiancée, Liza) of Potomac, MD and children; Davis, Max, and their mother, Susan; and Andrew (Joanne) of La Crosse and children, Ross, Natalie, and Haley, five great-grandchildren; Cora, Bella, Charlie, Sofia, and John; as well as many nieces and nephews.
As quoted in recognition received from Gov. Thompson in 1999: "Some people say the measure of a person is that of wealth or professional status. I choose to believe that it is accomplished through personal satisfaction. The satisfaction that comes from making a difference in the lives of our fellow neighbors, friends and our community. Buzz, you have generously chosen to share your special gifts and talents with those who matter the most—the people whose lives have been improved by your kindness."
A Visitation will be held from 3:00-6:00 p.m. on July 22, 2019, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on July 23, 2019, at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 326 S. Segoe Road, Madison, with a visitation one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to one of the following organizations: "Nora Nordeen and Kit Saunders Nordeen Alzheimer's Disease Research fund" at Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute, 610 Walnut Street, Suite 957F, Madison, Wis. 53726 (www.wai.wisc.edu/give); "Kit Saunders-Nordeen and Buzz Nordeen Endowment Fund for Women's Athletics" at UW Foundation 1848 University Ave. Madison, Wis. 53726-4090 (www.supportuw.org); or Fitchburg Serenity Club at 6048 McKee Road, Madison, Wis. 53725 (https://fitchburgserenityclub.com/).
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison
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