Cover photo for Carol Mcadow's Obituary
Carol Mcadow Profile Photo
1941 Carol 2022

Carol Mcadow

October 18, 1941 — March 27, 2022


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Carol Margaret McAdow, age 80, of Madison, passed away on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at Agrace Hospice.  She was born on October 18, 1941, in Baraboo, WI, the daughter of Helen and Arthur McLean.  She married Jerry E. McAdow on August 10, 1963, in the Merrimac, Methodist Church.

Carol is survived by her husband, Jerry E. McAdow; daughter, Kathy (Leonard) Hatter; son Gary McAdow; 9 grandchildren and  4 grandchildren-in-law: Lora (Chad) Mortier, Daniel (Jessica) Hatter, David (Adin) Hatter, Sarah Hatter (Jason Mumm), Michael Hatter, Ruthie Hatter, Abby Hatter, Isaiah Hatter, and Rachel Hatter; 11 great-grandchildren: Ava, Kelvin, Carter, and Kaylee Mortier; Madison, Josie, Lilly, and Luke Hatter; and Kelssey, Avery, and Audrey Hatter; 3 brothers and 3 sisters-in-law: John (JoAnn) McLean, Ron (Janet) McLean, and Merle (Brenda) McLean; and 1 sister and 1 brother-in-law: Joanne (Tim) Drahnak.  She is further survived by other relatives and friends.  She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Judy McLean.

There will be a visitation held on Wednesday, April 6, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Rd., Madison, from 10 am until the time of service at 12 pm (noon).    A private interment will be at Indian Farm Cemetery, in the Township of Caledonia, in Columbia County.

Carol lived her life with an unbridled gusto that was often surprising. Although she was a tiny person in stature, she more than made up for this with her energetic zest for life and huge heart that pulled both humans and animals in to be loved.

Growing up on a farm in south-central Wisconsin with three brothers and two sisters, Carol had the kind of childhood that most people can only wish for. She developed a strong love for animals, enjoyed gardening, was an avid birdwatcher, and just loved spending time outdoors enjoying nature. Carol attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in education.

She met the love of her life, Jerry, during her final semester in college. Theirs was a whirlwind romance with their first date on March 8, their engagement on May 4, and their wedding on August 10, 1963. After Jerry graduated from UW Madison in 1964, they moved to Denver where Jerry attended law school at the University of Denver. Carol worked as a middle school math teacher to support their little family. Jerry graduated from law school in 1967, and they moved their growing family (now with newborn daughter Kathy in tow) back to Wisconsin to livepermanently. In 1971 they added son Gary to the family, and they settled on the west side of Madison to raise their children.

Several years later, Carol decided to further her education at Madison Area Technical College, where she earned an associate degree in computer programming. She began working for Dane County as a computer programmer, where she stayed for the next 20 years.

After she and Jerry finished raising their children, she turned her energy to hobbies and activities that brought them both hours of fun and opportunities to form lasting friendships with so many people. Downhill skiing and bicycling were the two main activities that kept Carol and Jerry busy when they weren’t working.

Eventually Carol decided to retire from her position with Dane County to start her own long arm quilting business from their home. Carol was a gifted quilter whose talents were in great demand while her business was in operation. Carol also spent countless hours piecing and quilting heirloom quilts that she gifted to children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and -nephews, and more. So many loved ones received quilts from Carol, handmade with love.

Carol also became an active volunteer with the Dane County Humane Society as a foster care provider for kittens. She would regularly receive one or more kittens into her care, where she spent countless hours, days, and weeks bottle feeding, caring for, and socializing them so they could be permanently adopted. She grew to love each kitten in her care, and she always followed their progress to know that they were adopted into new forever families.

After about 10 years, Carol decided it was time to shutter her quilting business so that she could focus more time on family and personal pursuits. The grandchildren had multiplied by this time, numbering nine in total. As the oldest grandchildren grew up, the great-grandchildren began to arrive. Carol’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought her immeasurable joy and happiness. She was never as happy as she was when she had her dear ones around her. Many of her grandchildren and some of her great-grandchildren were blessedly close by, but others required traveling to see (which she was happy to do). Carol traveled out to California to see a grandson, granddaughter-in-law, and three great-grandkids. She also traveled to Kansas regularly to be involved with a granddaughter and her family living there.

Carol was eager to share her love of sewing and quilting with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She taught the girls and many of the boys how to sew, and they worked on quilting projects together. She coached some kids with projects that they entered in expo contests and 4H fair competitions. Many of the kids went on to win significant prizes and awards, which was a testament to Carol’s expertise in both sewing and teaching. Carol also taught many grandchildren and great-grandchildren how to knit. Carol’s love of nature and the outdoors was another thing she loved to share with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A love of prairie flowers, hiking in the woods, birdwatching, and conservation were just a few things she shared with her dear ones.

Although she may not have realized it at the time, because she was simply enjoying the time spent with her offspring, Carol was instilling a lasting legacy of love, appreciation of nature, and the ability to create. Her loved ones will carry on her legacy every time they use or demonstrate the skills and mindfulness they  learned from her.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carol Mcadow, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

10:00am - 12:00pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Starts at 12:00pm (Central time)

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