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, NY 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.
Buzz was also involved in business, civic and charitable endeavors. He held various industry affiliations including President/Director of the WI League of Financial Institutions. On the state level, he served on the Board of WI Assoc. of Manufacturers and Commerce; a member and Chairman of the WI Housing Finance Authority and served on numerous advisory committees for Governor Thompson.
A past President of the Madison Chamber of Commerce, Buzz worked tirelessly for the community of Madison and many of its organizations. He held leadership positions within a multitude of committees including Downtown Madison, Inc. and the Dane County Housing Advisory Commission. Buzz's civic involvement spans many diverse associations, including Greater Madison Foundation of the Arts and the University of Wisconsin Foundation.
For these and many other endeavors, Buzz was recognized with numerous awards such as the: UW "Spark Plug" Award, the President's Award from the National Association of Accountants, the "Know Your Madisonian Award", the distinguished service award from the WI Savings and Loan League, as was recognized in the "Who's Who in the Midwest", the "Who's Who in
Finance" and "Men of Achievement" Eighth Edition. In 1992 Buzz was honored with a portrait and plaque for his civic leadership work that now hangs in the City Station Lobby of the Capitol.
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, WI 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, WI 53726-4090 (www.supportuw.org); or Fitchburg Serenity Club at 6048 McKee Road, Madison, WI 53725 (https://fitchburgserenityclub.com/).
The family is grateful for Natalie's, and the neighbors, years of loving support given to Buzz.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison
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After my Dad passed away last year, the first person I went to visit was my other father Buzz Nordeen to tell him about Dad. I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to have known Buzz since I was five and be part of the Nordeen family. I remember Buzz throwing us pass in the front yard when we were kids, and every time I smell fiberglass, I am taken back to the Nordeen garage where Buzz was working on building a fiberglass canoe. I will miss him…
Buzz was a very kind and caring man. He will be truly missed. Thanks for all the Lane's bakery you brought to our office. Janel
The volunteers, flight team and board of Badger Honor Flight mourn the loss of their hero, Dale Nordeen. We are thankful for his military service and proud to have served him on his trip to Washington, D.C. on May 17, 2014.
I was one of the fortunate ones who received a bird bath from Buzz when I lived on CR-N not to far from his farm. It is something I will always have and cherish. He was a very sweet dear man. Sincerely, Julie Baxter
Buzz was a port in the storm for me in my early recovery. Always asking, "How's Charlie brown today?" He helped me in many ways... some that I shared privately with his family. I tip my hat and bow my head to this "good and faithful servant" of God. Buzz you will always be in my heart. Lovingly, Jan Smith
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