Truman Grant Madsen's remarkable life was remembered at his funeral Tuesday, June 2, at the Provo Tabernacle.
Speakers included President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency, Elder Russell M. Nelson, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder Richard G. Scott, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (all of the Quorum of the Twelve), as well as Truman's children, Emily, Barnard (Barney), Mindy, and his Navajo son for nine years, Larry Kee Watchman who was there from Window Rock, Arizona, the Navajo Reservation, where he lives with his wife, Lisa. Steve Young, who became very close to Truman over the past fifteen years, also spoke as a representative of all the many who were "adopted" by the Madsen's.
Elder Holland and his wife were in Australia when Truman Madsen died, and made it back for the funeral.
Oldest daughter, Emily, said, "He was not a morning person, and was known to drive on the sidewalks of BYU."
Navajo son, Larry said, "He spoke in a soothing, deep voice as he delivered talks to the Navajo Nation, and he taught me the gospel is true. It is true, and I bear testimony to his father, and his father."
Son Barnard-Barney-spoke of his father saying he had "champagne tastes on a beer budget" and how they saved money by camping everywhere, including in a KOA Campground in Canada (KOC?) where it rained 14 of the 18 days they were there. These trips allowed them to save, so they could splurge now and then, with time in a luxury hotel, and good seats at a performance in New York City . He claimed his father owned "every album Stan Kenton ever made" which explained why his sister's first words were, "turn it down." His father also loved the 4th movement of Mahler's 2nd Symphony, known as Urlicht, which is an alto part sung in D-flat major, a wunderhorn song to introduce the finale. The composition explains the longing for relief from worldly woes, and was a great comfort to him in his final months. Barney shared with the words Truman always gave his wife, Ann, "All my love for today, and then forever."
Barney explained how much his father loved the prophet, Joseph Smith. He said that during the summer of 1978, he and his father were building a cabin in the canyon, and that they would work as long as they could, and then he would drive his Dad to the Marriott Center to record two hours back-to-back, without any notes or advance study time. Barney drove so his father could change from his overalls into a suit on the way.
During the time his father worked in Israel , he said, "We need to bring the Savior with us to find Him in the Holy Land ." He gave his final Patriarchal Blessing to his grandson on April 6, part of which was, "We all feel the world. There is no safe sanctuary."
Then, a week ago, he called out to his wife, Ann, "I just can't do it." She rushed to his side, thinking that might be it, but he said, "I can't get my left foot in the bed." She lovingly helped him.
Daughter Mindy shared, "You could never forget an encounter with him." He also taught her family that, "Hugs give you strength" and was often heard saying to his grand and great-grandchildren, "I need strength!" and they'd cover him in hugs. He often quoted a saying that "Every person needs one other person in their lives who loves them irrationally." She knew he had that for her, but her sister, Emily, had said the very same thing.
Steve Young told of how a friend told him he had to discover for himself that there was more to life than "football and BYU" and suggested a trip. "I didn't know Truman; he didn't know me, and I'm sure he didn't need to spend two weeks dragging me all over Israel ...but when the time came to leave, I didn't want to go. I refused to sleep on the plane for fear of losing the spirit." He made many trips after that one. For a long time, when times were tough, his wife, Barbara, would say, "I need to be in Israel with Truman."
"I was the student, and he was the teacher, and the subject he taught was eternal life. When my questions grew too deep, he would say, 'Let's head to the temple; we can talk there.' "
Elder Richard G. Scott said he taught, "You will feel His presence when you need to counsel with him." It is all about presence.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, "Much of his biographic work for others were really autobiographical...one can see a pattern, both in the foreground and the background. It is the temple."
Elder Russell M. Nelson said, "Truman is one of those rare men who made this world better...his books and recordings are here for our grandchildren to see and hear him. At Harvard he blossomed in that difficult climate, and sorrow turned to perspective to see, 'Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of the Saints.' "He spoke of seeing Truman with his parents and loved ones; a mother he never knew, and those for whom he had done temple work, and of his meeting there with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He closed by speaking directly to Ann, which included, "You, too, can qualify for eternal life...there will be no empty chairs...this I leave with you by prophecy."
President Eyring said, "President Monson could have said many things, but he said, 'Take my love to them.' " President Eyring envisioned a heavenly reunion with all of the Prophets, "I'm sure President Kimball will force his way to the front," he said.
Part of the First Presidency's message of condolence he read said, "We express our heartfelt sympathy at the passing of your beloved Truman, and our friend..."
Grandson pallbearers: Thomas Beldon Reynolds, Robert Joshua Reynolds, Michael Truman Reynolds, Jedediah Grant Madsen, Jeremy Mark Reynolds, Richard Axel Reynolds, Maxwell Dale Davis, David Barnard Madsen, Gabriel Truman Davis.