Magna Vagtborg “Mona” Madley (nee Lyhne)

Sep 23, 1949 – Apr 9, 2018
It’s with sadness that we announce the passing of Magna Madley, on April 9, 2018 in the presence of her family. Magna had struggled for the last 15 years with Huntington’s Disease so although her passing was sad there was also relief.

Magna was born on September 23, 1949 in Herning Denmark to Borge and Anna Lyhne. In 1957 the family, along with her 2 brothers crossed the Atlantic and immigrated to Canada, first making a home in Vancouver and finally settling in Surrey in 1960.

Magna was always a bright and eager student, who learnt English as well as completed grades 1, 2 and 3 in her first year in Canada. Magna continued to excel in school and graduated from Queen Elizabeth High School in 1966 and went on to study at the Vancouver School of Art, Fraser Valley College, Malaspina College and the University of Southern California.

In 1971 Magna married Alan Madley and that same year they had their only child. Alan graduated from BCIT in 1975 and the family moved to Chilliwack where Alan was posted as a conservation officer. It was here Magna set up her first studio business “The Mad Potter”, and started teaching pottery classes and became involved in the local artisan community.

In 1979 Magna and Alan went their separate ways but Magna stayed in Chilliwack and raised their daughter. She rebranded her studio business ‘E’ Street Studio, after renting studio space on Empress Lane and discovering that she and her musical hero, Bruce Springsteen, shared the same birthday. It was during this time that Magna started to continue her education and enrolled at the Fraser Valley College, where she met many friends and stretched her academic and artistic wings. She always said taking the power and knowledge course changed her life.

In 1982 Magna met and partnered with Patrick O’Brien and together they were involved in local politics, members of the local NDP as well as the British car club. They loved slalom driving and car meets. Together they travelled around the lower mainland and Vancouver Island selling Magna’s pottery at local craft markets and exhibitions. Sadly Patrick passed away suddenly in 1992.

Magna continued creating her pottery and teaching in the latter part of her life, but by then she had grandchildren and spent much time enjoying them. Magna’s illness deteriorated and in 2007 she went into care at the Waverly Seniors Village, where she stayed until recently moving to Cascade Manor.

Magna will be remembered for her swift intellect, creativity, wicked sense of humour, her easy laugh and her passion for social justice.

Magna is predeceased by her parents Borge and Anna Lyhne, brothers Holger and Claus Lyhne and her partner Patrick O’Brien.

Magna is survived by her daughter Liza Madley, Son-In-Law Robert White, granddaughters Alexandra, Bridget and Julia Madley-White, sister Alice Suddaby (Pete), nephews Wyatt and Walker Suddaby, aunts and uncles Svend and Else Jensen and Fred and June Lyhne and long time friend and former roommate Katherine DeVuyst.

There will not be a service by request but a small family celebration will take place at a later date. As Magna was very proud of her adopted country but always a Dane first, her family will take her ashes back to Denmark.

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in” Leonard Cohen.


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