Erma C. Madden, 88

Erma C. Madden, affectionately known as “Cookie,” transitioned from this life on to rest as the Creator wills on March 1, 2024, in Solon, Ohio, at the age of 88. Born on March 8, 1935, in Wampum, PA, she was the daughter of the late Talmadge and Mary (Groom) Richardson.

As the middle child among eight siblings, Cookie cherished her family deeply. She was also preceded in death by her siblings Eula, Wesley, Geraldine, Otis, Regina, and Raymond. Her brother Willie Richardson remains her sole surviving sibling.
Erma was married to the dynamic and charismatic late James “Ted” Madden. A committed wife, mother, sister, cousin, grandmother, and friend. She was fixed on endowing those around her with skills and mindset to lead educated, healthful, and independent lifestyles.

She leaves behind a legacy of tenderness and stability to her three daughters, Benita, Brenda, and Bridgette, along with eight grandchildren – ReShawne and Channing; Jazzmen, John II, Julia, and Justin; Anthony Jr. and Aaliyah. In addition, six great-grandchildren – Cree, Codie, Charlie, Chandler, Dominique Jr. and Everleigh. Son-in-law Michael Bowers and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Throughout her life, Erma was a trailblazer and a hardworking career woman. She started as a humble bean picker. With hard work, she rose to make history at former global luggage manufacturer, Airway Industries Inc. as the first black manager of the local factory. Her commitment to excellence and perseverance were evident in her career trajectory and she went on to earn many sales accolades and awards.
Passionate about opportunity and equality for the Black community, Erma was a lifetime member of the NAACP, where she once served as Treasurer at both local and state levels. She was also an active member of the New Castle, PA advisory committee council in the 60s. Balancing career, civic duty, and a household during the peak of the Civil Rights era she was a Renaissance Woman ahead of her time and created the idea of ‘leaning in’ and ‘having it all’ before it was trendy. Her advocacy for advanced education and financial savvy empowered many in her community.

Beyond her professional achievements, Cookie found joy in various interests, including travel, lawn care, gardening, local parades, dining out, politics, gambling, and socializing with family and friends. Her tough-as-nails personality was marked by courage, boldness, cunning, humor, and generosity.

A celebration of Erma’s life will be held on March 16, 2024, (1:00pm) at Marshall Funeral Home in Wampum, PA, with her niece, Evangelist Jacqueline Montgomery, officiating the service. As we gather to honor her memory, let us remember Cookie for her remarkable contributions, her unwavering spirit, and the love she carried for all who knew her.

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One thought on “Erma C. Madden, 88

  1. Please know Dear Family that you are in out thoughts and prayers at this time and always. Our sincere condolences to Benita, Brenda, Bridgette, Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren and loving Family. Praying for your strength, healing and God’s peace that passes all understanding comfort you and keep you. We are truly thankul for all the wonderful memories and how God has blessed our Family. Stay strengthened in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

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