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B: 1937-05-11
D: 2020-09-05
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Janice Grisham
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610 S. Duncan St.
Stillwater, OK 74074
Phone: (405) 372-5550
Fax: (405) 372-5608
Madalyn Lester

Madalyn Starr Lester

Tuesday May 11, 1937 - Saturday September 5, 2020
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Madalyn Starr Lester (Riggs), 83, of Stillwater, Oklahoma, passed away on September 5, 2020, after a brief illness. Funeral services will be held on Friday, September 11, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at Strode Funeral Home, 610 S. Duncan, Stillwater, Oklahoma. The service will also be livestreamed on her personal page of for those who are unable to attend in person.

For those who would rather join an outdoor service, there will also be a short graveside service directly following at Sunset Memorial Gardens 6500 S. Perkins Road, Stillwater. Seating will be very limited but there is ample standing room.

The family would also like to invite attendees to Cimarron Valley Church, 801 N Sadler Rd, Perkins, OK 74059 for a reception with loved ones.

Born May 11, 1937 in Drumright, Oklahoma, Madalyn attended Oklahoma State University and Northeastern State University, graduating from the latter with a bachelor’s degree.

While attending Oklahoma State University she met Charlie Lester. In spite of the fact that she had, at first, turned down his offer to dance, Charlie went home and told his mom that he had met the woman he was going to marry. On June 18, 1960 in Claremore, OK, he did just that. For 39 years thin or flush, up or down they brought their children into the world and created a love and light that inspired all who knew them.

Though the dark raven hair that initially caught Charlie’s eye would gracefully transition to a beautiful silver, there were other qualities that Madalyn maintained until the day she passed.

In both her personal and professional life, she was dedicated to a life of service to others. She spent 42 years working for the Department of Human Services and the Department of Rehabilitation Services improving the lives of those in need. Amongst family and friends this same sense of service was apparent in her unfailing generosity and giving heart.

In fact it was this commitment to loving family that convinced Madalyn that Charlie was the one for her. She loved her children and family ferociously and if you were one of Madalyn’s people, whether directly related or one of her many “adopted grandkids”, you knew it and so did everyone else.

Lastly, along with her quiet intensity it should be noted that she also kept her ornery, whip-smart sense of humor right up to the very end.

Madalyn Lester faced many challenges in life but she did so on her terms and through it all remained a bright light for others to follow.

She is survived by her daughter Melissa Lynne Lester, son Charles “Chuck” F. Lester, Jr., daughter-in-law Jessica Novak, sister-in-law Harriet Riggs, sister-in-law Polly Taylor and her husband Robert, and brother-in-law David Lester and his wife Karen.

In addition to her immediate family, Madalyn was supported in love by many nieces and nephews: Melanie Modine (Lloyd), Mikeal Hagerdon, Mark Hagerdon, Bryan Hagerdon (Janet), Madalyn Kunow (Mike), Martin Riggs (Meg), Robert Kevin Taylor, Charles David Taylor (Shelly), Kimber Taylor, Scotte Lester (Carla), Dean Lester (Tonya), and J.J. Lester (Tommie Lee); and great nieces, nephews and their families: Matt Bolding (Tiffany), Dr. Michael Bolding (Mary Jane), Amy Hagerdon, Cassie Hagerdon, Megan Hagerdon, J Rehm, Courtney Holton (Garett), Spencer Riggs, Carly Riggs, Jacob Taylor, Annie Taylor, Hannah Taylor, Taylor Swanek, Lauren Gattis, Daryn Gattis, Cale Lester (Kendall), Laiken Holzer (Chris), Tyson Lester, Jordan Lester, Casen Lester, Halle Lester, and Jevyn Lester.

She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Charles “Charlie” F Lester Sr., parents Oowala Bushyhead Riggs and Hammond Greenwald Riggs Sr., sisters Wahleah Riggs, Betty Faye Hagerdon, Sally Ann Hagerdon, and brother Hammond “Hank” Riggs Jr.

While her presence here will be greatly missed, her heavenly return to the love of her life and her loving family is a source of great joy and peace.

She will live on through the stories and the beautiful memories that she has been a part of for many years. The family would love to share and read these memories as a part of her funeral service. For those wishing to share may do so by submitting their story on her personal condolences page at

In lieu of flowers and in honor of Madalyn’s passion for paying it forward memorial contributions can be made to Our Daily Bread, P.O. Box 1721, Stillwater, OK 74076, via their website, or to the charity or cause of your choosing.

Memories to be shared during the service or condolences for the family may be left online for the family at .
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, September 11th, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Friday, September 11th, 2020 1:00pm
    Strode Funeral Home Chapel
    610 South Duncan Street
    Stillwater, OK 74074
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Sunset Memorial Gardens
    6500 South Perkins Road
    STILLWATER, OK 74074
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Madalyn here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

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Dave Grounds and Jill Rhoades, Albert, Walter and Connie Suttle, and other have sent flowers to the family of Madalyn Starr Lester.
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Jana Hogan

Posted at 09:38pm
Madalyn was such a nice person and I’ll miss talking with her. Always had such a positive attitude.

Beth Corcoran

Posted at 02:26pm
Mike and I didn't know Madalyn personally - I know I met her at the wedding - but I feel like I knew her through stories shared by Jess and Chuck, in those get-togethers every other year or so when we all happened to be in CT for Christmas or when Chuck's job brought them to Orlando for band-sportsball stuff. But oh the stories! The stories Jess and Chuck told us about Chuck's amazing, fierce, no-nonsense, hysterically humorous mom - they made me wish I had known Mamadukes. One of my pet names for our two girls, Savannah and Charlotte, is Mamadukes from hearing Chuck and Jess fondly refer to Madalyn and Paula (the respective mamas) with this term of endearment.

I honestly can't remember any of the specific details of those stories about Madalyn, but I do remember laughing until I peed my pants (not exaggerating - I peed). They were the stories of a mom who loved unapologetically, knew what she wanted for those she loved, and had no qualms about letting her opinion be known. The way Chuck and Jess talked about Madalyn, I can only hope my kids one day think and speak about me that way. Complete respect, deep deep love, and such appreciation for a force of nature in the form of a mom.

So much love and a million hugs for your whole family, from Beth, Mike, Savannah, Charlotte & Milo (the dog) Corcoran. Caico (the cat) was probably waiting at the gates of the welcome party upstairs with a purr and a hiss to say, come on in sassy lady - we've been waiting for you!

Harriet Riggs

Posted at 12:57pm
When I first met Madalyn she was a college student and I saw this beautiful young woman of obvious Native American decent and thought "This must be what Pocahontas looked like." She was the last member of her family of my generation and became more like a sister than a sister-in-law, You will be greatly missed.

Tiffany Bolding

Posted at 12:48pm
Aunt Madalyn was such a bright shining star (just like her name says). I can't remember if I ever saw her without a smile. She always made us feel so loved. We love you and will miss you but know you are in a better place. Much love! Matt, Tiffany, and Ashley Bolding.

Lauren Heflin

Posted at 10:36am
When the kids were young and we would go to the OSU football games, they would spend half the time with their other family. They loved sitting with The Great M (Melissa) and The Grand M (Madalyn). Then listening for the voice of The Cowboy Marching Band! We loved Madalyn’s welcoming arms and smiling face. We will miss her.

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