reprinted from Newf Tide 1981
HILDA C. MADSEN December 13.1910 - May 1.1981
On May 1. 1981, the Newtoundland world lost a great friend. Hilda Madsen, the mistress of Hilvig Kennels, succumbed to heart failure. She is survived by her husband Viggo, her sons, Keith and Alan, and three grandchildren from her late son Eric.
Hilda was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1910. Her mother was an American (the Fay family of Bennington, Vermont) and her father (Narracott) was an Englishman. Her father was killed in World War I when she was an infant. and Hilda became a citizen of all of Europe, traveling with her artist mother. She herself developed her artistic talents studying painting throughout Europe, She was a graduate of the Sorbonne Art Museum of Paris. Her mother remarried an Italian. and Hilda moved to Italy. There she became fluent in Italian as well as French and English. She met her future husband, Viggo, a Danish ship communications officer, while both were touring the Vatican.
Hilda and Viggo married and they moved to the United States in 1935. They lived in New York, Pennsylvania. and finally New Jersey, where they raised their three sons,
It was 1960 when the family got its first Newfoundland dog, Hilda began with Little Bear stock. Her first breeding was to Am. and Can. Ch. Skippio of Shipmates. A male from this litter (Mischiefs Black Bruin) was bred to an Edenglen bitch (Edenglen's Merry Mermaid) that she had ·purchased. This first "Hilvig" prefix litter contained the lovely Ch. Hilvig's Corsage. Corsage was a beautiful show specimen and an excellent producer. At the 1968 National Specialty, she won Best of Opposite Sex as well as the Brood Bitch class under noted Newtoundland judge Beatrice Godsol. Hilvig stock is in pedigrees all across the country, in Canada and in Europe. Another great favorite of
Hilda's was her Am. and Can. Ch. Aesir. Aesir was a Corsage son. Hilda continued showing and breeding even in ill health. She felt that she could not quit while she was physically able: it was "life" to her.
Hilda was a long-time member of the Newfoundland Club of America. She served on the Standard's Revision Committee. At the recent Board of Director's meeting in April, 1981, she was elected to NCA Honorary Membership. It was announced at the National Specialty banquet. Although her health was failing, she was very pleased to hear of this latest honor. She was a charter member of New-Pen-Del Newtoundland Club, an honorary member of the Great Lakes NeWfoundland Club, and a charter member of the Delaware Water Gap Kennel Club, where she served on the Board of Directors.
In addition to her many dog-related activities, Hilda was a lady of many talents. She was a well-known artist. particularly known for her portraits and animal studies. She had several one person shows. Her friends knew well her lovely dog portraits. She also created marvelous hooked rugs. She could handle carpenter's tools as well as an artist's brush, and she herself made her kennel's dog houses. She helped direct the masons and carpenters' work on her home. Hilda had a keen interest in photography and belonged to the local Hillcrest Camera Club of Phillipsburg. She was always willing to give of her talents and her art work was frequently requested for trophy donations and for raffle items. We who are fortunate to possess some of her sensitive Newtoundland art will always treasure her special vision that will never die.
by Betty McDonnell