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Robert Allen Madsen
  • Flowers will be accepted and/or memorials may be made to
  • Hospice of Charleston
    4975 LaCross Road, Ste. 200
    North Charleston, SC 29406-6531
  • or
  • Coastal Carolina Camellia Society
    1507 Lorenzo Street
    Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
  • or
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
    501 St. Jude Place
    Memphis, TN 38105

Pause Hopeless Time by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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J. Henry Stuhr West Ashley Chapel

3360 Glenn McConnell Parkway
Charleston, SC 29414
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Memories & Candles

“Sue, saw your Dad's notice in the paper and didn't know how to reach you, but hope you are still checking these pages to get this. It's hard losing...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: Arthureen Ellis Hunt - Charleston, SC

“Sail on Grandpa Skip. Thank you for sharing so many of your experiences, so much of your knowledge with this grateful Yankee. No matter our...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Bonnie Caracciolo - Ipswich, MA

Skip holding Camellia japonica 'Mary Wheeler' “He was one of a kind, and will be deeply missed. My condolences to all who knew him. ”
3 of 4 | Posted by: Pam Morris - Earlysville, VA

“We celebrate this great man and kindred spirit, and will always have fond memories of sailing in Church Creek and the surrounding rivers around Johns...Read More »
4 of 4 | Posted by: Deana Andrews Williams - SC



Robert Allen Madsen, 98, of Johns Island, South Carolina, fondly known as "Skip" because of his many years skippering Sea Island One Design sailboats to victory, entered into eternal rest Monday, September 4, 2017.

Robert was born March 30, 1919, in Charleston, SC, son of the late Clarence Louis Madsen and Adelheit Mehrtens Madsen. He was employed at the Charleston Naval Shipyard for 33 years, starting as a mathematics instructor at the apprentice school and rising to supervisor of the machine shop servicing the Navy's fleet of nuclear submarines, where his work was recognized with a commendation from the Admiral and a monetary award for excellence and innovation. His great loves were his wife Margaret Webb Rodgers Madsen (deceased) and their family; sailing; and plants, especially camellias.

He was a charter member of the American Camellia Society and the Coastal Carolina Camellia Society. He personally grew more than 600 different varieties of camellias in his "camellia forest," which he began planting in 1941. His love of camellias and his assistance to many fellow camellia enthusiasts was recognized by the Coastal Carolina Camellia Society in March 2015, when representatives of the Society presented him with a plaque of appreciation on his 96th birthday at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, where he had donated many older camellia varieties to assist in restoring their heirloom camellia collection. He also founded Pete's Plant Farm, which is now Sea Island Savory Herbs.

He is survived by his son, Robert Peter Madsen of Johns Island, SC; two daughters, Lucy M. Guglielmino and Suzanne M. Tuten; a sister, Margaret Whitaker of Johns Island; six grandchildren: Rhett Bearden, Amanda Reid, Joseph Guglielmino, Margaret Perez, Andrew Madsen, and Anne Madsen; and seven great-grandchildren: Casey Bearden, Matthew Reid, Leonardo Guglielmino, Mia Perez, Nico Guglielmino, Liliana Perez, and Luc Guglielmino. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Nancy M. Hawkins.

Flowers will be accepted and/or memorials may be made to Hospice of Charleston, 4975 LaCross Road, Suite 200, North Charleston, SC 29406-6531; Coastal Carolina Camellia Society, 1507 Lorenzo Street, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464; or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.