Madge Kennedy Tidwell

Published 4:11 pm Friday, December 20, 2019

Madge Kennedy Tidwell, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Kennedy, of Lanett, was born on Sept. 2, 1929, and passed away on Dec. 4, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida. She was the beloved wife of John Bachman Tidwell Jr. of West Point, Georgia for 70 years.

Madge was a case worker for the National American Red Cross for 10 years, and her work included assisting victims of tornadoes, flood, fire and other natural disasters. She worked with U. S. military personnel from all over the world. Some of her greatest career accomplishments include reuniting family members after their escape from the Hanoi Hilton and uniting children born during the Vietnamese war with their American families. Though Madge was far too humble to speak of her achievements, the efforts she made on their behalf were deeply appreciated by the families she assisted.   

No matter where John’s work took the couple, Madge remained a strong force who supported her husband and encouraged and uplifted him. When they were living in Dallas, Texas, John called Madge at the last minute to ask her to serve as hostess to a visiting Russian delegation. 

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Madge not only rose to the occasion, but she charmed the editor of Radio Moscow into buying his grandson a pair of Texas cowboy boots for a birthday gift.

Madge was a long-time member of the Auburn P.E.O. Sisterhood, Chapter X. She loved music, dancing, people, her church, her family, and above all, her God. A woman of deep faith, she and John attended church wherever they happened to live, and she was active in the life of Savannah FUMC, as well as her church in Tupelo, Mississippi. Madge was a member of several church and community choirs in Georgia and Mississippi. She was an almost constant presence on Sunday mornings at West Point First United Methodist Church, even when it meant pushing through her physical pain. She was an inspiration and encourager to all who loved her.

Madge Kennedy Tidwell is survived by her devoted husband, John Bachman Tidwell, Jr.; her son, John Franklin Tidwell; her sister, Boyce (Billie) Wilson; two grandsons, and three great-grandchildren.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Kennedy, and her brother, Robert Kennedy. A memorial service will be held on Jan. 4, 2020, in the West Point First United Methodist Church chapel at 11 a.m. EST. Memorial gifts may be made to The Good Samaritan Fund of West Point First United Methodist Church.