Madge “Michelle” Polidora
Michelle Polidora (Madge Irene, Sis, Mickie), passed away on Tuesday November 26 at Oakwood West Hebron Oaks surrounded by her loving family.
She was born in Louisa, KY on January 2, 1935, the second of seven children to James and Myrtle (Eades) Johnson. After graduating high school, Michelle attended Grant Hospital School of Nursing in Columbus, OH, where she graduated as a Registered Nurse. It was there she met her husband, Vincent James Polidora, who was an Ohio State University student. They married in 1956 and moved to Madison shortly thereafter. They had three children, Ligeia Anne (Patrick Smith), Roxane Alicia (Ed Duckers) and Vincent Kyle.
After her divorce, Michelle enrolled in University of Wisconsin to obtain her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, all as a single mother, working full time and maintaining a fun and active social life. She worked in several area hospitals as a surgical, ER, psychiatric and Hospice nurse, retiring at 70.
Michelle loved her family above all else. When any of her kids came home to visit, she rolled out the red carpet and made them feel like royalty. Her three grandchildren, Isabel, Kaden and Alexandra, brought her endless pride and joy, and she remained close with all her siblings, nieces and nephews.
Passionately curious, Michelle was an entrepreneur and businesswoman at heart. She owned real estate investments, started an innovative cosmetic skin care clinic, and was an active member of several investment clubs. Through imagination and hard work, she created her dream home on West Shore Drive, overlooking Monona Bay.
A vibrant adventure lover, Michelle adored cross country and downhill skiing, tennis and cruising Madison area lakes and streams on her boat. She loved travel, parties, Halloween, the Packers, Badgers and discovering new trends and ideas.
Michelle overcame a difficult childhood which led her to become a fierce champion of all underdogs. She proudly supported Planned Parenthood and campaigned for Democrats from Shirley Chisolm to Hillary Clinton. She was a generous donor of the Madison Zoo, wildlife organizations and countless causes aimed at uplifting the disadvantaged around the world.
William G. Reddan (Bill) and Michelle met in 1997 and were loving partners until his death in December of 2017.
Michelle is survived by her children, their spouses, her grandchildren, her brothers Ray (Bernadine), Leonard (Sandy), George and Richard (Sharon) Johnson.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Garold (“Spud”) and sister, Shirley.
She was brave and strong beyond words, and also a continual source of joy, honesty, laughter and song who greeted strangers with a compliment and often an invitation to fun.
Her family is planning a celebration of her life in the coming year.
Memorial contributions may be made to Agrace Hospice, Planned Parenthood or the Madison Zoo.
They would like to thank the staff at Oakwood West Tabor and Hebron Oaks for their dedication and affection over the seven years she lived there, and the medical and support staff at Agrace Hospice Care.
She was our hero. “Each Day is a Gift.”
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