Sara Amasa Madsen, 24, of Tetonia, Idaho passed away suddenly on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 in a tragic car accident near Ashton, Idaho. Sara was born in Driggs, Idaho on February 9, 1996. Growing up in the shadow of the Tetons inspired a lifelong love for the outdoors and the natural world. She could be found skiing lines of powder in the Idaho and Montana backcountry, spontaneously bagging mountain peaks, and enjoying Teton alpenglow from the backyard of her childhood home. Her love of nature and ability to share that passion with others was awe inspiring.
Sara graduated from Teton High School in 2014. She spent the following year exploring Bozeman, Montana and the surrounding areas before beginning her higher education at Montana State University. She graduated in the spring of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. During her time at MSU, Sara spent winters teaching skiing to youngsters at Big Sky Resort, creating lifelong friendships with her colleagues along the way.
Unable to resign herself to sitting at home and relaxing during the summer months, Sara chose to spend this time fighting wildland fires, first with the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and then with the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. Sara’s last assignment was with the Helena Hot Shots. Her career as a wildland firefighter allowed her to combine her love of exploring the world around her, protecting the environments she admired most, and bonding with those who held similar passions.
Sara is survived by her parents, Mary Alice Dodd Madsen and Jerry Nielson Madsen, her older brother Joseph Dodd Madsen, and her younger sister Sydney Caldwell Madsen. As well as her immediate family, she leaves behind a support group of family friends, a clan of ski patrollers and guides, and a wildland firefighter community.
An outdoor tribute for Sara will be held on Saturday, September 12th from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at her family’s home at 650 Sandcrane Lane, Tetonia, Idaho. Attendees will be invited to speak around 4:00. Light refreshments will be provided. Because of the pandemic, masks are encouraged and those not feeling well are asked to stay home. This is a celebration of the remarkable life our Sara lived. We hope to spend the evening smiling, laughing, and remembering the joy she brought to all of our lives.
In lieu of flowers, Sara’s family requests donations be made to the Eric Marsh Foundation, a charity dedicated to raising money for firefighters and their families when tragedy strikes. Donations can be mailed to Eric Marsh Foundation for Wildland Firefighters, P.O. Box 1574 Chino Valley, Arizona, 86323 or via their website ericmarshfoundation.org.