Artegus Konyale Madden was born October 11, 1978, in Longview, Texas, to Katherine Arthur Madden and Augusta Madden. Mr. Madden, 34, of Savannah, Texas, died on the weekend of August 30, 2013.
Artegus graduated from Longview High School in 1997 and earned a bachelor's degree in Communication and Advertising from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002. Even at a young age, Artegus reveled in self-expression. His father recalls him being quiet and shy as a toddler, but eventually that wore off and he started playing the piano and singing around the age of six.
Artegus had a love for life and those knew him best bore witness to his interesting sense of humor and ability to draw people in with stories from his lived experiences. As a student at Forest Park Middle School and Longview High School, Artegus was well known for his singing ability and fashion sense.
For his graduating class' Senior Celebration, he donned a suit that was like no other. His distinct, contemporary black suit with flared legs and pristine white shirt with a pronounced collar had fellow students referring to him as the singer "Prince" that night. In Longview, Artegus attended Greater Mt. Gideon Baptist Church, where singing gospel music was one of his passions.
For several years, he sang and led solo parts in the Longview Area Interdenominational Mass Choir, under the direction of the late Rev. Eddie G. Templeton. Artegus's vocal range went from baritone to "super" soprano. He even held impromptu sing-off's, by playing his keyboard and gathering anywhere from three to eight friends on the phone via three-way to sing church songs. He was known to improvise on some of his gospel favorites, such as Holy One, For the Good of Them and When the Saints Go Marching In. He wanted to make sure he sounded better than his friends and would readily give a critique.
Upon graduating from college, Artegus worked as a buyer's assistant for Zale Corporation, until May 2005. He was then employed in the online division of J.C. Penney Company Inc. until October 2011 when it downsized. While job searching, he continued honing his decorating skills and even started a Facebook page titled "Tegus Tips", where he shared pictures to exhibit and explain his decorating aesthetic and technique. During this time, he also found a great love in his life-his dog Maddie. He delighted in the unconditional love that Maddie provided him, even when he dressed her in wool-knit sweaters.
In December 2006, Artegus's mother became ill with colon cancer. Her illness impacted him deeply, causing an emotional shift in his life. He became more open about his feelings and increasingly discussed his personal relationship with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He began writing more and sending encouraging letters to family, friends and co-workers who had fallen on hard times. Even during his mother's death in January 2008, he attributed his fortitude to his faith in God.
Artegus attended weekly services at the Potter's House of Dallas, where he listened intently to Bishop T.D. Jakes's teachings from God's Word. He would often say he "got fed" at church, only to eat again at Michelle's Homestyle Cooking - one of the numerous Dallas-area restaurants he frequented.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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