It's always sad when I have to report a story that hits close to home and involves a friend. Local farmer, fireman and family friend Leon Madey passed away in Genoa (in Northern DeKalb County) this afternoon after falling into a grain bin this afternoon.

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According to authorities, Leon Madey, 72, was located inside a large grain bin on his family farm at 35770 Genoa Road. (between Melms and Hill roads north of Genoa). Rescue crews spent several hours conducting rescue operations that involved personnel from fire departments from DeKalb and Boone Counties. The operations eventually resulted in the recovery of Mr Madey's body.

Police indicated that Madey and one of his sons (Mark Madey) were working to fix a problem where grain inside the bin had hardened to a crust. The son walked away to attend to something else and when he returned his father was gone. It was during this time that Leon Madey fell into the grain bin. Crews were not able to reach him in time. Mark Madey called 911 around 1 p.m.

Leon Madey also served for years as a volunteer on the Genoa Kingston FD.

On a personal note, I knew Leon Madey and his family for about six years. He was a man that was always energetic, had a great sense of humor and full of life. He loved his farm and was an avid fisherman. Every time I visited the farm, Leon would make me laugh with a story of something wild that he bought (that he hid from the family).

Leon, also knew that I was a huge fan of sweet corn. So every year he would plant a 20' x 6' patch of corn. I would come by every week or two in the summer to check up on it and see how it was growing. He would make sure that I took home a big bag of it when it was ready. This sweet corn was some of the best I have ever eaten in my life. The funny thing is, racoons would often invade and eat away the corn crop, so to scare them away, Leon would set up a radio outside near the corn patch, tune the radio to my show on Q98.5 to frighten away the critters! It worked. I always got a huge laugh out that.

Matt Madey (L) / Leon madey (C) / Mark Charvat (R) Gathering sweet corn

RIP Leon! Thoughts and prayers go out to the Madey Family of Genoa. I'll miss you!