Evelyn Mae Chidichimo (Steinhart, Kent), 85, of Bozeman, passed away Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 with her family by her side. Evelyn was born Nov. 26, 1928 in Grand Rapids, Minn. to Christ and Mamie (Carr) Steinhart.
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Her early years were spent at the family homestead in LaPrairie, Minn. with many brothers and sisters. She attended grade school in LaPrairie and graduated from Greenway High School in Coleraine. In April, 1946, she married Wally F. Kent and from that marriage they had three children. Carol (John deceased) Pazanin, Patricia (Alan deceased) Haas Austin, and Chris Kent (Sue Shockley). In the early years of their marriage, she helped work their farm, worked in their gravel pit and raised their children, along with the chickens, pigs and cows. When Wally had a chance to start working for a construction company, they picked up stakes and moved from a dirt poor life in Minnesota to start a life of many moves from state to state. Eventually the family settled in Montana in 1966, where Wally took a job on the CA Ranch. Evelyn, not to sit on her laurels, took on the job of cook in the cook house on the ranch for several ranch hands that lived in the bunk house. Evelyn cooked delicious meals and baked everything from scratch. In 1978, Evelyn and Wally moved to one of the Buck Anderson operations in North Eastern Oregon. When their marriage ended, Evelyn went on to pursue a degree in nursing in Oregon.
Evelyn eventually moved to Illinois to be near her daughter, Patty. Evelyn worked for a home health agency and took good care of her patients, who loved her dearly. She had a kind heart and hands. While working at a drugstore in Lockport, Ill., she met Frank A. Chidichimo, who would come in to pick up the Sunday paper and have donuts with his friends. Evelyn caught his eye and eventually her and Frank married in April 1989. Frank has a daughter, Kathy and grandson, Tony. Evelyn and Frank enjoyed married life for 15 years, when Frank passed away in 2004. After Frank's death, Evelyn moved back to her beloved Montana to live with her son and daughter in law, Chris and Sue.
While in Bozeman, Evelyn worked for the County Justice Court as a clerk and worked under the guidance of Wanda Drusch, who eventually became a close friend. Evelyn always found time to volunteer. She did volunteering in Illinois at the hospital where her daughter, Pat worked and when in Bozeman, she volunteered at the Senior Center and with the residents of Gallatin County Rest Home playing pinochle. She also volunteered many hours at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds for her favorite daughter-in-law, Sue Shockley.
When Evelyn wasn't volunteering she was quilting, knitting, crocheting, painting beautiful paintings and doing what she loved best, spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also managed to make several beautiful quilts with her close friend, Helen Barth.
Evelyn was preceded in death, by all but one of her 11 siblings. She is survived by her children, Carol Pazanin of Bozeman, Patricia Austin of Lockport, Ill., Chris Kent and Sue Shockley of Gallatin Gateway, and her step daughter, Kathy Chidichimo of Homer Glen, Ill. Her grandchildren, Eric Bell, Lori Bell, Erin (Mark) Gotts, Corey (Amber) Haas, Christopher Haas, Amber (Mike) Liebermann, Anthony Chidichimo, Jeff (Carrie) Shockley and Andi Shockley. Seven great-grandchildren. Also surviving is a brother, Robert (Joyce) Steinhart of Grand Rapids, Minn., many nieces and nephews along with her good friends, Helen Barth, Edith Wilkins, Frances Batchelder and her faithful dog, Bella, whom she rescued from Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at the Dahl Funeral Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her name to Hospice c/o Bozeman Deaconess Foundation (please list donations to Hospice) 931 Highland Blvd, Suite 3200, Bozeman, MT 59715.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 16, 2014