Rosalee Meek Bidwell, 78 of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, broke free of the earthly bonds Nov. 24, 2016. Though her body was weak, her determination and courage enabled her to face death on her own terms. Rosalee passed on the anniversary of her husband's death thirteen years earlier. Rosalee lived her life and faced death, with dignity and grace.
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Rosalee was born on Jan. 12, 1938, in Wibaux, Montana, to Harry "Billy" Meek and Florence Doyle Meek. Rosalee was the oldest of five children, Kathleen, Molly, Linda and her half-brother David Johnston.
Rosalee married James Francis Bidwell Jr. on Oct. 8, 1956, in Miles City, Montana. Shortly thereafter they made their home in Bozeman, Montana. Three children followed Lorna in 1957, Scott in 1959, and Bill in 1962.
In 1975, Jim and Rosalee moved to Fairbanks, Alaska. They lived in Fairbanks for five years before moving back to Montana, settling in Belgrade. Jim passed away in 2003. Rosalee moved to Post Falls, Idaho in 2004 to be closer to family.
Rosalee's favorite pastimes were gardening, jigsaw puzzles, painting and playing cards. Her quick sense of humor and wit were forefront even in her last days, entertaining hospital and hospice workers caring for her. With a sparkle and smile she made everyone feel important and valued from child to adult.
Rosalee was asked how she wanted people to remember her. Without hesitation her answer was "My love for my family". Rosalee showed great compassion in her work as a caregiver for the elderly at both the Gallatin County Rest Home and Edgewood Assisted Living Center. Rosalee made many friends in later years as manager of the Orange Julius in Bozeman.
With an adventurous spirit she traveled to Ireland, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada with her children. Rosalee fished for King Salmon and Halibut with her sons and usually caught the largest fish even in her 70s. Famous for her potato salad and homemade bread she was often the host of many family feasts.
Our beloved mother, grandmother, sister and friend is survived by children Lorna (Ted) Hoff of Post Falls, Idaho, Scott (Jennifer) Bidwell and Bill Bidwell of Fairbanks, Alaska. Six grandchildren, two sisters and six great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to North Idaho Hospice and Kootenai Humane Society. Please share your thoughts and memories of Rosalee in her online memorial at www.belltowerfuneralhome.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Dec. 4, 2016