Our beloved Tia/Aunt Dorothy Marie Bicandi Aldecoa, 92, peacefully passed away at Ivy Place Residence, Boise, Idaho, on April 7, 2014, where her family had been keeping vigil. At Dorothy's request the public is invited to an evening Memorial Rosary at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 13, 2014, at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 1500 E. Wright St., Boise. Reception will follow. Services are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 442-8171. An online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com.
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Dorothy was born to Eugenio Bicandi and Maria Dolores Aguirre Bicandi on Jan. 10, 1922, in Barber, Idaho. In 1925, the family moved to Emmett, Idaho, where Eugenio and Maria Dolores operated the Bicandi Boarding House in their residence until 1957.
Dorothy graduated from Emmett High School on May 23, 1940, as a life-long proud Huskie. Wanting to be a registered nurse, she graduated from Nampa's Mercy Medical Hospital School of Nursing in 1943. While living at home, she worked as an RN in Emmett's Mary Secor Hospital and later in the office of Dr. Newcomb. Over the years, she loved telling people that she was an "Old RN."
It was in the Bicandi Boarding House that Dorothy met Basil Aldecoa while he was drinking coffee and waiting for his truck to be repaired at a local gas station. After their courtship, Dorothy and Basil traveled by train to St. Louis, Mo., and married in St. Lenia Catholic Church on Jan. 2, 1948. Basil's sister and brother-in-law, Maurina and Don Bowles, witnessed the ceremony.
The new couple lived on the J.D. Aldecoa and Son Sheep Ranch in Marsing, Idaho, where Basil and his father, Domingo, continued to work together to grow the business. Dorothy became the company's bookkeeper and secretary. In 1956, Dorothy and Basil moved into their new home in Boise. The sheep business grew and in time became a land and cattle business with several satellite ranches and properties.
Dorothy managed the personal needs of the ranch employees with a nurturing spirit that emanated from her nursing education and from her mother, Maria Dolores. Because their employees were from the Basque Country, she used her mother tongue in assisting many to adjust to a life so far away from their Basque homeland. The ranch employees were very dear to Dorothy. Eventually, Basil's nephew, John Wilson, assisted his uncle. After Basil's passing, Dorothy and John worked together.
Dorothy and Basil were among the charter members of the Boise Basque Association. In 1952, the Basque Center was built at the corner of Sixth and Grove and the Association became known as Euzkaldunak. They were faithful contributors to Euzkaldunak and its charities. In 1963, Dorothy was the first woman to serve as Euzkaldunak president. She was also active in the founding of NABO, the North American Basque Organization. The Basque Center acknowledged Dorothy in 2002 with their Legacy Award for her long-term commitment.
Dorothy was an ardent supporter of the Basque Museum and Cultural Center. She worked on fundraisers and was crucial to the creation of the Museum's Gift Store. She volunteered in the shop, recruited other volunteers, expanded lines of merchandise and was at times the store's "best customer." She and Basil donated a sheep camp wagon to be displayed in the museum's gallery. Dorothy was the lead donor in the restoration of the Cyrus Jacobs/Uberuaga House. She also sponsored the cemetery plots and the large granite marker for the Basque Memorial at Morris Hill Cemetery, which bears the names of Basque men, women and children who had been interred in unidentified graves. In April of 2013, Dorothy received the Museum's Heritage Award for her years of support.
Dorothy's early Catholic upbringing was deepened by the Nuns of Nampa's Mercy Medical Hospital. Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church was Dorothy and Basil's parish church and they were instrumental in the relocation and enlargement of the building to its present location. Dorothy was an active parishioner. She cared deeply for at-risk families, refugees, children's and music ministries and would regularly bring "a trunk load of groceries" for the church food bank. Dorothy was also very active with the Idaho Catholic Women's League. She also endowed a scholarship to Bishop Kelly High School.
As the sheep business changed into a cattle business and they had fewer employees, Dorothy took part in more personal social activities.
She regularly played bridge and pinochle with card groups and family. She enjoyed meeting with fellow members of the Boise Women's Club on Main Street, especially playing Mahjong. Collecting antiques and going to estate sales were also on her list of priorities. Tending her flower beds, collecting recipes and mending were joys for her. She and her portable sewing machine would travel to the Boise Veteran's Home to help meet the veterans' needs. Dorothy loved capturing special moments with photographs and rarely attended a social event without bringing her polaroid. She would often say, "Pictures are treasures."
Special thanks go to: Dr. Karen East, Summer Wind Living Center, Ivy Place Residence and Legacy Hospice. Each caregiver was especially kind to our Tia/Aunt Dorothy and she treasured all of you for your expertise and caring. Since Feb. 25, 2011, "The Angels" at Ivy Place guided and cared for Dorothy and her family during her final journey.
Dorothy leaves behind sisters-in-law Colleen Bicandi, Benedicta A. Wilson and Delphine Aldecoa. She is also survived by many Bicandi/Aldecoa nieces, nephews, cousins and their families. Each of them as well as many of you has wonderful memories of our Dear Tia/Aunt Dorothy.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband, Basil; her siblings Frances Bilbao, Margaret Foruria, Lucio Bicandi, Irene Anderson and Gene Bicandi; a niece and two great-nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her honor to the
"Goian bego" (She is in heaven).
Nampa Funeral Home Yraguen Chapel
415 12th Avenue South Nampa, ID 83651
Published in Emmett Messenger Index from Apr. 10 to May 10, 2014