Jeanette Colleen Bridgeford
Great Falls, MT - Jeanette Bridgeford, 92, of Great Falls passed away on January 8th, 2021. Funeral services will be held January 30th at 2pm at Croxford Funeral Home with livestream available.
Jeanette was born November 21, 1928 in Cass Lake, MN to Emil and Elizabeth (Martin) Johnson. She grew up in Cass Lake, Minnesota and was the youngest of 4 children which earned her the loving nickname, "Babin." After graduating from high school in Cass Lake, Jeanette's oldest sister, Lucile, ensured that Babin pursued higher education. Jeanette received a teaching degree from St. Cloud Teachers College and taught 5th grade for 4 years in Minnesota before joining a friend on a wild adventure to Kalispell, MT. Soon after, Jeanette met Cecil Bridgeford of Geraldine, MT and the two married on December 29th, 1956 in Minneapolis, MN. Cecil and Jeanette moved to Great Falls where they raised their family. Cecil was a widower with two sons, Larry and Bill, who Jeanette cared for and helped raise. In 1958 the two had their son, Roger, who was always lovingly devoted to his mother.
Jeanette continued her teaching career at Longfellow Elementary for 30 years. Students often remember Mrs. Bridgeford for her love of art. She made time for plays, puppet shows, and other creative outlets in class. Jeanette continued to share her passion for art and education with her granddaughter, Erica, during weekly after school activities and summer camps during her childhood.
In retirement Jeanette spent time traveling to different parts of the world, volunteering at the Paris Gibson Museum of Art, and spending time at her beloved cabin on Seeley Lake. Not one to be too sedentary, Jeanette also enjoyed working during retirement and was a familiar face at Rachel's Furniture for 13 years. Rachel Cambell, owner, and her mother Linda Larson became a second family to Jeanette--many customers thought Jeanette was Rachel's grandmother. Rachel and Linda also helped to lovingly care for and watch over Jeanette in her more recent years.
Jeanette loved to share her passions for culture, food, travel, art, and gardening with those she loved. She could always be relied upon to bring a story or witty comment to the conversation. She was always up for a ride whenever Roger offered. She valued her friends and family and she will continue to live on in their fond memories.
Jeanette was preceded in death by her parents Emil and Elizabeth Johnson; siblings Lucille (Bud) Lee, Robert (Betty) Johnson, and Milton (Virginia) Johnson; her husband Cecil Bridgeford; and step-sons Larry and Bill Bridgeford.
She is survived by her son, Roger Bridgeford, granddaughter Erica (Travis) Harp, great-grandchildren Hannah Elizabeth and Henry; and her dear friends Rachel Cambell (daughter Maryellen), Linda Larson, and Diane Jennelle.
If you wish to celebrate Jeanette's life with flowers please send them to Croxford Funeral Home. The family suggests any memorial donations in Jeanette's memory go to Paris Gibson Museum of Art or the Cameron Family Center. To share condolences with the family, please visit www.croxfordfuneralhome.com