Bette Jean Bedey
Bette Jean Bedey, 87, of Hamilton passed away in her sleep on April 10, 2023, while receiving hospice care at the BeeHive Homes. She had been independent and active until only a few months before her death when the toll of age finally caught up with her. On that day when she met the Lord, He undoubtedly greeted her with two words: “Well done.”
Bette was born in Hamilton on July 14, 1935, the first of two children of Frank and Helen (Clark) Huber, who raised Bette and her brother on a farmstead west of town. Bette liked to recall growing up among pet chickens and dogs and picking fruit on her aunt's berry farm, although she confessed to often praying for rain so that she could get out of the field and join her friends. By high school, the family had moved to a house on South 8th Street from which Bette made many friends with whom she remained close throughout her life.
Upon graduation from Hamilton High School, Bette contemplated becoming a nurse—a profession to which she would have been well suited—but romance intervened when she met Frank Bedey. They were married on September 19, 1953, and spent over 55 years together until Frank's death in 2009.
Aside from a two-year stint in San Antonio, Texas, where Frank was serving in the U.S. Air Force, Bette lived her entire life in Hamilton, leaving Montana only to visit her brother and her children as they made their way in the world.
Among the things Bette liked best were preparing family meals, camping with her family up the West Fork, and spending time with her friends. Her social calendar was always full as she and her gang of merry widows regularly dined at the Elk's, went out for coffee, and reviewed restaurants throughout Ravalli County.
Bette was a steadfast friend and dependable neighbor who devoted herself to serving her family, her church, and her community. She instilled values in her children that allowed them to go on to become productive adults (one a judge, another a very successful businessman, and two Army colonels) and was always there for her grandchildren, ready to listen and offer sage advice. Bette sang in the choir and spent years as a church secretary. And she served as a county election judge until leaving that post because her daughter and one son started running for public office.
Bette was preceded in death by her parents and her husband. She is survived by her three sons, David (Deborah) of Hamilton, Gary (Tammy) of Priest Lake, Idaho, and Jeff of Darby; her daughter Jennifer (Don) Ray of Darby; her “other son” Jeff Richardson of Hamilton; her brother Jim (Kathy) Huber of Cincinnati, Ohio; and her brother-in-law Bob Bedey of Hamilton. She is also survived by “the apples of her eye” grandchildren Karis Bedey of Beverly Hills, California; Cheryl Bedey of Missoula; Nicole (Adam Hunter) Bedey of Portland, Oregon; Colton Mason of Missoula; Robert Bedey of Butte; Kayla (Sam Lowe-Anker) Bedey of Bozeman; Matthew Bedey of Livingston; Tara (Sky) Jones of Dillon; Libby (Ben) Jamieson of Anaconda; Seth (Hanna) Ray of Bozeman; and great-grandchildren Murdoch and Endee Jones, both of Dillon.
Bette Bedey lived a simple but full life. She epitomized what it means to be a good mother and a good citizen. And she touched the hearts of innumerable people throughout the Bitterroot Valley and beyond. One could scarcely hope for more.
A memorial service will be held Monday, June 12, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton. A reception to celebrate a life well lived will follow immediately after the service. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com
Bette will be laid to rest during a private ceremony at the Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton beside her husband, Frank, and among those family members and many friends who have gone on before her.
The family suggests memorial to "Warriors in Quiet Waters" or the "Intermountain Children's Home"