photo courtesy of great grandson, Wyatt Falk, 2016
Our courageous mother, Bessie Brudie, 87, of Clark Fork, ID, gained her angel wings on the morning of December 30, 2016, at the home of her daughter in Moscow, ID. Born in Wenatchee, WA, to Thelma [Willey] and Ralph Davis, she was raised and educated in Elmer City, WA, where she graduated from high school in 1947. Following graduation, she attended Kinman Business School in Spokane, graduated, and began what turned out to be a lengthy career in the secretarial field. Mom worked for several years in government jobs in central Washington until she met the man who would become her husband of 60+ years.
In 1954, mom married our dad, Donald Brudie, and, together, they established their home in Priest River, ID. A year later she gave birth to daughter, Debbie, and the little family moved to Seattle, WA, where dad had taken a job with Boeing. Four years later, a son, Jeff, was born. Our family was complete and she changed careers, momentarily, to be housewife and mother extraordinaire—until it was time to move away from the big city.
In 1965, we moved to Idaho Falls, ID, where mom was active in the First Congregational Church, Job’s Daughters, Cub Scouts, and was a 4H leader teaching knitting. She became the ultimate tent camper—kids, food, dogs, supplies, fishing equipment, cooking utensils and a fully stocked cooler always got us through our camping adventures—and we had a lot of them to some beautiful and, occasionally, remote, locations. Mom was very organized, had a checklist, and we had everything we needed–usually only going to town for ice! She had it down to a science and we never lacked for good meals over the campfire.
In 1975, she decided it was time to go back to work and became the parish secretary at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Idaho Falls, serving in that capacity for 21 years and receiving the highest commendation from the Bishop of Idaho upon her retirement in 1996. Dad had spent the summer putting a house on six acres of timberland in Clark Fork, ID, and in the fall of that year, mom made her final move to her forever home. She spent many, many hours “cleaning the forest,” sitting by the fire, watching the wildlife, taking walks in the woods with the dog, and living comfortably.
Still, living in the woods was a little lonely and she needed an outlet for her creativity. Mom was always a “sewer” and made many clothes for us through the years. Then she found the Clark Fork Valley Quilt Guild! To see where mom started–and where she ended–was an amazing transformation and many people have received one—or several—of her quilted creations. She served the Guild as Treasurer and, with daughter Debbie, co-chaired seven of the Guild’s summer quilt shows. Mom was also their community needs chair—and the guild members created and distributed many, many quilts throughout the Clark Fork Valley and beyond–to fire victims, cancer and dialysis patients, nursing home residents, foster kids, and to schools, libraries, benefits, and local non-profits for display and fund raising.
In 2013, Mom began to split her time between Clark Fork and Moscow, ID, where she joined a second quilt guild, Palouse Patchers. She became involved there with CASA, creating even more comfort quilts for foster kids. She continued to support both guilds making lap quilts, wall hangings, and many of her quilts have been on display at Kindred Health Care/Aspen Park in Moscow.
Mom is survived by a brother, Del (Marcy) Davis, in Centralia, WA; daughter, Debbie, in Moscow, ID; son, Jeff (Julie) in Lewiston, ID; twin grandsons, Jason and Jeremy, in Moscow, ID; step-granddaughter, Nicole (Ward) and three great grandchildren, Wyatt, Cameron, and Zoey Ann, in Lewiston, ID; niece, Vickie (Kerry) Irish of Aloha, OR; and their girls, Kelli (Paul) Lamarr and Jennifer (Abe) Dandy and son, Dylan, along with cousins too numerous to mention. We would also include in her survivors two very special people who became “adopted” daughters, Delores (Layne) Matthews of Clark Fork, ID, who have watched over our folks for many years, especially helping with snow removal in the winter, and Lisa (Roy) Massey of Wailuku, HI, who adopted our family and enjoyed talking and sharing quilting lessons with mother. Mom was preceded in death by our Dad in 2015.
Per our mother’s wishes, she was cremated and there will be no service. Mom will be laid to rest in the spring, around Memorial Day, with Dad at Evergreen Cemetery in Priest River, ID, where family and friends will gather to share memories, stories, readings, blessings and prayers, and a show-and-tell of the quilted pieces she has given away.