Dora Jean (Bidwell) McDonough

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Dora Jean (Bidwell) McDonough, age 92, of Glendive passed through on November 21, 2018 at the Eastern Montana Veterans’ Home. She rejoined her husband of 72 years, Russell (Swede) McDonough, who passed away April 3, 2018.

She is survived by her six children, Ann (Ray) Remmich of Sun Prairie, Wis., Michael (Mary) McDonough of Dallas, Texas, Kay (Rick) Jensen of Glendive, Kevin (Karon) McDonough of Bismarck, N.D., Daniel (Debra) McDonough of Magnolia, Texas, and Mary (Wayne) Garfield of Circle; 14 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and many great-great grandchildren. She is further survived by a sister, Janet (Dar) Palen; and a brother, Kenneth Bidwell.

She was predeceased by her parents; sisters, Marjorie Winchell and Bernice Strand; and brothers, James Bidwell and Bernard Bidwell.

Dora was born in Glendive on February 26, 1926 to James F. and Frances (Haggerty) Bidwell who farmed in the Union community west of Glendive. She attended Bidwell School at Union until age 11 when the family moved to Glendive. In 1943 Dora graduated from Dawson County High School, and after graduation worked at the Dawson County courthouse and MDU. She and Russell were married March 17, 1946 (St. Patrick’s Day) which gave their family two reasons to celebrate every March. They lived in Washington, D.C. for three years while Russell attended law school, then returned to Glendive where they raised their six children. In 1987 they moved to Helena while Russell served on the state Supreme Court. After retiring they split their time between Green Valley, Ariz.; Circle, Mont.; and Glendive, spending their final 15 years in Glendive.

To her siblings and their children she was known fondly as “Dode.” Her early years on the farm during the Depression impacted the rest of her life. She told stories of thistle soup, flour sack dresses, and going to the country dances where the kids fell asleep on a pile of coats behind the piano. She must have learned her skills as a seamstress then too, as she made all of her own and three daughters’ clothes for many years.

Dora was active in the Glendive community, and particularly passionate about politics, serving as president of the Democratic Women’s Club. Doing crossword puzzles was another passion, and she saved that section from every newspaper daily. It had been a long time since she even needed to use the well-worn crossword dictionaries she kept by her chair.

Dora and Russell were loving and supportive of their six children. Their love and respect for each other set a wonderful example for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They carried on the traditions of extended family gatherings, which continue to this day, and her holiday orange rolls, tough jacks, slushburgers, and green St. Patrick’s Day dinners bring up many fond memories.

From all of us kids, to quote Mom, “It’s been a great ride.”

Cremation has taken place and a family service will be held in the future.

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