FLORENCE – Roberta “Bea” Scotten, 86, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on the morning of Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at her home in Florence.
Bea was born in the old Gait Hospital in Lethbridge, Alberta, to Mary and Harold Hudson on June 16, 1926. She was raised on the family wheat farm south of Lethbridge and attended a one-room school with her brother Bud, riding their horse to class even in the Canadian winters.
Bea attended high school at Mount Royal College in Calgary, Alberta, and Duke of Connaught High School in New Westminster near Vancouver, British Columbia. After graduating, she entered the University of British Columbia and majored in home economics. Bea worked summers as a “Cannery Annie” and after graduating from UBC she entered the dietetic program at the University of Washington and graduated as registered dietician in 1951. While at UW she met Paul Scotten, a student and pot washer at the university cafeteria. Bea soon found employment as the dietician at a boys’ dormitory at the University of Idaho in Moscow. Paul made frequent visits from Vancouver and they were married, July 10, 1952, in Lethbridge. Daughter Joyce was born in June 1953 and the family moved to Bozeman in September to enable Paul to attend Montana State University. After graduation, they moved to Great Falls, their home for the next 18 years. In 1974, Bea and Paul began a series of moves as Paul pursued his career with the Montana Power Co. Bea made a home for the couple in the towns of Havre, Butte, Helena and Colstrip. Bea was active in PEO in all of these communities, and the two made close friends everywhere they lived.
Bea and Paul retired to Florence in 1988 to be near family and began a busy period of their lives watching their grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow. They were huge supporters of the kids’ athletic endeavors, particularly American Legion baseball, and followed the Bitterroot Bucs around the state and beyond, seldom missing a game at home or on the road. Bea continued on as a Bucs fan after her grandchildrens’ baseball careers were over and even traveled to Wyoming to cheer them on to a regional championship. Bea also was well known as a loyal Chicago Cubs fan, becoming an avid follower during her years in Havre, and fulfilled a longtime dream of attending a Cubbies game when she celebrated her 85 birthday at the “friendly confines” of Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Ever a vibrant personality, Bea was a lifelong caregiver to others and enriched the lives of everyone she touched in so many ways. Always active in her community, her many dear friends from every where she went are a tribute to Bea. “Deck time” with neighbors, baseball and being sympathetic to her opponent as she beat them at cribbage or Thirteen were just a few of her favorite pastimes. She was well known for her lemon meringue pies and her Butte pasties, and it was an honor to be included in the “Grandma Bea’s lunch bunch” that she enjoyed hosting for her grandkids and their friends throughout their high school years. Bea was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1978 and she conquered the disease for 35 years. Her will to not just survive but to live her life was an inspiration to all who knew her. As someone said, “You don’t have to survive cancer to beat it.”
Bea is survived by her husband, Paul; daughter, Joyce (Bob) Schroeder of Florence; grandsons, Josh (Nieves) Schroeder of La Paz, Mexico, Will Schroeder of Richland, Wash., Clay Schroeder of Florence; granddaughter, Shelby Schroeder of Seattle; great- grandsons, Sebastian and Cooper Schroeder of La Paz; nephews, David (Dianne) Scotten of Lewistown, Tim Scotten of Portland, Ore.; great-nephews, Chris (Alexis) Scotten of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Dustin (Melissa King) Scotten of Lewistown; brother, Bud Hudson of Lethbridge; and several cousins in Canada.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Thomas, Brenda, the staff at Montana Cancer Center chemo suite, and Dr. Rachael Riopel for their loving care and compassion. They added time and quality to Bea’s life and she loved them very much.
A celebration of life will take place Saturday, March 30, at 11 a.m. at Florence Carlton Community Church with a reception to follow at the Scotten home. Interment is planned at Highlands Cemetery in Great Falls on April 1 at 10 a.m.
Memorials in Bea’s name may be made to the Bitterroot Bucs, P.O. Box 1111, Florence, MT 59833, or to the Jack Finlay Service Dog Fund at Karosel Kennels, 16315 Touchette Lane, Frenchtown, MT 59834.