Jean Seader, our mom, grandma, and friend too many passed away peacefully August 16, 2011. Jean was bornMay 28, 1917 in NYC, the daughter of Augusta and Morton Baehr, and grew up in theBronx with her two brothers, Harold and George. The “three bears” as they were called, experienced everything wonderful aboutNew York City in the early 1900’s. Jean found her musical gift in piano during this time and vocally as the lead singer for her dad’s dance band that played in the ballrooms of NY. In 1938 Jean met and married Leslie Holmes, a handsome navy man fromMontana and a short time later moved to the Holmes family ranch on Tullock Creek, 17 miles southeast ofHardin,MT. Adjusting to life in ruralMontana, after growing up in the largest city in theUnited States, was the beginning of Jean’s true pioneer spirit. Mom experienced many firsts during this time; closest neighbor miles away, growing what you ate, and sound at night of coyotes in the hills around the ranch. In 1945, Jean and Les moved to Hardin and opened Holmes Plumbing & Heating. Jean maintained the shop while tending to her 3 small daughters. In 1953, Jean began life as a single parent. She worked several jobs to make ends meet before beginning her career in banking that lasted 36 years. Throughout the years, her financial aptitude was rewarded at First Interstate Bank of Hardin as she went through job promotions from her starting position as a bookkeeper to her final position, Assistant Vice President of Operations in 1989. Jean cherished the lasting friendships made while working at the bank and will forever be one of “Charlie’s Angels”. In 1959 she married Roy Seader who became a wonderful stepfather to Jean’s three girls. Jean loved being part of the large Seader family which helped fill the gap of being far from her only relatives inNew York. This marriage lasted until 1983 whenRoy passed away of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Throughout her life Jean had the gift of service. She was very active at the First Congregational Church in Hardin where she served as financial secretary, volunteered her musical talents and served with the ladies circle. She loved the Bible and through prayer and the many Bible Studies her faith grew. Jean tirelessly helped others through service groups in the community such as Rainbow for Girls, Eastern Star, and certified tax preparer for those less fortunate. St. Vincent Healthcare benefited from Jean’s service heart when she became a Senior Volunteer at St. Vincent Healthcare and made that round trip from Hardin toBillings several times a week for 16 years no matter what the weather. It was during this time that Jean was honored as a Senior of the Year 1997 at the Montana Governor’s Conference on Aging for outstanding volunteer service to Seniors.
With all her accomplishments she always felt her family was her life’s greatest work and gave her best to each of them. Jean was a wonderful Mom, Grandmother and Great Grandmother. She put all three daughters through college, and sat in the audience beaming as each of her grandchildren also obtained their college degrees. She was always present with her love, support, or a plate of brownies. Jean was spunky, generous, and fun. We will miss her for her positive outlook on life and her unconditional love.
Jean is survived by her three daughters, Terri (Dennis) Gambill, Bobbie (Dan) Tryan, Sandy (Will) Bernhagen, six grandchildren, Brian (Julie) Gambill, Michael (Tera) Gambill, Maile (Kent) Ewalt, Mark (Melissa) Wilson, Jake Bernhagen, and Jordan Bernhagen, as well as nine great grandchildren.
The family would like to express their appreciation for the loving care Jean received during the past 1 ½ years at Marquis Vintage Suites and the support she received from Rocky Mountain Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Big Horn Council on Aging-Senior Citizens Center Hardin, Big Horn Co. Historical Museum, Rocky Mountain Hospice of Billings or the charity of your choice.
Funeral Services will be held 11am Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary.