MISSOULA – Hugh Gerald Kidder passed away on May 8, 2010, at his home with his family by his side.
Hugh was born on Sept. 27, 1925 in Kalispell, to Flathead pioneers, Sewell Delano Kidder and Mary Ellen Good Kidder. His mother is believed to be the first white woman born in the Flathead Valley, a fact that Hugh was tremendously proud of.
After graduating from Whitefish High School, Hugh joined the Navy and served two tours in World War II in the South Pacific. Hugh continued his service as a member of the Army National Guard for 20 years, and was a recipient of the Navy’s Bronze Star.
Upon returning home, Hugh enrolled in law school at the University of Montana and graduated in 1953. While at the University he was an active member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. Hugh worked his way through law school as an insulator and proud member of the Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Local 97, Anchorage, Alaska.
In the summer of 1955, Hugh Kidder began practicing law in Missoula, where he practiced for more than 50 years. He was a member of the Montana State Bar Association as well as the Western Montana Bar Association. Hugh was known by many in the profession as compassionate, professional and always the gentleman. Many of his clients and their families became friends of Hugh’s.
Hugh Kidder, husband, father, grandfather and friend, was known to all as a kind man with strong hands and a twinkle in his eye. He will be remembered for his love of a good meal, a good drink and a good story. He always put family and friends before himself.
Hugh’s interests and passions were those of the outdoors. He was an excellent horseman and an enthusiastic member of the Backcountry Horseman Association for many years. Many knew that Hugh looked comfortable on the back of a horse as well as dapper in a suit and tie as he headed off to court on a Monday morning. He was also a dedicated mentor to the Campfire Girls and the Rattlesnake Riders.
Hunting and fishing were more than a hobby to Hugh; they were a way of life. He, along with the “Group of 8,” built the Fish Creek cabin famously known as the North Fork Lodge. Family and friends enjoyed packing up horses and escaping into the wilderness. The family cabin at Placid Lake became Hugh’s Walden Pond, a place to enjoy family, friends and a good story by the campfire.
Hugh Kidder is preceded in death by his mother Mary Ellen Good Kidder; his father Sewell Delano Kidder; his brother Sewell Dan Kidder; and first wife Mae Owen Kidder.
Hugh is survived by his beloved wife Margo A. Kidder; his children, Hugh G. Kidder Jr. and wife Delnetta, Raine Kidder and her husband Chris Simpson; as well as his two adopted children, Suzanne Johnson, and Lance David Kidder. Also surviving Hugh are his grandchildren, Aira Rebecca Kidder, Kirsten Rae Kidder and her fiancé D.J Cormier, Shannon Mock and K.C. McGowan; as well as his great-grandchild Kyle Mock.
Please share your stories and condolences with the family at P.O. Box 7161, Missoula, MT 59807.