June 12, 1923 – May 4, 2018
Patricia Jane McRae Boedecker completed her amazing life adventure on May 4th, 2018 in Helena, Montana. She was born in Helena, in her family home at 221 Adams Street to Duncan and Nona (Brown) McRae on June 12, 1923.
Those who have had the privilege of knowing Pat, will remember her as an example of life-long learning and a major contributor to the richness of Montana’s history. Her education included the Ursuline Academy in Great Falls, the Vogue School of Design and the United States Navy.
Her love of cooking took her to Julia Child’s Cooking School, where she learned the skills necessary to be a professional chef; owning two of her own restaurants - The Stonehouse restaurant in Helena and The Level Three Tearoom in Billings, Montana. Her love of her heritage and antiques led her to become a certified art and antique appraiser. Pat’s love of art prompted her work at the Smithsonian Institute. Pat’s love of Helena motivated her efforts as renovator of Historic Downtown’s Helena’s Reeder’s Alley and author of “Reeder’s Alley: History, Housewives & Art.” It is no wonder she was put on the list of “Who’s Who in America.”
Pat may best be remembered by her tidbits of wisdom. Everyone knew that she was the “eight-breasted mother”, experiencing “life in the pickle factory” and that the “mills of the gods grind slowly but exceedingly fine.” She experienced and shared “Circles of Charity” everywhere she went. Pat reminded us all that our “weaknesses become our strength”, that you “can’t give up what you haven’t had” and “if you do the work, you will experience heartbreak without judgment.” Pat did not believe in accidents, but Miracles.
Pat is preceded in death by her husband, former Railroad and Public Service Commissioner, Louis G. Boedecker, her oldest daughter, Michele Hutton (Portland), and her youngest son, Blair Boedecker, and by most of her closest friends. Her surviving family members include her sons: Brett Boedecker (Billings), Brooks Boedecker and his wife, Charissa (Billings), Brice Boedecker (Butte), and her youngest daughter, Mary Bloms (Idaho), along with all Pat’s 12 grand children and more than a dozen great grand children.
Pat will also be greatly missed by her extended “family” across the state and the nation who have known her as a lavish and hospitable friend, as well as one of Montana’s true “Grande Dames.”