Alma Josephine Morigeau Luedtke
RONAN — Alma Josephine Morigeau Luedtke, 99, shed her tired, broken body and passed into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010. At the time of her passing, she was the oldest living member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
Alma was born March 19, 1910, to Matilda Gebeau Morigeau and John Morigeau. She was the seventh of 12 children born and raised in Valley Creek. Alma’s childhood was filled with wonderful memories of working on the ranch raising cattle, horses and tending to their large gardens and orchard.
Alma began her formal schooling at the Ursuline schools in St. Ignatius. She continued her boarding school experience in Chemawa, Ore., and Rapid City, S.D.
At age 21, Alma met and married Elmer Luedtke. Their union was blessed with two children. The family resided in Arlee, Dixon, Great Falls, Anaconda and Washington. The couple eventually divorced and Alma returned to the reservation.
Alma cooked at the Blue Bay Resort in the early 60s and at the Kicking Horse Job Corps. Upon her retirement, she moved to Pablo, where her grandchildren and great-grandchildren spent many hours and gained wonderful memories.
She made everything fun, even burnt eggs. If they were lacey around the edges she would serve them proclaiming, “These are the fancy kind.”
For the past 14 years, Alma resided at the St. Luke Extended Care facility, where she was greatly loved and cared for by the staff.
During these years, Alma’s beloved grandson Danny was her closest friend and companion.
Alma was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Arthur, John, Walter, Elmer, Carl and Jack; sisters Grace, Letha, Laura, Lorena and Dehlia; son-in-law Gene Young; grandson, Norman Young; and great-great-grandson, Tyler Luedtke.
She is survived by son, Ed Luedtke of Hayden, Idaho; daughter, Shirley Young of Rathdrum, Idaho; grandchildren Valarie (Mike) Dunlap, Scott (Vicki) Luedtke, Danny (Bev) Luedtke, Kent (Brenda) Luedtke, Andrea (Pat) Malone, Erica (Brad) Bell, Erron Luedtke, Dale (Victoria) Young, Bill Young, Diane Young and Brian (Kelly) Young; 33 great-grandchildren; 15 great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends who loved her.
A wake began Feb. 23 at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius, where a rosary service was held Feb. 24. Wake closing will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Longhouse with Mass at 11 a.m. at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church.
A family private burial service will be held March 20 when Alma will be cremated and laid to rest with her mother at the St. lgnatius Catholic Cemetery. A celebration of her life will also be held that day at 1 p.m. at the Indian Senior Citizen Center in Ronan.