In the early morning hours on March 15, 2014, the world lost a brilliant light when Evelyn “AB” Ceryce Dixey Tendore-Surdam was called home to Heaven after a 12-year battle with cancer.
Evelyn was born on Jan. 29, 1935 in Fort Hall, Idaho to Florence Pearl (Kate) Osborne-Butou and Edison Darrell Dixey, Sr.
Evelyn was the eldest of Edison and Kate’s five children; her siblings are Westlee Edison Dixey, Elva Rae Dixey, Ellen Louise Dixey-Ball and Wayne Wendell Dixey. Evelyn also had three half-sisters: Gwenevier (Gwen) Fisher, Audrey Dixey, Francisca Kaka and one half-brother: Edison Darrell Dixey, Jr.
Evelyn received her nickname from her little brother, Wes, because he could not pronounce her name and called her “AB”; a name which would follow her throughout her life.
Evelyn lived part of her young life in Fort Hall until the age of eight when she was taken away one winter and sent to the Stewart Indian Boarding School in Carson City, Nev. Her siblings soon followed when her mother and father were divorced and custody of Evelyn was awarded to her Genu’ R.W. Dixey. After leaving Stewart, Evelyn returned to Fort Hall.
In 1952, Evelyn gave birth to a son, Kim Mitchell, and he was adopted out.
In March of 1953, Evelyn married Alan Richard Tendore, Sr. and from their union, six children were born: Alan Richard (Winks), Jr., Debra Ann, Cass William, Richard Edison, Lisa Mae and LilliAnn.
In 1968, Evelyn married the love of her life, Donald Edward Surdam. In 1975, they welcomed their daughter, Margaret Beth.
Evelyn worked all of her life. She worked in potato processing and at American Linen and Steiner's as a seamstress. Evelyn also worked for many years with the Blackfoot School District in the following areas: teacher’s aide, home visitor, attendance, counselor and school liaison. She also worked as an alcohol and drug counselor for Sho-Ban School. She has served on several organizations with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. She served on the first Gaming Commission as chairman for four years; she served on the first election board as chairman, she served as a member of the Credit Board for six years. She served as a JOM (Johnson O’Malley Member), Title IV, Title I and Title IX. She also served for four years on the Idaho Assistive Technology Project and provided for her own travel costs to meetings for IATP in Boise or other designated areas.
Evelyn’s treasured position was working for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes as a senior counselor at Vocational Rehabilitation. She was called on to provide training in Seattle, Wash. for other Voc-Rehab programs. She received her training and certification in Seattle/Tacoma through western Washington where she received her vast medical knowledge on disabilities. She also received her Alcohol and Drug training and certification through ISU with the late Eric Johnson, who was her instructor and close friend. Her position at the time of her passing was serving as a member on the TERO Commission.
Evelyn loved to travel with her granddaughters, RoseMary, Shanae and Victoria, and also her great-granddaughter Dylayna “Mimi” March . They would go to Salt Lake City, Utah; Boise, Idaho; Ontario, Ore.; West Yellowstone, Wyo.; Jackpot, Nev. and Chimayo, New Mexico. Some trips had purpose, like visiting her late husband, Don’s, grave in New Plymouth, Idaho and some were just to get away from everything, like day trips to Jackpot or Salt Lake. Evelyn loved sitting home, watching her soaps and reading her “trash” magazines like National Enquirer.
In her younger days she loved camping, fishing and hunting. Evelyn loved to cook and bake for her family and was always trying to fatten everyone up. Anyone who came to “Grandma’s” had to eat.
The time she enjoyed most was with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved to spoil and tease her babies and sing their “Ninigus”, “Mama-GeeGee”, “Irish Jig”, and “Ladies in France” songs to them. She enjoyed beading, making cradle boards and crocheting and was always working on a blanket or board for some new baby. She was the rock of the family. Grandma/Mom always had an ear and an opinion. Grandma’s word was law. Grandma’s word will probably always be law.
Evelyn is survived by her aunts Fern Dixey and Ernestine Werelus; her uncle Carlino Broncho; her sisters Elva Dixey and Ellen Ball; her two half-sisters: Audrey Dixey and Francisca Kaka and one half-brother: Edison Darrell Dixey, Jr.; her close cousins Richard Dixey, Rudolph Menta, Teresa Appeney; her five children Alan “Winks” Tendore, Jr., Debra Ann Tendore, Lisa Mae Tindore-Tacúnan, LilliAnn Tindore-Wellington and Margaret Beth Surdam Gomez-Gonzalez Rojo-Alvarez along with the granddaughters she raised: Raven (Wilson)Waterhouse and RoseMary (Hal) Surdam. She is also survived by her other 20 grandchildren: Chasity, Evelyn (Jeremy), Cass, Michael, Thomas(Kimberly), Anthony, Victoria, Ramona, Travis, Ileana (Damon), Ethan, Elliot, Fawn(JR), Angelina, Lacey(Sergio), Joy, Dylan, Storm(Ana), Shanae and Maria; and 31 great-grandchildren: Taris, Si’Keyia, Sayveen, Talethyn, Kason, Benjamin, Valensia, George, Lennix, Dayton, Jalen, Teagan, Ayden, Ethan, Jr., Trenton, Jordan, Marrissa, Dylayna, Alexander, Sadie, Selena, Syliss, Sabrina, Azle, Kash, Daz, Lynnlie, Shone, Tylan, Maddylynn and Liam along with numerous uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews and other relatives throughout Utah, Nevada, California and Colorado and all of her Dixey, Osborne and Broncho families.
Evelyn was preceded in death by her one true love, Donald Edward Surdam; her parents Edison Darrell Dixey, Sr. and Florence “Kate” Osborne; her sons Kim Mitchell, Cass William Tindore, Richard Edison Tindore; her daughter-in-law- Jessica Navo; her sister-in-law Audrey Dixey; her brothers- Westlee Edison Dixey and Wayne Wendell Dixey; her beloved half-sister: Gwenevier (Gwen) Fisher; her cousins Vincent Ponzo and Althea Marsh, her beloved aunt Cecelia Osborne-Lavatta; grandparents R.W. Dixey, Daisy Broncho, Louise Overy and Thomas Osborne; one grandson Slade Friday Tindore; one great-granddaughter Keniliah Eldean Lou Morning Star Tindore; and one great-great granddaughter- Esmeii Lexis Quezada.
On Sunday, March 16, 2014, she was brought out to her home in Gibson on Diaz Lane. At 6:30 p.m., a rosary prayer service was held at Hawker Funeral Home at 132 S. Shilling Avenue in Blackfoot, Idaho with viewing services following immediately after.
A sunrise service will be conducted at her home on Monday, March 17, 2014. Funeral services will take place on Monday, March 17, 2014, at 1 p.m. at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, at 584 W. Sexton Street in Blackfoot, Idaho. Burial will take place at 2 p.m. at Gibson Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at: firstname.lastname@example.org .