HEIDI PLOYHAR BARDWELL
Heidi Ployhar Bardwell, 49, of Missoula, Montana, passed away on Friday, October 13, 2023.
Heidi was born on February 4, 1974, in Missoula, Montana to Martin and Elaine Ployhar. She grew up on a ranch in the beautiful Potomac valley where she and her siblings were active members of the Potomac 4H club and would reportedly ride four wheelers from early in the morning until after the sun went down. As her sister Holly puts it, “we were living like kids would out in the country back in the 80’s and 90’s”.
She had her first daughter, Allyson, with partner Shad Stiner on December 2, 1993. She raised her similarly to how she herself was raised, out on the Ployhar ranch in Potomac, Montana. Sometime during these years Allyson took to affectionately calling Heidi “The Bear” and thus her famous nickname came to be.
She lived by the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” throughout her life and pursued a variety of jobs and hobbies—simply put, she was creative, crafty, and liked to “get shit done”. She enjoyed cooking and could whip things together out of almost nothing. She was a cookie perfectionist, keeper of the family pickle recipe, and enjoyed food fights.
Heidi met Jeffrey Bardwell through mutual friends and discovered soon after that he was the love of her life. Together they had her second daughter, Madison, on June 15, 2009.
On September 25, 2010, she married Jeffrey in Potomac, Montana at the Ployhar ranch. The couple and their youngest daughter continued living there happily until Jeffrey’s passing, at which point Heidi and her daughter Madison moved to Missoula.
Heidi always had a very direct way of speaking. Conversations that would normally be taboo were open in her house, very little was off limits, and often this made for emotional and sometimes cathartic, conversations.
In her later years, Heidi enjoyed playing Skip-Bo and was a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady”. Her daughters note that there were always fresh flowers, her smokes, wine and candy readily available on her kitchen table at all times.
She is survived by two daughters, Allyson and Marty Lund, and Madison Bardwell, along with one grandson, Martin Lund. She is also survived by 5 siblings: Jeff and Donna Ployhar, Floyd and Janette Ployhar, Greg and Tammy Ployhar, John Ployhar and Holly Ployhar, along with numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
She is preceded in death by her husband Jeffrey Bardwell, her parents Martin and Elaine Ployhar, her sister Margie (Mick) Truett, nephew Lou Ployhar and numerous others.
A service to honor her memory will be held on Saturday October 21 at 2:00 PM at the Ployhar ranch on Swanson Lane in Potomac. The service will include a funeral and graveside reception. Pallbearers will include Jeff Ployhar, Greg Ployhar, John Ployhar, Floyd Ployhar, Marty Lund and Hudson Lembke.