Frank T. Bidwell, 100, died Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, at Bethel Lutheran Home in Madison.
Funeral services are at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Ellsworth Funeral Home in Madison with the Rev. Gene Kroger officiating. Visitation began at noon today with the family present at 7 p.m. today at Ellsworth Funeral Home.
Frank T. Bidwell was born June 27, 1912, to Frank B. and Evalina (Corliss) Bidwell on the family farm north of Ramona. He attended Madison Normal and Hart Schools through eighth grade and then farmed with his family north of Madison. Frank married Viola Sheldon on Dec. 7, 1939, at Pipestone, Minn.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army on March 26, 1944. After basic training at Camp Roberts, Calif., he was sent overseas to England, Scotland and France, where his unit joined up with the 3rd Army under Gen. George Patton. He fought in major battles including the “Battle of the Bulge.” Frank was with the 16th Armored Division in Czechoslovakia when the war ended. His military awards included the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, three battle stars, Combat Infantry Badge and numerous other ribbons and medals. He was honorably discharged 1946.
After the war, he worked for Wenk’s Produce more than 40 years as a delivery truck driver.
After he retired, he bought and raced a car at the Madison Speedway for a short time and then did light mechanical work for his neighbors. Frank entered Bethel Suites in 1997. He was a member of the VFW and DAV.
Survivors include two daughters, Carol (Ron) Martinson of Gillette, Wyo, and Connie DeYoung of Erie, Pa.; two sons, Kenneth (Lois) Bidwell of Stewartsville, Minn., and Donald Bidwell of Spearfish; 12 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; several great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Edith Kelly of Walnut Ridge, Ark.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years; four sisters and four brothers.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.ellsworthfh.com.