Aneita Marie (Bales) DePue

Aneita Marie (Bales) DePueAneita Marie (Bales) DePue, 86, Bonners Ferry, passed away on November 25, 2023. Marie was born on May 28, 1937, to Mildred and Ralph Bales in Gridley, California. A family memorial service for Marie will be held at McArthur Cemetery in the spring.

Marie learned the value of hard work early on working on her family’s chicken ranch and ironing clothes for five cents each to help support her family. In 1955, she married Robert C. Koster. Marie and Robert moved to Sandpoint in the summer of 1969 and they divorced in 1976. She married Jerry DePue in 1981. They built their life together in the Naples area, Highland Flats, and later Bonners Ferry.

Her loss is felt deeply by many, even as she lived a full life.

God gifted Marie with extraordinary hands. They were precise, creative, hard-working hands. Marie’s hands created beautiful hairdos in the early 1960s as she was a owner and hairstylist at Sunrise Beauty Salon in Orangevale, California. She worked on the small family farm in Elmira raising rabbits, and cutting meat at Bargain Giant in Bonners Ferry.
Her love for gardening and flowers led her to creating beautiful dried flower arrangements she sold at craft fairs with her daughters and in her gift shop, The Country Goose, located inside Foster’s Crossing in Sandpoint. After approximately 20 years of ownership, her hands kept her busy running Highlands Flower Farm from her home in near Naples.

She spent many years creatively designing and caring for her gardens and home, adding a greenhouse (which 14 frogs inhabited) and landscaping, complete with water features dug by her husband, Jerry. A highlight of her life was being part of the Boundary County Garden Tour in 2008. It was no surprise to those around her that she became an Idaho Master Gardener during this time.

She continually served her family, friends, and community with her gardening wisdom.
Marie then began working in the greenhouse at Panhandle Special Needs Inc. She stayed there for many years before working closer to home at Moose Valley Farms. Marie finally formally retired, although never really stopping working. She had more energy than most of her grandchildren that lasted well into her 70s! All through these years, her hands kept up on her other hobby of sewing.

There are hundreds of her gnomes, pincushions, pillows, tablecloths, etc. scattered around North Idaho in the homes of her friends, family and fans. She also enjoyed baking beautiful pies, bird-watching and drinking her daily Starbucks latte. Marie was resourceful and would always travel with gloves and clippers, as she loved foraging for materials she could use in her crafts.

Marie was a true “influencer,” inspiring those around her with her ‘can do’ spirit. She was driven, resilient, and sharp as a tack. She was still sewing and creating up until the day she was admitted into the hospital and was unable to return home. Even with all her great accomplishments in life, her greatest was her family.

She was selfless, caring, and incredibly proud of each and every one of them. Marie was a teacher; a source of love, guidance and wisdom. She had a strong character, witty sense of humor, and tenacious attitude – never giving up until she accomplished her goals. As Marie grew older and her health declined, her hands may have been more tired and wrinkled and her skin paper-thin, but they were still as extraordinary as ever, holding and squeezing her loved ones hands until her last days.

Those hands were then held by our Heavenly Father as she was welcomed into Heaven.

Marie was preceded in death by her daughter Judith Marie Frasier and her husband Jerry DePue.

She is survived by her three children; Cheryl (Ron) Frederickson, Steven (Elizabeth) Koster and Terry (Clorissa) Koster, grandchildren Josh Riese, Shawn (Casey) Frederickson, Katie (Jeff) Kreis, David (Renee) Remming, Robbie (Torey) Frazer, Natalie Koster, Douglas (Britney) Koster and Madison and Samantha Koster, as well as numerous great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

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