In the early morning hours of Monday May 13th, our beloved mother was raised up by our heavenly father to be with her creator and savior after a beautiful and peaceful Mother’s Day and a courageous battle with cancer. And that she was, a warrior of faith, love and perseverance for family friends and her community. B.J. (Berna Jo) Menge Fiedler Allen was born in Glasgow, MT on August 27th, 1944 to Bernard J. “Pat” and Pansy Menge of Saco, MT. She is the devoted sister to Darrell (Loretta) Menge of Saco, Gregg (Sue) Menge of Lewistown and Kirk (Kelly) Menge of Billings. BJ is a loving and dedicated mother to her children Rachael (Lindy) Haynes of Red Lodge, Kristin (Paul) McColly of Hinsdale, and Clint (Anna) Allen of Ankeny, IA. Her grandchildren, Ethan and Aidan Haynes, John, Kaitlyn, CharLee and BaiLee McColly and Caleb and Addison Allen will remember her devotion and love!
Berna Jo Menge, or BJ as she was most affectionately known by, was named after her father, something she would occasionally refer to with her mother. Overheard one evening sometime in the late 80s after mom got off the phone spelling her name a few times to someone who must have been a bit hard of hearing possibly, “So mom …why does the only daughter get named after a man and go by BJ and THREE boys get simple names like Gregg or Kirk??” “Well gee honey, maybe I should have stuck with flower names like Rose or Iris. At least I didn’t name you Bachelor Button!” replied her mother Pansy.
BJ attended Beaverton School Elementary and graduated from Saco High School in 1962. She grew up on a working farm just outside town here in Saco with 3 brothers who taught her many valuable life lessons which she would pass along to her children. Be respectful, gracious, kind and grateful. Remember, how fortunate you are because she had to feed the chickens, gather the eggs, get fresh water from the well to wash up in, make breakfast and wash the dishes every morning before having to walk 5 miles to school uphill both ways in a blizzard every day!
After graduating high school, she went to nursing school and earned her associates of nursing degree from Montana State College of Bozeman in 1964. The commencement exercises were held at Warm Springs State Hospital. After passing her boards, she moved to Washington DC where she worked as a registered nurse and met many new fun entertaining and interesting friends, Mary Ann Cohen and Susie Waksman. Together, the three musketeers camped, backpacked across Europe, and remain good friends.
One special and interesting friend was Theodore Raymond (Teddy Ray) Fiedler who would later become her husband. At that time, he was stationed at Fort Eustis, VA. After Ted’s release from the Army in 1970, they married and moved to Canyon City, CO where they managed a small airport and organized air shows. After Teds death in 1974, B.J. loaded up their daughter, Rachael, and began down the path to her next chapter. They moved to Denver, CO where she dusted off her nursing degree and went to work.
After working a few years in Denver, she was introduced to C.K. Allen who she married in 1976 in Maysville, MO. They bought a little farm in Kansas City, MO and added two kids, Kristin and Clint to the family. Her love of nursing and serving others continued. The family later moved to Savannah, MO where she worked at the St. Joseph Hospital, raised three children, and helped with the many nuances of the farm.
In 1984, B. J. moved back to Saco, MT and began working in Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow, MT. She worked night shift there and enjoyed nighttime microwave cooking and staff antics. She attended to her patients with the utmost care and respect only the best nurses possess. Five years later, she took her skills to The Good Samaritan Retirement Home in Malta, MT where she continued her service to others. She was the director of nurses for a number of years before her retirement. The care and love she gave her residents, patients, nurses, and neighbors was full of patience and compassion and genuinely putting others first. Traits she would instill not only in her own children, but to anyone who would walk through her doors be it at home or work. If you spent time with her, you knew immediately you were in the presence of a real friend, sister, wife, aunt, cousin, confidant, teacher, protector… mother. Whenever she was around, there was a peace and a calm that would surround her and envelope you. (Her children MIGHT have tested those skills once or maybe twice, and have proven them).
BJ was a valuable asset to her community, she served on the Saco school board, ran home health care for anyone in need, and would drop everything if you came to her need. She was the first one to call in an emergency – usually before an ambulance even. Her home was a place of healing, safety, and compassion to those who needed it. And if you couldn’t go to her, she would come to you.
Throughout her entire life the only thing larger than her kindness and compassion was the always strong, never wavering love for her Savior, her Father and King, Jesus Christ. If you had a problem, she would have the right words and the right scripture! We, as her family – and her community – won’t be the same, without her physical presence. But, her spiritual presence will always be felt by those fortunate enough to have known her.
Berna Jo, this beautiful child of God, was preceded in death by her father Bernard Menge, her first husband Ted Fiedler, her mother Pansy Menge, her niece Jody Menge, and her grandson Cohen Haynes. All of whom, she is celebrating with again today and reveling in the joy of eternal life… so be joyful unto the Lord, be joyful in life and be joyful today and always!
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in the Saco High School Gymnasium, with Howard Pippin officiating. There will be a reception following the service at the Saco IOOF Hall. Bell Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements and condolences may be left at bellmortuarymontana.com.
Memorials in BJ’s honor may be sent to https://www.ethanlindberg.com/donate or https://www.gohomefoundation.org/ or a charity of your choice.