Rosella Hovren

1932 – 2014
Rosella Hovren


It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our mother, Rosella Hovren, age 81, on March 30, 2014. Rosella was born in Pocatello, ID, on Oct. 7, 1932. She was the youngest daughter of Joseph and Catherine McQuillan; one of seven children. She always had a story to tell about growing up in Pocatello with many fond memories of shenanigans with all her brothers and sisters. While going to school, she worked as a soda jerk at a local drug store, as a maid at Sun Valley Resort and even secretly tried on Lucille Ball’s clothes while she was a guest. She was a cook at a dude ranch outside of Yellowstone Park and graduated from Idaho State University with a degree in home economics in 1952.

She began her career as a home demonstration agent in Orifino, and then began teaching home economics at Beaverhead County High School in Dillon. She retired from teaching to begin a family, adopting her daughter, Margy; two years later, she adopted her son, Andrew. She supported her children in all their activities, was a wonderful cook, famous for her chicken and noodles. She was often asked to judge local cooking contests and was a food judge at the Beaverhead County Fair for many years. She was director of the Dillon school lunch program. 

Rosella was very practical, enjoyed her family and friends, had a quick wit and wicked sense of humor. She approached every difficult situation with a common sense attitude. Mom loved to drive the country roads of Montana, often dropping in a line to catch beautiful brookie trout. She was a published photographer, most recently honored with having her work chosen for permanent display at Barrett Memorial Hospital. She was a talented artist and very accomplished quilter. Her family will cherish her quilts and needlework pieces, especially the very special handcrafted Santa Claus dolls she made for us each year. She had a beautiful eye for color, was curious about everything and cherished her friendships. In her later years, she lived with her cousin Kay on the family homestead in Ketchum, ID, eventually moving to be closer to her family in Coeur D’ Alene . There, she was able to enjoy time with Andrew, his wife, Tammy, and their children, Lonnie, Alexea and Madison. She loved spending time with Tammy’s parents, Dean and Nancy Gaudette, at their cabin on Lake Coeur d’ Alene.

She joined a local writing group and spent many wonderful hours with her new friends sharing their memoirs. She traveled to her native Ireland in 2004 with her daughter Margy and husband Steve. They were able to visit the ancestral home in County Antrim, and met and spent a wonderful day with her cousin Alastair. Mom was a rabid Red Sox fan her whole life. She was able to see three games live during Boston’s 2004 World Series winning season and for her 80th birthday celebration visited the Baseball Hall of Fame. She was excited to witness the Sox win two more championships. Rosella was a loyal friend, a loving mother and a storyteller extraordinaire. She leaves to cherish her memory: her daughter, Margy, and spouse, Steven Roberts; son Andrew, his spouse, Tammy, and their children Lonnie, Alexea and Madison; numerous nieces, nephews and their families from across the country; and many friends in Dillon and Idaho.

Per her request, there will be no funeral. Donations may be made in her memory to the Wounded Warrior Project. Although Mom embraced her role as the family matriarch, she missed all her sisters and brothers terribly. We have no doubt that they were waiting for her and are comforted knowing she is once again telling her stories, laughing the McQuillan laugh and enjoying the comfort of  being with her family. We love you, Mom, and will miss you every day. There will never be another Rosella.