Cover photo for Nedra Alexander Blackwell's Obituary

Nedra Alexander Blackwell

Nedra Alexander Blackwell

Nedra Alexander Blackwell, 93, of Boise died October 9, 2021 at Mountain View Crossing Memory Care home after undergoing surgery on her neck the previous week. Born November 24, 1927 to Carrie E. and William W. Alexander, Nedra was the youngest and last survivor of six siblings. She grew up and lived most of her life in Boise, a city she loved. She attended Whitney grade school, Boise Junior High, Boise high school and Boise State University. After graduating high school in 1945, Nedra worked full time while taking night courses in stenography and clerical work. She entered government service in 1949 as a Clerk-Stenographer with the United States Air Force, first in Mountain Home AFB, then Travis AFB, CA. and from there to Wiesbaden, Germany where she met a young first lieutenant named Robert E Blackwell whom she married in June 1954. After returning to the U.S., Nedra gave birth to their daughter Mary and the couple settled down in New Orleans. The marriage did not last, but Nedra had the strength and determination to return to Boise with her baby, resume her career, and provide a happy, healthy home for both her daughter and elderly mother. She worked as an accounting clerk for the U.S. Army for two years before beginning her exceedingly long, successful career with the United States Bureau of Reclamation in 1957.  She was promoted rapidly and repeatedly throughout the next couple decades, earning countless honors, awards and Certificates of Recognition while continuing to further her education and training as an accountant and manager. She completed all the required courses at BSU and attained professional status in 1974 as a fully qualified accountant.

When the Teton damn disaster occurred a year later in June 1976, Nedra was selected for special assignment to the Teton Damn Emergency co-ordination team, as their chief Finance and Certifying officer. This meant leaving the comfort of her home to move into a disaster area and work long hours into the night to process unprecedented claims by the flood victims. In 1980 Nedra received a promotion to Regional Finance Officer of the entire Pacific Northwest and was the recognized expert on all matters pertaining to financial management. In 1982 she received the Department of Interior’s Meritorious Service award in recognition of her significant achievements and contributions to the Bureau of Reclamation. She retired in 1983 after 26 years with the Department, and a total of 34 years of service in the U.S. government. Yet retirement didn’t slow her down. In 1984 she was called on by the Bureau to work as an Independent Contractor/Accounting Consultant for the American Samoan government in Pago Pago, where she enjoyed one of the most enriching experiences of her life After completing her contract in Samoa, Nedra was assigned to the Bureau of Reclamation’s Division of Finance in Denver, where she stayed with her good friend Florence and worked as a Consultant and Project supervisor during the remainder of the 1980’s.  In 1990 she received a Letter of highest Commendation for exemplary performance. As anyone who’s had the pleasure of working with her would say, “Nedra is one of our finest”.

The role Nedra cherished most in life was being a loving and devoted mom to her daughter Mary, whom she considered first and uppermost in her life. A lifelong Democrat and Boise State football fan, Nedra was an avid reader who enjoyed swimming, fine dining, a good martini and quality time with friends and loved ones. As one of “America’s Greatest Generation”, she embodied that spirit of hard work, loyalty and dependability, and her willingness to help anyone in need made her a rock among family and friends. Those who knew her best describe her as straightforward, no-nonsense, funny, generous, and an A1 first class one of a kind. Nedra was deeply loved and appreciated by all her family and we will miss the happiness she brought, the sound of her laughter, and the wonderful gift of common sense she shared with us.  Her’s was, in every respect, a life well lived.

Nedra was preceded in death by her brothers Harry, Bob, and Jim Alexander of Boise; her two sisters Marguerite Dalton and Louise Trautman, both from Boise; and 11 nieces and nephews.  She is survived by her daughter, Mary Blackwell Lee of Boise and three generations of nieces and nephews whom she dearly loved.  Special thanks to the staff of Mountain View Crossing and Harrison’s Hope hospice for the compassionate care they provided.

Cremation is under the direction of Alden Waggoner Funeral Home.  At Nedra’s request there will be no services. Memorials may be made in Nedra’s honor to The Idaho Humane Society, Simply Cats Adoption Center, or Harrison’s Hope Hospice.

To my beloved mom!

If I could count all the times

I have forgotten to say thank you

Or how often I wanted to say

I love you and didn't

I'd be counting for

the rest of my life

You've given me the world

Even when it meant a

sacrifice for you

I've discovered it

on my own in my own way

Yet you were always there to turn to

My life is happy because of you

Thank you and

I Love You.

Always, Your daughter Mary

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