Cherry Blossoms

Bessie Maria (Arriaga) Pugmire

March 3, 1943 ~ May 14, 2022 (age 79)


Bessie Maria Pugmire, 79, of Meridian, ID passed away May 14, 2022 surrounded by her family.   She was the daughter of John and Lucy (Palmer) Arriaga and was born March 3, 1943 in Gooding, ID.

Bessie attended school in Gooding, ID. She was in high school when she met the love of her life, Darwin Pugmire from Hagerman. While attending her sophomore year at Idaho State University, they got married in 1963. After graduation they returned to Hagerman and Bessie had her hands full raising their children, Rance and Amy, and working for the family businesses, Cady Auto trucking and hardware store until 1976. During that time, she also did hair in the beauty shop, drove school bus and worked in a local egg farm. 

Bessie then returned to school to become an elementary school teacher. She taught various grades in Buhl, Gooding, Bliss, Halfway, OR, and continued when they moved to Boise in 1990.  After 30 years teaching, she retired from the Boise School District in 2006.  Bessie loved teaching, especially Idaho History.

Bessie loved her Basque heritage where she shared that passion by teaching Basque dancing with her granddaughters by her side.  She was fortunate to have visited the Basque country to learn about her family history and meet many of her aunts, uncles, and cousins who still lived in that region.

Nothing ever got in the way of Bessie’s devotion to her family.  She never missed a football, volleyball, basketball, track meet, rodeo, or softball event of her children’s.  She carried that same devotion attending nearly all of her grandchildren’s events.  Bessie loved to watch sports and attended many NCAA basketball games and New York Yankees baseball games.

Once retired, Bessie and Darwin began wintering in Tucson, AZ. They were avid fans of the University of Arizona Wildcats holding season tickets for men’s and women's basketball and softball.

They recently developed a love for pickleball which provided many hours of entertainment and a wonderful community with very special friendships she cherished.

Bessie is survived by her husband of 59 years, Darwin, and children Rance (Shelley) and Amy (Glen) and her grandchildren Mariah (Chase), Miranda (Dave), Jordyn and Conner.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Idaho Basque Center,601 W Grove St, Boise, ID 83702.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service - Gooding Chapel.

















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