Stella Marie Hembree was born October 6, 1930, in Emmett, Idaho to Richard G. Bosteder and Lucy G. (Kreizenbeck) Bosteder. Stella was a life-long resident of Emmett until a debilitating stroke last February claimed her independence and led to her passing on November 28, 2019.
She attended school in Cascade, studied by oil lantern, and later moved to Emmett, graduating in 1948 as class valedictorian - a goal she set for herself in grade school. Penned “Stella by Starlight” in her senior yearbook, she held the position of Student Body President. When help was needed, both students and teachers would "Ask Stella" and Stella never failed them. With a $50 scholarship and her summer earnings, Stella enrolled at Boise Secretarial Center and was employed by the Idaho Statesman and Continental Life. Upon graduation, she worked for Intermountain Equipment Company, a subsidiary of Morrison Knudsen.
She married Leon R. Hembree on August 6, 1950. Together, they purchased acreage south of Emmett and operated an apple orchard. In addition to driving a tractor, canning, and baking countless pies, Stella worked for Emmett Truck & Implement as a bookkeeper until the birth of their son, David; daughter LeAnn, soon followed. Stella and Leon were active in the Emmett community, including VFW Post 4900, where both were District Commanders. During the Korean War, they served in the Ground Observer Corps. Using the WWII G.I. bill, Leon learned to fly at the Emmett airport. Stella recalls her one and only ride with him was in an open biplane – a disappointment to Leon because she didn’t flinch when he did a loop. Additionally, Stella was a life member of Beta Sigma Phi sorority and held many offices including President. She was honored to be selected SW Idaho Exemplar Queen in 1970. In 1971, she went to work for the U.S. Small Business Administration as a receptionist. A year later she was the Regional Outstanding Clerk and travelled to Washington D.C. to attend the National Awards. She loved her job and was promoted to loan officer and later became Chief of Financial Services. She retired from SBA in 1999.
Stella and Leon enjoyed 59 years of marriage until his passing in 2009. They had fond memories of trips to Mazatlán and San Felipe, Gem State Hudson Car Club meets, and building the family cabin near Donnelly. Stella is survived by her brother, Ronald Bosteder of Richland, WA; her son, David Hembree (MaryAnne) of Boise; her daughter, LeAnn Hembree of Boise; nieces and nephew: Terri and Karen Hembree, Rena and Rich Bosteder; and her four grandchildren: Mike Hembree, Marisa Hembree, Kaylen Carlton, and Connor Carlton. Family thanks the staff of Emerson House and Roberta with Idaho Home Hospice.
Graveside services will be Friday, December 6, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. at the Emmett Cemetery with a reception to follow at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 219 E. 1st St., Emmett. Services are under the direction of the Potter Funeral Chapel in Emmett.
Mom, thank you – you were the best and you never failed us - we grieve your passing but rejoice you are no longer in pain and are reunited with Dad dancing away in heaven.
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