Edwin Hale Bideau III passed away on Sept. 5, 2013, in Chanute. He was born in Chanute on Oct. 1, 1950, to Edwin H. Bideau Sr. and Beverly Semon Bideau, the grandson of Edwin H. Bideau and Marie Burris Bideau and Adam and Edna Fairbanks Semon, and the great-grandson of George K. and Jennie Bideau and Frank B. and Elizabeth Burris, all of Chanute. A fifth-generation Kansan, Ed’s family came to the Chanute area as early day pioneers and this family heritage was extremely important to him. He was raised in Chanute and, after graduating from Chanute High School and Neosho County Community College, attended Washburn University in Topeka, where he met his wife Margaret Fritton and received a business degree and then a law degree. He was the vice president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at Washburn.
The day after passing the bar exam, Ed and Margaret moved back to Chanute so he could serve as assistant Neosho County attorney and Margaret could start teaching first grade at Alcott School. In 1976 he was elected county attorney for Neosho County, a position he served in for eight years. In 1984, he was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives. He was the chair of the House Reappointment Committee and also chaired a subcommittee that produced the very first division of assets bill to help protect the elderly. He temporarily left the Legislature after two successful terms to spend more time with his family.
Over the next 25 years he and his brother David continued to build a successful law practice. He also continued to work for the community as a deacon and elder of the First Presbyterian Church, as an assistant scoutmaster, where he graduated four Eagle Scouts in the same year, and served on various boards such as the Eastern Kansas Oil and Gas Association. In 2012, he was again elected to the Kansas House of Representatives and served on several committees, including a return to the Judiciary Committee.
In addition to his public accomplishments, he quietly and privately helped countless people in his community, most notably children, persons with disabilities, and those serving in the military.
In addition to his business career, Ed had many hobbies and interests. There wasn’t a topic in the world he didn’t enjoy talking about. He was most actively engaged in farming and ranching life and thoroughly enjoyed teaching his family to shoot, fish, hunt and farm. His wife, children, or grandchildren almost always accompanied him in the truck on the way to the farm. He also had a deep love of music, including playing the guitar and banjo for the Tioga Township Dixieland Jazz Band, which he and his father co-founded to preserve the heritage of Dixieland jazz which raised thousands of dollars for local charities.
His family was always Ed’s first priority. The most important imprint that he leaves on this earth is reflected in those family members who survive him: his wife Margaret; son Scott Bideau, his wife Shelley and their children Ethan and Chloe; daughter Sarah Cott, her husband Kyle and their children Hannah and Carson; daughter Jennifer Bideau; Aunt Betty Bideau Crawford, and brothers David Bideau and Brian Bideau.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church in Chanute. Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Visitation will be today from 6 to 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Chanute.
Memorials in his name may be made to the Edwin H. Bideau Scholarship for the Children of Uganda.
Penwell-Gabel Johnson Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
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