Edwin Hale Bideau III, 1950 – 2013, passed away on September 5, 2013 in Chanute, Kansas. He was born in Chanute, Kansas on October 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 1st grade at Alcott School. In 1976 he was elected as County Attorney for Neosho County, a position he served in for 8 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, after receiving an overwhelming number of support letters sent to local newspapers, he was again elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in a landslide victory. He 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, Carson, and Hudson; daughter Jennifer Sidler and her husband Eric; aunt Betty Bideau Crawford; and brothers David Bideau and Brian Bideau.
After a week of flags across Kansas flying at half staff, funeral services were held on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church in Chanute, Kansas with burial in Memorial Park Cemetery.
The Edwin H. Bideau III Memorial Fund later raised over $10,000 for the children of Elyon Primary school in Uganda.