Our world became smaller when Mollee Lou Fowler Hecht, 94, beloved mother, grandmother, aunt and special friend, died April 30, 2020, in Boise, Idaho.
A vibrant and prolific writer of thousands of letters since her early teens, she embraced life fully. She was a lover of books, reading, gardening and the outdoors. Her kitchen was always open: “Mama Mollee’s Right-on Beanery.”
In 1965, Mollee and family moved to Ketchum, Idaho. She worked such jobs as available in a small resort town with seasonal employment; she was one of the first two waitresses at the “new” Pioneer Saloon. In 1967, she was recruited to manage the Ex Libris Bookstore on the Sun Valley Mall, a life-changing opportunity. In 1971, she opened Mollee’s Bookery in Ketchum, which became a cultural oasis for a broad swath of the community. The second-floor loft was given entirely to children’s books. When her children became of age, and following a summer working at Glacier Bay, Alaska with her best friend Ellie Lister, she sold the store in 1976 and went seeking more adventure.
Mollee died from the final complications of an inoperable illness that struck in late De-cember, 2018. This was described by her primary physician as an “impossible” medical situation, and the strong-willed dame fought it for 16 months until she was finally overcome.
Mollee was a competitive runner into her 70s, as well as a downhill and cross-country skier. She was an avid hiker, and ascended Mount Borah, Idaho’s highest peak, at the age of 52. Her athletic career was ultimately curtailed by well-worn knees.
Mollee’s children include Doran and Chris Key (Ketchum), Justine Hecht LeGrue (Boise), Gretchen Hecht and Robert Friedman (Boise), James Christopher Hecht and Cheyanna Whittier (Sandpoint) and John C. Hecht III (of Boise). She was a second mother to Evan Lister Stelma (Bellevue) and many others.
Mollee moved to Boise 16 years ago, to be near three of her children and still not so far from the other two. A certified “master gardener,” she remained physically active, filling her yard (and Justine’s next door) with flowers, bushes, trees and vegetables. Until her illness, she walked at least a mile a day, weather allowing. This past summer, with no more garden space to fill, she watched the seasonal blooming of the flowers and trees from her “backyard living room,” and this year was able to welcome the blossoms of spring.
Her life was celebrated on her 90th birthday on a steaming-hot day in Boise’s Memorial Park. She was interred in a family plot at the historic Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise. A celebration of life will be held at a later date to be determined later. A tribute page with an extended obituary is at relyeafuneralchapel.com/tributes/Mollee-Hecht. Donations in her memory would be welcomed by CABI, the Idaho Food Bank (Boise), the Interfaith Sanctuary (Boise) and the West Valley Humane Society (Caldwell, Idaho).