Montana Democrats' Statement on the Passing of Sue Bartlett

It’s with deep sadness that we announce the loss of our dear friend Sue Bartlett, who passed away in the early morning hours on September 11.

Pioneering feminist, dedicated public servant and fierce Democrat, Sue was an inspiration and role model not only for a generation of women committed to gender equality, but for all who believe in – and are willing to fight for – the ideals and goals of the progressive movement.

Sue was born in Billings in 1947 and attended local public schools. After receiving her degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Sue returned to Montana where she worked several state jobs in Helena, including serving as Chief of the Women’s Bureau at the Montana Department of Labor.  

In 1982, Sue was elected Lewis & Clark County Clerk and Recorder, where she modernized a woefully antiquated office, including making access to voting easier for all county citizens.  Protecting the constitutional right to vote was her greatest priority.  She served two terms.

In 1992, Sue was elected to the Montana State Senate from Helena. During her 8 years in the Senate, she continued to be an unwavering supporter of gender equality and reproductive freedom, but also championed issues vital to poor and working class Montanans.

Sue Bartlett is survived by her husband, retired labor leader Gene Fenderson of Helena, and her brother Don Bartlett of Billings.

Thank you Sue, for a lifetime dedicated to fighting for what’s right.  All members of the Montana Democratic family will miss you.  And we will remember.

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