Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service

Andrea (Andi) Bennett

May 15, 1970 ~ October 25, 2018

Andrea (Andi) Luzann Bennett

Our dear, sweet Andi departed this world peacefully on October 25, 2018, leaving all who knew and loved her with great sadness yet immeasurable gratitude for the richness she brought to our lives.

Andi was born May 15, 1970, in Bozeman, MT, to Marshall B. and Carmen Luzann (Sam) Bennett.  She joined her sister, Julie, 2 years older, to make the family complete.  Andi was a proud 4th generation Montana girl who grew up loving horses, camping, skiing, fishing, gymnastics, swimming in the Fire Hole in Yellowstone National Park and floating the Madison River.  She loved fashion from a young age and worked in a variety of stores during high school.  The Roundhouse Ski & Sports Center was her first foray and the beginning of her long and successful career in retail.  After graduating from Bozeman Senior High School, she ventured off to the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN, where she obtained degrees in International Business and Economics and Textiles and Clothing.  

Upon graduation from college she went to Vail, CO, intending to take a year off to ski and recreate.  She responded to an ad in the local newspaper for someone to manage a small boutique in a hotel in Vail.  She was hired and successfully managed the store.  The family who owned the boutique was so pleased with Andi’s performance that they invited her to come to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to work in their jewelry business.  This started her love of travel, particularly in 3rd world countries, and gave her direction and inspiration for her future work.

In 1993, two years out of college and in partnership with her father, Andi founded the Meridian Boutique.  It was one of her life’s great achievements.  Following her vision to provide uncompromising fashion and style for women, she believed the “Art of Dress” directly impacted self-perception.  At Meridian, she built an intimate and personal buying experience and a business in downtown Bozeman that has thrived for 25 years.  She dressed many women for special occasions as well as everyday attire and felt it was a privilege to provide a premier source of fashion through Meridian.  

In 1999 Andi was honored with the Small Business Administration’s award as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year (under age 30) for a six state region.  She and her family were extremely proud of her achievement.  Andi was exceedingly grateful to her employees, customers and friends who supported her throughout her career.  

The world called to Andi and she loved to explore and travel.  She visited over 30 countries and had amazing experiences in places such as Nepal, venturing to basecamp at Mt. Everest, and Tanzania, successfully summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro.   She took great inspiration in her life from the people she met and places she experienced and the kindness of others she witnessed around the world.  Asia entranced her, and she loved it best, venturing to sacred places, temples and museums in Thailand, Mongolia, Myanmar, Bhutan, India, Vietnam and Cambodia.  Her travels in Asia introduced her to Eastern religions and philosophies.  She took an interest in a variety of world religions, particularly Buddhism, and found the Buddhist teachings to be insightful.  She gained inspiration for fashion ideas as she traveled, always observing how she could weave themes from around the world into Meridian.  Andi developed a passion for photography.  She was a budding amateur photographer with a keen desire to hone her skills by capturing the people and places in which she traveled.  

Andi’s kindness and compassion and her desire to inspire others led her to support endeavors such as the IQRA Fund, a non-profit based in Bozeman focused on providing educational opportunities for girls and women in remote regions of Pakistan.  She was proud to have been a founding board member of IQRA.  She served for several years on the committee for the Eagle Mount Ball and believed in the services provided to the Bozeman community by HAVEN and the Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter.

Andi is survived by her loving parents, Marshall and Luzann Bennett; her sister, Julie Bennett and her husband Rich Deming and their children, Trent and Nicole Harvey and Rob and Laura Deming.  Having no children of her own, Andi treasured Trent and Nicole and built special relationships with each of them.  Andi was preceded in death by her dear pets, Chloe and MiuMiu, whom she cherished and who loved her endlessly.  

In addition to her family, Andi had an amazing group of precious friends both near and far.  These friends enriched and loved her and provided immense satisfaction and companionship in her life.  Andi’s friends, family, employees and customers will miss her eternally.  She enriched our lives with her grace, humor and love.

A celebration of Andi’s life will be held on Monday, November 26, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at The Commons, 1794 Baxter Lane East, Bozeman, MT.  The service will be webcast live for those who cannot attend in person and available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNHKmcBrkfs.  

In honor of Andi, donations in her name can be made to the following:

• IQRA Fund, 317 W Lamme St, Bozeman, MT 59715;  www.iqrafund.org

• Eagle Mount, 6901 Goldenstein Ln, Bozeman, MT 59715;  www.eaglemount.org

• HAVEN, P.O. Box 752, Bozeman, MT 59771;  havenmt.org

• Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, 1549 E Cameron Bridge Rd, Bozeman, MT 59718;  heartofthevalleyshelter.org

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.  www.dokkennelson.com