basque heritage worldwide

In memory of

Julio (Bicandi) Bilbao

Julio (Bicandi) Bilbao
Julio Benardo (Bicandi) Bilbao (December 26, 1943 ~ January 26, 2022)

01/26/2022 - Boise, Idaho, USA

Julio Benardo Bilbao, of Boise, Idaho, peacefully passed away on January 26, 2022, due to complications related to Parkinson’s Disease at 78 years of age.  His wife and three daughters were at his side, and he was surrounded by the thoughts and prayers of many loved ones from across the US and in the Basque Country.

Julio was born in Emmett, Idaho, on December 26, 1943, to Frank Bilbao and Frances Bicandi.  Along with his older sister Dolores and younger brother Frankie, Julio grew up in Cascade, Idaho, where their parents owned and ran a boarding house and bar (The Emory Hotel and The Valley Club).  His family taught him a tremendous work ethic and the importance of helping those in need and contributing to his community.  These were values that he lived fully until the day he died.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in History from Carroll College (Helena, Montana), a master’s degree in School Counseling from Idaho State University, and a PhD in Education Administration from the University of Idaho, Julio dedicated his career to nurturing educational excellence within the Boise Public Schools.  He started off teaching world history at South Junior High, in addition to mentoring the Junior Varsity Quiz Team and coaching football, basketball, track and field.  He eventually became vice-principal at South Junior High, academic vice-principal at Boise High, and principal for Hillside and Les Bois Junior High Schools.  In 1998, Julio was named Idaho Middle School Principal of the Year.

Several decades prior while attending Idaho State, Julio met his future bride and beloved wife of over 50 years, Julie Ann Egurrola.  As a team, they lovingly raised three daughters, Josephine, Anita, and Amaya.  In addition to teaching, coaching, and refereeing, Julio supported his family as a Smoke Jumper for the US Forest Service.  He helped fight 113 fires in five western states over the course of 13 summers and made many lifelong friends in the process.  Julio also spent many years representing his mother’s family by working with the Bicandi Aldecoa Family Estate.

Proud of his Basque heritage, Julio was a leader in developing the first Basque Studies Program in Boise and in organizing the 1972 Holiday Basque Festival, a pre-curser to today’s Jaialdi.  Julio was a strategic and dedicated Mus (Basque card game) player and spent countless Sunday nights at the Basque Center participating in tournaments.  Also a tremendous athlete, Julio was named Outstanding Running Back and Most Valuable Player and was recognized with the Bishop Hunthausen Outstanding Boxer Award while attending Carroll College.  Golf was one of his favorite past times, and he cherished his time on the links with friends.  Julio also enjoyed spending leisure time in his vegetable garden, where he especially took great pride in his rows of beautiful green peppers.  Above all, Julio was happiest tending to the Bilbao family ranch in Cascade.  Julio’s ideal day was spent mending fence and maintaining irrigation ditches.

Julio brought his best to every undertaking in his life, no matter how big or small.  He unflinchingly met life’s challenges, including Parkinson’s, and took pride in a job well-done. Julio spoke from his convictions and values and was impeccable in his word.  He taught his children to be respectful and kind to all, that family and community are blessings, and to contribute to making the world a better place.

Remaining to cherish Julio’s memory are his wife, Julie Egurrola Bilbao; children, Josephine Bilbao Bourke (John Henry), Anita Bilbao, and Amaya Bilbao Cromwell (Travis); grandchildren, Kenzie Cromwell, Julio Bourke and Finn Cromwell; siblings, Dolores Seielstad (George) and Frank Bilbao (Nancy); sister-in-law, Louise Egurrola Lizaso (Pete, deceased); aunt, Colleen Bicandi (Gene, deceased); nieces and nephews, Andrea Seielstad, Carl Seielstad (Cathy), Mark Seielstad, Tony Bilbao, Dan Bilbao (Hannah), Tony Lizaso (Kitty), Dan Lizaso, Carmen Boeger (Don, deceased), and Marie Lizaso (Steve); cousins, Rae Nicolona, Theresa Burkhart (Bill), Geno Anderson, Julie Driscoll, Debbie Benevides (Joe), Mitch Bicandi (Debbie), Michael Bicandi (Jane); and countless other beloved family and friends.

The family would like to thank the incredible staff at The Terraces of Boise and its Grove Memory Care for their professionalism, kindness, and compassion.

A Catholic Rosary Prayer Service will be held Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 7:30 p.m., followed by a Funeral Mass on Monday, February 7, 2022, at 11:00 a.m.  Both services will be held at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 1500 E Wright St, Boise, ID 83706.

Services will also be live streamed at: Please go to the Web Home Page of Our Lady of the Rosary and there will be a box set up for both the rosary and mass services. Type

Arrangements are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel.

A video montage of Julio’s life can be viewed and online condolences shared at:

In lieu of flowers, donations in Julio’s memory may be directed to the following organizations or charitable cause of your choice:

-Brian Grant Foundation for People with Parkinson’s Living Inspired Lives
-The Alzar School (purchased the Frank and Frances Bilbao family ranch) Valley County Young Leader Scholarship
-The Basque Museum and Cultural Center

(published on Nampa Funeral Home)

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