The close-knit community of Yellowstone National Park’s staff suffered an emotional blow this week after public affairs specialist Amy Black Bartlett died on Sunday, only days after giving birth to her third child.
“She was one of those people who touched so many people who protect and serve Yellowstone,” said Al Nash, her former colleague in the public affairs office. “She was truly an engaged and caring person.”
Bartlett, 41, had been employed in Yellowstone for 15 years, starting out as a location manager for a concessioner in Mammoth Hot Springs before signing on with the Park Service where she worked a variety of jobs ranging from biological science technician, park ranger, dispatcher and law enforcement ranger. She met her husband, Jerry — who is also employed by the Park Service — while working in the dispatch center.
In 2012, Bartlett was hired as a public affairs assistant where she often interacted with local, national and international reporters as they contacted her for more information on Yellowstone’s widespread topics — everything from tourists gored by bison to the always-circulating theories that the Yellowstone supervolcano was about to erupt.
Bartlett had recently taken a leave of absence because of her pregnancy. She gave birth to a healthy girl, her third child, last week. Bartlett had returned to her Corwin Springs-area home when she suffered a medical emergency early Sunday morning. An ambulance crew and advanced life support providers from the park responded to the emergency.
The Gallatin County Coroner’s Office has not released a cause of death. A spokesman said the medical examiners were still working on the case, which is a “very complicated medical issue.”
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“Because she had such a breadth of experience, that coupled with her youth, really struck us so hard with her passing,” Nash said.
The park is making grief counselors available to its staff.
“I know you all join me in sending our sincerest condolences to Jerry and the entire Bartlett family,” park Superintendent Dan Wenk wrote in an email. “Over the coming days, weeks, and months, I have no doubt that this community will come together to offer support for Jerry and his children.”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Bartlett on Friday at 6 p.m. at The Chapel at Mammoth Hot Springs. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Gardiner High School Gym. Arrangements are being made by Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory in Livingston.
Donations to the family may be made online at GoFundMe. There has also been a Bartlett family fund set up at First Interstate Bank. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 810, Gardiner, MT 59030 or dropped off at the bank. For more information phone 406-848-7474.