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Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Stockings named Pioneer Days grand marshals

Traditional Carey event is this weekend

Express Staff Writer

They say blood is thicker than water. However, for the Stocking family in Carey the two substances run in equal measure. To help celebrate that fact, Lois, 72, and Boyd Stocking, 74, have been chosen as Pioneer Days grand marshals for this year’s parade on Saturday.

Lois was born in the hospital building in Carey. Boyd came from Burley, but the couple met at the Carey School, where they both graduated.

Class reunions typically run in conjunction with Pioneer Days, but this is not one of the major reunion years. Still, for the Stockings, with six children, 32 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren, every year is a reunion year.

"They camp out in the backyard," Boyd said. "I have a big yard."

About 14 Stocking grandchildren attended the Carey community picnic July 6. A number will come for Pioneer Days, but some live too far away to make the trip this year.

"When you get that many you get a pretty good scatter," Boyd said.

Boyd become the Little Wood Irrigation District water master in 1966. That’s when the importance of water entered the couple’s lives.

Midway through his 20-year career as water master, Stocking had his most challenging year with the district.

"In 1977 it was real tight," said Boyd, whose job it was to inform people about a limited water supply. "The reservoir didn’t fill. We left a lot of ground idle."

The Pioneer Days celebration is as much about celebrating family and community as it is about celebrating the legacy of Brigham Young. The followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who came West with Young to present day Utah, reached the Great Salt Lake area on July 24, 1847.

Lois is the youngest of her siblings. And her parents moved to Carey in 1919.

The Stockings haven’t moved far from their roots, having celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on the Fourth of July at their home near the intersection of Highway 73 and the Little Wood Reservoir Road this year.

"She married me to travel but she didn’t get to," Boyd said.

"We’ve been to Arizona a little to visit his mother," Lois said.

Lois has fond memories of serving the construction crew that paved the road over to the Wood River Valley at the intersection called Sun Valley Junction. Her granddaughter, Tammy Castle, who is also one of the Pioneer Days organizers, is in the process of building a new Sinclair car wash and service station at the same intersection.

The Stockings were in the milk business from 1949—when they got married—until 1986 raising Holstein cows.

Boyd is still within earshot of the Little Wood Reservoir, where he still manages the hydroelectric plant, an income stream for the Little Wood Irrigation District. The power is sold back to the Idaho Power grid.

Lois worked for 11 years at the Carey post office when Yolande Bennett was post mistress.

"I thought it was 11 years. She told me it was eight," Lois said.

Actually between them the Stockings have worked just about everywhere there is to work in Carey. Boyd worked at Adamson’s service station in the mid-1950s and volunteered as a 4-H leader for 11 years.

At the family home Lois makes quilts and sells them, said Castle. When the children went out to milk the cows, Lois would already be up doing chores, she said.

"She’s always been a hard worker," Castle said. "When I was young she would teach us to paint or tin punch." The arts have been more than an avocation for Lois. She used to teach art at the College of Southern Idaho, too.

Boyd worked on the renovation of the Barber dam out side of Boise for a year in 1990. The couple lived in the city.

"At that time Boise was really peaceful," Lois said. "I really liked it."

So, Lois did get to travel, after all, living with Boyd.

Boyd is also the longest serving member of the Carey Water and Sewer Board.

"I am also the oldest," he said.

Boyd said he is concerned about city water and the impact of water demand on city water supplies and on the Snake River Aquifer due to development growth. The city is currently trying to establish a second well, which is required by DEQ, Boyd said.

"We’re working on staying ahead of growth," Boyd said.

He added that pressure for water is beginning to become an important problem for the community to solve.

"Water’s going to help control growth," he said. "The water board used to meet once every other month for 30 minutes. Recently, a meeting lasted three and a half hours and that’s becoming the norm."

Focusing on family and community needs has always been a priority for the Stockings, and in Carey sometimes they are one in the same. The couple said that family members stop by to visit on a regular basis.

"Usually when we need something," Castle said.


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