Friday, January 3, 2014

Remembering friends we lost in 2013

    Editor’s note: Idaho lost two of its most upstanding citizens with the passing of 92-year-old philanthropist/arts supporter Velma Morrison and 90-year-old Bethine Church in the past year. Boise’s Morrison Center for the Performing Arts will mark its 30th anniversary in 2014. Church’s strong beliefs in conservation, echoing those of her husband, the late four-term Idaho Sen. Frank Church, will resound over wilderness debates in years to come.  Similarly, the legacies of our community’s movers, shakers and neighbors who passed away in 2013 will provide support as we move forward without them. The following are some of those people we’ve lost. For a complete list of people whose obituaries have appeared in the Express since last January, check today’s Express website.

“The magnetism of trail life in the North is made up of many things. It is the crack of a spruce tree splitting in the frigid temperatures. It is the flickering of candlelight that cheerily illuminates a canvas shelter. It is the startling flutter of wings when a flock of ptarmigan rise from an approaching dog team. It is the silent dance of the multicolored aurora as it flits across the skies. It is the physical exhilaration of meeting each day’s challenge and mastering it….It is the sight of a band of caribou wandering spectrelike in the morning mists. It is the camaraderie of men helping one another to achieve a common goal. It is the refreshing freedom of the trail.”….from “The Lost Patrol,” by Dick North, 1978.

Earl Holding, 86. After buying Sun Valley Resort in 1977, Holding spent the next 36 years remaking it into a first-class establishment. He died on April 19. “We wouldn’t have the Sun Valley Resort we have today, this world-class facility, if it weren’t for Earl Holding’s vision and all of the energy that he put into the resort,” said Sun Valley Marketing Alliance President Arlene Schieven. Holding twice renovated the Sun Valley Lodge, the resort’s flagship hotel built in the 1930s, and built four of North America’s most acclaimed ski-mountain day lodges. He built the lavish Sun Valley Pavilion, an outdoor concert facility draped in 750 tons of Italian travertine mined from the same quarry used to build the Coliseum in Rome. Holding invested large sums in modernizing the skiing facilities on Bald and Dollar mountains, including construction of one of the world’s premier snowmaking systems, and he installed a gondola and eight high-speed quad chairlifts. “The investments Earl Holding made in the mountain created a superlative experience at Sun Valley that just wasn’t there before,” said former Ketchum Mayor Jerry Seiffert. In recent years, Holding helped provide financial guarantees to Seattle-based Horizon Air to bring direct flights to the Wood River Valley from the West Coast. Former Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall said he met Holding at 18 while working as a bellman at the Sun Valley Lodge. “I had the great pleasure of getting to pick him up several times at the airport,” Hall said. “I found him to be an honest and sincere person who truly cared about all the people who worked for him.”


George Gund III, 75. Ice hockey players can be a crusty bunch, yet they professed a genuine love for the man they simply called “George” after he died Jan. 15. Cleveland native Gund was a lifetime hockey enthusiast, film lover, cowboy, fisherman, gardener, avid art collector and philanthropist. Full of curiosity, he had an adventurous and restless spirit. He loved to travel and was rarely in one time zone or place for more than a couple of days. Part of a distinguished family known for its wide-ranging philanthropy, Gund was a trustee of the George Gund Foundation, a Cleveland-based organization created by his father in 1952. Although he was a National Hockey League team owner, Gund felt at home on the ice at Sun Valley. He was instrumental in building the indoor rink in Sun Valley and starting senior, junior and women’s ice hockey programs here.


Dick North, 84. The New Jersey native suffered a case of wanderlust in his post-war newspaper career and ended up in Alaska, where he spent a lifetime following in the footsteps of the great writer Jack London. The Yukon inspired North’s writing career, just as it inspired London. North searched for, authenticated and salvaged London’s remote cabin and became such a contributor to literature of the Great North that he earned the Order of Canada in 2007. He became the curator of the Jack London Museum in Dawson City, but he also loved central Idaho, and lived for many years in Mackay. North frequently visited Sun Valley, skated noontime hockey at the rink and enjoyed Suns games. He died Sept. 23.


Johanna Olson, 33. A runner and a fighter, but most of all a courageous, encouraging and positive person, Johanna battled brain cancer for more than 15 years. She loved to share her passion for running and for life. The pride of Wadena, Minn. was an inspiration in her roles as coach, teacher, friend and mentor. The seven-time All-American was an amazing runner, but one of her proudest moments wasn’t her fastest time. It was crossing the finish line at the Twin Cities Marathon in 2012 with “Team Joha” despite undergoing treatment for the recurrence of her brain tumor. Her fight ended Jan. 3, though she left many footprints along the trails.


Pete Cenarrusa, 95. The son of Basque immigrants from Spain, Pete was born in Carey in 1917. His father Joe worked as a sheepherder and sheep foreman for several years before purchasing his own sheep business along with range land north of Carey. He added a home in Bellevue. Pete was the second of five children who learned the Basque language at home prior to entering school in Bellevue where they learned English. Pete graduated from Bellevue High in 1936 and from University of Idaho in 1940. He was a national collegiate boxing champion. After college, he was a high school teacher in Cambridge, Carey and Glenns Ferry. Pete enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942 and served as an officer in the V-5 Naval Aviation Corps. He then went into the inactive reserve, where he flew with VMF 216 Squadron in Spokane until his retirement in July 1963. Pete flew for 59 years as a private pilot, many in the operation of the family business. He and his wife Freda owned and managed a successful sheep operation from 1954 until 2000. Starting in 1950, he served nine terms in the Idaho House of Representatives. In 1967, he was appointed secretary of state to fill a vacancy. Pete was elected and served as secretary of state for 36 years. Upon his retirement he was the longest-serving state official in Idaho annals. He retired in 2003 at 85. The state’s largest government building was named after him in 1998. Pete volunteered for Republican Party service and was selected as the chairman of the Ronald Reagan Committee of Idaho in 1968 and again in 1984. He died Sept. 29 in Boise.


Bob Mullins, 88. A Twin Falls native and the youngest of nine children, Mullins finished his World War II U.S. Army stint and “enlisted” at the newly-reopened Sun Valley resort as dishwasher and prep cook. He worked as butcher for the resort for 30 years. He also worked at Warm Springs Restaurant, Christiana and Felix’s Restaurant. Bob was butcher for many local sportsmen, and during hunting season would have dozens of deer hanging in his garage to be cut up for friends and fellow hunters. He built his house on Ketchum’s Washington St. by himself in 1952, purchasing materials he needed with each paycheck. He and wife Toodles, who he met at the resort and married in 1948, lived there for nearly 60 years. They were founding members of the Presbyterian Church. He died in Las Vegas Feb. 1.


John “Denny” Pace, 93. A retired U.S. Air Force Col., Pace flew a twin-engine Lockheed P-38 Lighting out of North Africa during World War II for 50 missions over Sicily and Italy. During his distinguished 30-year military career, Pace was awarded 16 air medals. He trained pilots in combat in Korea. He volunteered in Vietnam as a wing commander. There, he flew multi-engine C-123 cargo planes, dropping flares at night for the fighters and hauling cargo for the troops. Having lived in Sun Valley since 1939, Pace skied both Bald Mountain and cross-country trails well into his 80s. He bungee-jumped in Australia at age 83. In 2004, he represented the Wood River Valley at a ceremony to dedicate the new National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. He died March 3 at Blaine Manor.


Dr. Bonni Curran, 56. A medical doctor and mother of two college-aged daughters, Dr. Curran made frequent trips overseas to provide medical care to people in impoverished countries. She was involved in the arts in the Sun Valley area. She and her husband Peter were philanthropists, often donating funds to charitable organizations. Bonni served on the board of directors of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and was active in raising funds to assist women in Africa and with the Wood River Women’s Charitable Foundation. She died Aug. 6 from injuries received in a vehicular accident while she rode a bicycle in Ketchum.


Jim Boatwright, 61. A basketball legend in Idaho and Israel, Boatwright graduated from Rupert’s Minico High in 1970. There he was an all-state basketball star, leading the Spartans to back-to-back state championship games in 1969-70. He became one of the top Utah State collegiate players. Jim joined the European Professional Basketball League and played eight years for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel. He led Maccabi to the European Championship in 1977 over the Soviet Union. The victory was significant and had tremendous symbolic value for Israel during the height of the Cold War. Boatwright became a full Israeli citizen. He returned to Idaho 10 years ago and finished his teaching career at Hailey’s Wood River High School. Jim died Feb. 11, days after presenting his Minico high school jersey to the visiting Minico coach during a high school game.


Anna Faye O’Donnell, 92. A Jerome native and youngest of five children in a farm family that resettled along Broadford Rd., O'Donnell graduated from Bellevue High School with the Class of 1939. She and husband Jack built a home on Main St. in Bellevue and became active in the community. She lived in Bellevue for 71 years from 1936-2007. Anna Faye served as Bellevue City Clerk for more than 30 years. She helped organize and cater the annual Bellevue July Picnics, and was a key volunteer leader for Bellevue Labor Day celebrations. In the 1960s, she was head cook in the school lunch programs in Bellevue and Hailey. In 1975, she became supervisor of Blaine County school lunch programs for nearly 20 years. A Bellevue park is now named in her honor. She died Oct. 2.


Hillard Hicks, 96. Born in Gooding in 1917, young Hillard made his first trip to Ketchum in 1923. His grandparents came to Idaho via the Oregon Trail and settled on the Camas Prairie in 1880, and his father Orla Hicks was Sun Valley’s transportation director from 1938-60. An All-State football quarterback for Shoshone High, Hillard also survived the famous Triumph Mine snow slide in 1938, where he was buried alive for five-and-a-half hours in 15 feet of snow. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps after Germany invaded Poland and was hand-picked by Pan American officials to fly critical war materials throughout South American countries. He cheated death many times on these dangerous flights over the Andes. After the war, he stayed in Peru, flying as a captain for Panagra Airlines).  His career as an airline pilot took him around the world, but he always came back to visit the Wood River Valley. He was a scratch golfer most of his life, and an expert with a fly rod. He died Oct. 6 in Sun Valley.


John S. Chapman, 77. One of his grandfathers came to Idaho on a wagon train from Missouri in 1864 to find gold. Chapman’s father bought Cloverly Ranch north of Hailey in 1941. John was an estate-planning attorney devoted to community causes. He was a 50-year member of Hailey’s Masonic Lodge and a former Wood River “Citizen of the Year,” active as board member of the Sun Valley Center and St. Luke’s Wood River hospital. The treasurer for Idaho Governors Cecil Andrus and John Evans, Chapman helped establish the Boise Greenbelt while a public official in Boise. HeHeHe served for 10 years on the executive committee of the National Democratic Party. John lived at Cloverly Ranch with Steve Champion, his partner of 34 years. They were longtime members of a private fraternity of gay men called Gamma Mu. They were married on a yacht in New York City harbor July 4, 2012. John died July 8 in Boise.


 Ben Walker, 87. Born in Salem, Mass., Ben traveled out west after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He arrived in Sun Valley for the 1950 ski season. Known to his Dollar Mountain students as “Gentle Ben,” he taught for the Sun Valley Ski School through 1977. He was a roommate and friend to the famous Louis Stur, and, from him, learned to climb mountains. He made three ascents of the Grand Teton with Stur. Ben met his future wife Marilyn Finley après ski at the Alpine Saloon in 1954. They opened The Tub Laundromat in Ketchum in 1956 and operated it for 25 years with the help of Virgie Deckard. Ben’s favorite hobby was building and flying radio-controlled model aircraft, especially radio-controlled gliders. Always a gentleman with a good sense of humor, one of Ben’s last statements was, “I know the end is near, but this waiting around is killing me!” He died June 18 at home in Bellevue.


Ray Jefferson

Donald L. Mikel

Guity Larizadeh Pierpont

Gabrielle Christine Sanborn

Lance Buterbaugh

Helen Miller Mills

Sharyn Lee Olsen

Johanna Olson

Tony House

Thomas J. Perry

George Gund III

Lyle Cyrus

Gillian Benjamin

Joyce Nevins Patterson

Joseph Wiederrick

Alma Catherine Abbas

Christopher Johnson

Victoria Helen Kramer

Robert Edward Demorest

Valentine Uzans Bandrevics

Martha Poppy Chandler




Robert Mullins

Thomas J. Johnson

June Loughridge

Milford “Willy” Rose Jr.

James Earl Boatwright

Anna M. Gonzales Beltran

Gerald L. Currie

Merril A. Lytton

Alberta Ann Murray

Charlotte Pate

Helen Paulson Kolouch

Connie Lou Green McDowell



John “Denny” Pace

Rodney Sievers

Eugene Holman Jr.

Joyce Arrien

Valeta Rose Wallace

Evelyn “Jane” Sevy

Melanie Ann Welburn Kendall

Marvel Edholm McGehee

Walter James Peterson

Kevin Lee Holloway




Robert Earl Holding

Betty Lou Royle

Cleone Eccles

Helen Gwendolyn Linden

Milton Savaria

Mary Ann Estep Zabala

Norman Evan Fuller

Kayla Jordan Bergerson

Dr. Robert Lindberg

Victor Aldinger

Robert “Dan” Stone

Tim Taylor




Thelma Louise Barr Rathke Bourbonnais

Carolea M. Lee

John Meehan Neely

Aaron Raymond Hunt

Doug Abromeit

Mary Lou Anfinson

Linda Anne Webb

Carl R. “Bo” Horton

Andrew Tranbarger

Bruce Byerly

Reid Barker

Sheilah Ann Colbert

Steve Barnes




William Franklin Rairigh

Donald Loren Wolter

John Mark Shenk

Rufus McIlhenny Brown

Jay Edward Jones

Lois Helen McKitrick

Benjamin Ames Walker Sr.

Robert J. Ulrich

Velma Morrison

Cheryl Ann Duffy Fife

Beverly Ann Davis

Myrle Alma Bowcutt

Dolores Hegstrom

Patricia Ann Stewart

Bonnie Louise Acker

Juan Inocente Hernandez

Raymond C. Williams




Norman Ernest MacLeod

Frances Marie Brumback

Frank Charles Shields

Raymond Peter Berard

Robert Dave “Bob” Black

Kenneth Ray Anderson

Ron Brian Eliggi

Yvonne Savaria

Elizabeth “Bette” Durkin

John Sherwood Chapman

Kelly Kaye Martin



Bonni L. Curran

Bob Reeves

Marilyn Grace Alder Marquis

Anita Illeen Lete Young

Deane Johnson Jr.

Daniel Robert Swanger

Linda Jean Greer

Arlin Dennis



Janet Burnett Brown Hill

Donald W. Fraser

Lisa “Alex” Ward

Diane Gail McNary

Helen Krenz

Edward John Holmes

Frank Louis Passaro

Arthur Lee Barratt

James Berman

Stephen Lee Sides

Bonnie Zirbel Mara

Vera Ormae Smith

Parker McLeod Smith

Karon Bye

Willard Roy “Bud” Stephens

Pete T. Cenarrusa

Shellie Ann Muzzey

Mark Benjamin

Lucas Robert Benjamin

Lois (Lowie) Guilbert Graves

Marshall Holmes




Hillard Derwood Hicks

Anna Faye O’Donnell

Suzanne K. Logullo

Camelia Boyd

Wilma Dugger Thomas

Garnet Oneida

Laura (Lolly) Read

Ethel Trula Wells

Dominic Anthony Mannino

David Dean McGary

Ned J. Gibowski

Richard “Dick” Alvin York

Thomas Albert Bernam

William R. Bradley

Patricia “Pat” Beattie

B.B. Miller

Nancy Drew

Thomas Carl “Bud” Roseberry

Wayne Odell Baldwin

Brian Arthur Clement




 James A. Byerly

Raymond L. Willsey

Barry Benjamin Staum

Martha Freeman Reed

Jacqueline “Jacki” Collett

John D. Urban

Maxine Louise Engelbert Fox

Dennis Skahill

Floyd Allen McCracken

James M. Riley

William McKusick

Luther H. Livingston

La Fawn Rae Pierce

Ruth Meta Kiehne Yarro




Barbara Deering Danielson

Marva Sparks

Steven Scott Holm

Guy C. Hansen

Sally Skinner Behnke

Roxie Jean Simcoe

Darrel William “Bill” Smith Jr.

Bethine Church

Geraldine Patricia Dyson

Donald Leon Hartwich

Sam Mott


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