Remembering Larry E. Hultz
ISLAND PARK, ID. — Larry Eugene Hultz, 71, a longtime resident of Island Park and West Yellowstone, passed away on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 in Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, Idaho Falls.
Larry was born on August 20, 1937 in Pocatello, the son of Gene and Bernita Hultz. He grew up in Blackfoot and went to St. Margaret's Catholic School.
He married Karen Nester in July, 1958 in Blackfoot. They were parents to three beautiful children, Tammy, Lorrie and Danny. They later divorced. He married B.J. (JoAnne) Benson on December 22, 1967 before Rev. A. Brand at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Elko, NV. They are the proud parents of Angela Hultz.
Larry had a very colorful childhood, as his family members can attest. However, he did live to grow up and he joined the Army to see the world at the tender age of 17. He was stationed in Germany until his discharge in 1956. While with "the Army of Occupation of Germany" in the 8th Infantry Division he delighted in learning the field of explosives and escaping from "inescapable" places.
After receiving an honorable discharge from the military, Larry returned home to the USA and traveled to the West on the Portland Rose. He was always partial to railroads.
Larry was employed for a short time at State Hospital South in Blackfoot where he met some of the best friends in life, the Kotrason's. The "boys" would think nothing of spending weeks in the gold fields and streams of the Salmon area.
The time to settle in and work came to the forefront and Larry was employed at American Potato, where he became a line foreman. Leaving that much better pay for the Blackfoot Police Department, and then the Bingham County Sheriff's Office was not a hard decision for him to make.
His law enforcement career spanned a 32 year run with Blackfoot City Police, Bingham County Sheriff's, back to the City Police, the fledgling State Bureau of Drug Control, then to service as the West Yellowstone Police Chief and finally to the Yellowstone Airport in charge of security during the days of the DB Cooper hijacking.
Larry left law enforcement (but it never left him) to make a livable wage in the plumbing and drain repair service. His father, Gene, was a master plumber and had trained his son well. The Yellowstone Drain and Sewer Service, later joined by Surf's Up Septic tank pumping have been faithful servants to the Hebgen Basin, Madison Valley, Big Sky and Island Park area for nearly 30 years. The businesses kept drains and pipes flowing in many older buildings that had not been winterized. Without Larry’s knowledge, many businesses could not have operated year round, and many residents would have been frozen out of their homes. Larry was well known and respected for the patience he always displayed even when confronted with the toughest of jobs.
While employed by Montana Aeronautics in the spring, summer and fall, the winters were filled with work at the first guided snowmobile business in West Yellowstone, guiding on his trusty SkiDoo. Larry would leave the house on frigid mornings with the biggest smile on his face — guiding really wasn't work to him —he loved it.
Larry snowmobiled until health problems prohibited it. He also enjoyed fishing and boating, which he was able to do up until the time of his death. He loved photography and was good at it. Several of his photos were published in the Island Park News. He also enjoyed learning the computer, games, and chatting with his online gamers across the world at 3 in the morning.
He is survived by his wife, B.J. Hultz, daughter Angela, ex-wife Karen, daughter Tammy (Rich) Griffith, Lorrie Ackley, Dan L. (Autumn) Hultz, sisters Sharon (Len) Butterfield of Corvallis, OR; Barbara Hancock of Fountain Hills, AZ; Marilyn(Jerry) Smith of Blackfoot; brother, Dennis Hultz of Phoenix, AZ., 12 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father, Gene Hultz and mother, Bernita K. Hultz.
A celebration of Larry’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, September 5, 2009, at the Little Church in the Pines in Island Park, with Pastor Ben Moor officiating.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Larry Hultz Memorial Fund at Yellowstone Basin Bank in West Yellowstone, 216 Grizzly Ave, West Yellowstone, MT. 59758, or to the American Lung Association of the Northern Rockies, P.O. Box 7000, Albert Lea, MN. 567007-8000.
Randy Van Wagenen
Randy Van Wagenen, 51, died on Saturday, August 22, 2009 at his home in Ashton. Randy was born on January 3, 1958 in Salt Lake City, the son of Robert Ray Van Wagenen and Audrey Fay Gillette Van Wagenen. He grew up in the Rexburg area and graduated from Madison High School in 1976. He attended North West Christian college in Portland, Oregon from l977 - 1978.
He married Rosane Bunnell on July 2, 1982 in Rexburg. They were later divorced. Randy started working in the family owned automotive supply business in Rexburg at age 12. At the time of his death he was manager of Parts Service in Ashton.
Randy loved serving the Lord and was a faithful and longtime member of the Light House Bible Baptist Church near Sugar City. He participated in the Bible Baptist jail ministry at the Madison County Jail for 13 years, and he taught alcohol and drug counseling at the Jefferson County jail for two years.
He was an avid fly fisherman and mastered the art of fly tying. He was a motorcycle enthusiast, like his father, and enjoyed riding and building classic motorcycles.
He is survived by a daughter Nicole Van Wagenen, Kalispell, MT.; his mother, Audrey Woolley, St. Anthony and two brothers Nathan (Liby) Van Wagenen, San Mateo, CA.; and David Van Wagenen, St. Anthony. He was preceded in death by his father and stepfather, Mick Woolley.
Funeral services were conducted at 11 a. m. Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009 in the Lighthouse Bible Baptist Church, 1816 North Hwy. 33, Sugar City. Family suggest contributions be made to the Lighthouse Bible Baptist church. Burial was in the Rexburg Cemetery.
Merlin LaVerne Bressler, 81, of Ashton, died Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at his home of natural causes. He was born August 23, 1928, in Ashton, Idaho to Lloyd "Jack" and Mable Crouch Bressler.
He graduated from Ashton High School in 1946 where he excelled in boxing. He won two Golden Gloves state championships. He attended Victor Elementary school through the 4th grade and then moved back to Ashton where he finished school. He attended Idaho State University where he boxed for coach Milton "Dubby" Holt.
He was a founding member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and a long standing member of the IOOF Lodge in Ashton. He was on the board for the Fremont County Parks and Recreation. He was also a long standing member of the Targhee Ridge Runners/ Search and Rescue.
He married Dearing Darlene Baker of Ashton on June 10, 1950 in the Ashton LDS 1st Ward. He went to work on road construction in eastern Washington. He then accepted a position with the Atomic Energy Commission in Richland, Washington and then in Idaho Falls. In 1954, he returned to Ashton to farm with his father-in-law, George "Tuff" Baker. He farmed and ran a cattle operation until he retired in 1987. He then accepted a position with the Targhee National Forest Service, supervising trail maintenance where he was able to work in the mountains he so loved.
He enjoyed a wide variety of outdoor hobbies, especially snowmobiling, skiing, and packing his horses in the mountains with his family and friends. He was an avid reader of non-fiction historical literature and a great student of history.
He is survived by his wife Darlene Baker Bressler of Ashton; children, Richard (Debra) Bressler of Richland, WA, Kristina (Brad) Larson of St. Anthony, Bob (Jenny) Bressler of Victor; a brother Lorin (Joan) Bressler of Idaho Falls, brother-in-law Daniel Baker of Aloha, OR, sisters-in-law, Judy Smith and Patricia Sturm of Ashton; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister LaVerla Bressler Cordon.
The family would like to thank those who visited Merlin during his illness, and all those at Creekside Hospice who helped take care of him, especially Dawn Egbert.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 5, 2009, at the Ashton First Ward chapel with Bishop Lynn Ballard officiating. The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Baxter Funeral Home, 717 Main Street, in Ashton, and Saturday from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m. at the church prior to services. Burial will be in the Pineview Cemetery.
Gail L. Nelson
Gail Linda Adams Nelson, 64, of Island Park died Sunday, August 29, 2009, at Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg.
Gail worked at Last Chance Shell for many years.
Funeral services were at noon Thursday, Sept. 3, at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 S. Shilling Ave. in Blackfoot.
Svea Marie Grange, 82, of Idaho Falls, passed away on Monday, September 7, 2009, at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center surrounded by her family.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 12, 2009, at the First Presbyterian Church, 325 Elm Street, with The Reverend Dr. Dennis Falasco officiating.
The family will visit with friends for one hour prior to services at the church.
Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery
under the direction of Wood Funeral Home, 273 N. Ridge Avenue.
Rich E. Orme
Rich E. Orme, 78, died September 10, 2009, in Idaho Falls from heart complications. He was a friend of many Island Park residents.
Rich was born on August 18, 1931, in St. Anthony, the son of Dean and Stella Miller Orme. He grew up and attended school in St. Anthony, graduating from South Fremont High School in 1947. He attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, where he received a Bachelor of Science in business in 1954.
After completing ROTC in college, Rich served in the U.S. Air Force as an officer from l954 to 1957. Upon completion of jet flight training school in 1955, he was stationed at Evreaux, France, flying C-119 cargo aircraft in Europe and North Africa.
He married Doris Marie Kooch on Aug. 17, 1957. Rich and Dorris lived in St. Anthony and Island Park and enjoyed raising their three daughters and a son, operating a successful ranching business in the Camas Creek area near Dubois and Island Park. Doris passed away in 1981.
Rich married Margaret (Peggy) Bunting in 1983. They served together in the Idaho State Legislature and enjoyed traveling. Peggy passed away in 2003.
Rich is a member of the LDS Church.
He was active in both political and public service, serving in the Idaho State House of Representatives for two terms assigned to Education, Resources and Conservation and Health and Welfare Committees. He was a Republican Central Committee chairman for Fremont County, Republican Legislative District 28 chairman and president of the Eastern Idaho Lincoln Day Association. He served as chairman of the Agricultural Advisory Board, Idaho State Youth Services Center and chairman of the BLM Advisory Board, Idaho Falls District. He was a member of the Fremont County Planning and Zoning Commission, St. Anthony Planning and Zoning Board, St. Anthony Lion's Club, St. Anthony Jaycees, and American Legion Post 20. He served as president and on the board of directors, Sawtell Chapter, Outdoors Unlimited.
He is survived by three daughters, Allison (Mark) Giacoletto of Cody, Wyo., Shelly (Clinton) Clark of Boise and Kay (Jon Shane) Olpin; two brothers, Robert D. Orme of St. Anthony and Burton M. Orme of Seattle, Wash.; six grandsons; two granddaughters; and one great-granddaughter. He is also survived by his stepdaughters, Heidi Bunting Brand of Edmonton, Canada, and Sally Bunting Nihipali of Yorba Linda, Calif.
Funeral services were at the St. Anthony, LDS Stake Center, with Bishop Mike Carlson officiating. Burial was in Riverview Cemetery
under the direction of Bidwell Funeral Home. The family suggests contributions be made to the Idaho Youth Ranch Foundation in the name of Rich E. Orme at The Idaho Youth Ranch, Tribute Program, P.O. Box 8538, Boise, ID. 83707.
Mary A. Chriswell
ASHTON — Fremont County lost an inspiring and exemplary citizen this week – Mary A. Chriswell, well known for her many good works to help needy people in the community. No one was a stranger to Mary.
Family tribute: Our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunt, passed away on Thursday, September 17, 2009 after a valiant battle following a 2001 liver transplant.
Mary was born on July 26, 1942, to Esther E. and Leslie R. Lawler in Ottawa, Kansas. She was raised in Baldwin City, Kansas and after graduating from Baldwin High School, she married Ron Smith. They had one son, Ron. That marriage ended in divorce and in 1962, Mary and baby Ron moved to Salt Lake City to be closer to her family.
Mary was employed by the Salt Lake City Airport restaurant. She met Donald Chriswell and they were married in 1964. They lived in California and Kansas, and then in 1976 moved back to Idaho. She worked at the Westbank Hotel as a cook. She managed the Raintree restaurant and later worked at the Youth Service Center in St. Anthony, teaching students in the Food Services Program.
In 1984, Don and Mary bought the Trails Inn restaurant in Ashton. In 1985, their family had grown to five children and they decided it would be easier to prepare and eat Thanksgiving dinner at the cafe. Passersby saw the cars in the parking lot and assumed the restaurant was open. When they came to the door, Don and Mary invited them in and asked them to share their dinner. They fed an additional 55 people and this was the beginning of the historic free Thanksgiving dinner that they hosted every year with the help of their children and many Ashton residents.
While the dinner was free, donations were accepted. The money was used throughout the community to provide Christmas gifts to needy families, to help Ashton residents pay delinquent taxes and pharmacy bills, and to provide cash for emergencies. It didn’t take long before Mary became known as Fremont County’s "Holiday Lady."
Mary became ill in 1999 and was unable to continue the Thanksgiving dinners. The dinner was transferred to some hardworking residents of St. Anthony.
Mary and Don won an award from TV Channel 8's "8 Who Make a Difference." They were Grand Marshals of the Ashton Fourth of July parade. They were honored as "Persons of the Year" at the St. Anthony Breakfast. Mary also received the prestigious "Community Service Award" from the National Eastern Star.
To her friends and family, Mary was an inspiration as she fought her illness with every breath in her body. She refused to stay in bed and despite her doctor’s orders, went to work every day instead of resting in bed. She regarded Trails Inn as "her baby."
She is survived by her husband, Don; children, Ron (Tasha) Chriswell, Lesley (Thayne) Goulding; Douglas Chriswell, who is currently serving in the U.S. Navy in Iraq, Linda (Dean) Kent, Sandra Young, and stepdaughters Terri (Michael) Patrella and Karen (Bud) McDaniels; 32 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and a sister, Rosy Lindsey. She was preceded in death by her parents and son, Mark Chriswell.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, September 21, at the Ashton LDS Stake Center, 513 North 2nd Street. The family will receive friends Sunday evening from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Baxter Funeral Home, 717 Main Street, in Ashton, and Monday from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the stake center prior to services. Burial will be in the Pineview Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made in Mary’s memory to the North Fremont Education Foundation, designated for "Middle School Supplies," P.O. Box 187, Ashton, ID. 83420.