CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME

JANUARY 7, 2010

Obituaries for January 7, 2010

Esther G. Price, 90, Orofino

   Esther Gladys Price, 90, passed away Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009, at the Clearwater Valley Hospital in Orofino, after a sudden bout with pneumonia. She was surrounded by family and friends.

   Esther was born Jan. 26, 1919 at the family home in Kendrick to Oscar and Anna Bolon-Aiken. Esther went to school in Kendrick and always loved being an Idaho girl. From an early age she enjoyed the outdoors; especially gardening.

   In 1934 she met and married Richard Crooks in Moscow. He was killed in 1944 in the Marshall Islands and won a purple heart for his courageous efforts in WWII. They had one child together, Richard (Dick) Crooks.

   During WWII Esther worked for the Army Signal Depot in Sacramento, California. She then returned to her beloved Idaho after the war and worked as a waitress and bartender in Orofino.

   After the death of her first husband she moved to Yakima, WA, and graduated from Washington Florist Design School. Esther loved flowers and worked in floral shops in the Yakima area until 1967. She found her way back to Orofino and worked at Oud’s Hardware and Snyders Sporting Goods.

   After being widowed at an early age she later remarried Orval (Buck) Kassel in Orofino. That marriage ended in divorce. In 1968 she married Clyde Price in Kamiah. They had many happy years together until his death 1993.

   Esther enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, camping, fishing with family, and gardening. She organized the Orofino Sodbusters Gardening Club in 1953. She loved her small family and her friends. In 1972, Esther started work for the State Liquor Store in Orofino and managed it for 12 years until retiring in 1984.

   As all her family and friends know, Esther was very involved in politics, in both the local and state arenas. She was on the City Council for Orofino from 1981 until 1993. Esther was proud to be the Clearwater Democratic Party Chairman for several years in Orofino, and was awarded the State Chair’s Award from the Idaho Democratic Party. Governor John Evans appointed her to the Idaho State JETPA Committee for one term and Governor Cecil Andrus appointed her to the same committee for an additional two terms.

   Esther served on the Executive Boards for CEDA and PIC. She worked hard on political campaigns for Governor Evans, Governor Andrus, Representative Richard Stallings, Representative Larry LaRocco and Attorney General Larry Echohawk, and Senator Frank Church.

   She served as treasurer on the political campaigns for Clearwater County Sheriff Nick Albers, her dearest and closest friend. The entire Albers family remained friends with Esther to her dying day. She loved them as her own family and often referred to the Albers children as her grandchildren.

   After the sudden and untimely death of her only son, Dick, Esther sold her home in Riverside and moved to Brookside Landing in 2001. Esther, or Nana as her immediate family called her, was the pillar of strength of the family; often providing advice and wisdom to family, as only time and life experiences can provide.

   Esther is survived by her grandchildren, Bradley N. and Sandra M. Crooks of Moscow and Richard K. Crooks of Moscow; and her great grandchildren Kimberly Mearse of Bend, OR, Nathan B. Crooks of Lewiston, Simonne M. Crooks of Moscow, and Kassandra Crooks of Moscow.

   She is also survived by her great-great grandchildren, Octavia and Anikyn Crooks of Lewiston, Corbin Crooks of Mitchell, SD and Avery Mearse-Spikerman of Bend, OR; and her nephew, Scott Crocker of Roseburg, OR.

   She was preceded in death by her parents, Oscar and Anna Bolon-Aiken; siblings Leora Andrews, Inez Howington, and Jim Aiken; her son Richard (Dick) Crooks; and husbands Richard Crooks, Orval (Buck) Kassel, and Clyde Price.

   She made a difference to her family, friends and community. All who knew her will miss her vivacious personality and strong character. Esther, Nana, your spirit will be with us always.

   There will be a celebration of her life at Brookside Landing, 431 Johnson Ave. in Orofino, on Sunday, Jan. 10, from 2 to 4 p.m.

   Pine Hills Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in care of arrangements.

Gale E. Sargent, 74, Orofino

   Gale E. Sargent of Orofino, known as Poppy or Sarge to family and friends, died Friday, Jan. 1, 2010 at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. He was 74.

   Gale was born Dec. 8, 1935 at Kitter Ridge in Kamiah. The family later moved to the ranch at Dent Bridge, where he grew up and attended school at Dent and Orofino.

   Gale married Evelyn Stamper and they had five children: Sonny, Debbie, Gary, Joe, and Tracie. They later divorced.

   In 1976 Gale married the love of his life, Bonita Gibbs/Stamper, who brought her five children to the marriage.

   He was a sawyer and later drove logging truck for many years for various employers, including H&W, Triplett, Ken Miller, and Stan Leach.

   Poppa enjoyed family and friends while spending summers at Porter’s camp, where they visited, camped, and prospected for gold.

   Poppa also enjoyed playing Santa for his grandchildren and great grandchildren for many years, as he had those rosy red cheeks and a beard all his own, for he was a jolly ol’ soul.

   Poppa is survived by his wife Bonita and her children, Jo Ann Stamper, Jim and Debbie Stamper, Brad Stamper and Vicki Sheets, David and Bonnie Kindred, and Bob and Donna Phillips; sons Joe and Tracie Sargent, daughter Debbie Sargent; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren who all loved him very much.

   Poppa was preceded in death by his mother and father, Guy and Kathleen Sargent; his brother Guy and sisters Ruth and May; sons Sonny and Gary; and grandsons Chad and Jas Hudson.

   A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9 at the Teweepuu Center on Highway 12, Orofino, with a potluck to follow.

Lester Eugene Alden, 82, Boise

   Lester Eugene Alden, descendent of Mayflower Pilgrims, concluded a life well lived at his home in Boise on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. “Call me Gene” he would say, when a friend he hadn’t met yet called him “Lester.”

   The beginning was a frosty Jan. 6, 1927 at Bovill, the son of James Walter “Walt” Alden and Florence France Alden. The family had moved out west from Oklahoma in 1914, with Gene’s older brother Earl, then five years of age. Brother Floyd was born the following year at Potlatch.

   Once settled in Bovill, Walt worked as a log train engineer and a master mechanic for the Potlatch Lumber Company where youngest son Gene later found summertime work as a teenager. Gene treasured the Bovill years.

   In 1941, the year that will live in infamy, the family moved to Orofino, otherwise known as the “Mayberry of the Northwest.” “Orofino was the big city to me,” Gene recalled. “It had a drug store and, best of all, a movie theater!” Gene’s high school years brought many accolades, from basketball when he played for the Orofino Maniacs’ varsity team as a freshman, to the ballot box when he was voted freshman class secretary and “Best Looking Boy” by his matriculating peers.

   During the weekday noontime rush you could find an entrepreneurial Gene behind the lunch counter at Oud’s Drug. For a time, he performed janitorial duties at the local bank. After school and Saturdays, you could find him working at the Orofino Mercantile. Sunday was the best of all. Gene got to play chauffeur for the local Catholic priest, destinations ranging from nearby parishes to “retreats” replete with fine wine and cigars. ”I was thrilled!” Gene remembers, “Gas was rationed at that time during the war, and I was the only kid in town who got to drive a car!” Not only that, the driving duties brought in three silver dollars a weekend, a king’s ransom for a high school kid at that time.

   On his 18th birthday, Gene enlisted in the United States Navy. After several months of basic training in Memphis, TN, it was on to Jacksonville, FL for aerial gunnery training, and then to Pensacola, FL for a short assignment and some awesome weekends on the beaches at Fort Lauderdale.

   Finally, it was back to Sandpoint NAS in Seattle, WA, during which time the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. A crew assignment that could have changed Gene’s life forever never materialized. In 1946, an honorable discharge for the 19 year old set the stage for the next chapter in Gene’s life.

   Enrolled at the University of Idaho pursuing a Business degree in Accounting (his senior year, to his regret, never finished), Gene met Blanche Ellen Frensdorf, another number cruncher and the future mother of his child. They married in 1953 at the Orofino Methodist Church. Their son Richard Alan was born in 1959.

   Gene was a child of nature. From many a Steelhead fishing expedition, ski outing, and camping trip in northern Idaho, to his love of animals (a list of pets too voluminous to name, including an abandoned fawn he nursed back to health in his back yard as a child), nature played an important role in Gene’s life.

   Deciding not to pass up a job offer too good to be true, he reluctantly forfeited his final year of college, and from 1951 to 1961 kept the books for the White Pine Lumber Company in Orofino.

   Our country benefited from his service once again in 1961 when he was hired as a Budget and Accounting Analyst with the U.S. Forest Service. Helping to establish the Orofino Golf Course as original secretary, he purchased and issued himself Stock Certificate #1 when they broke ground in 1966.

   His 27 years of government service took the family from Orofino, to Sandpoint, to Helena, MT and finally to Butte, MT, where he retired in 1988. He was now ready for some R&R. Gene and Blanche returned to Orofino for a few years to look after Blanche’s brother, who was battling cancer. In 1993 they returned to Butte and life was good until Blanche left us quickly in the Spring of 1995.

   Gene again returned to Orofino and looked after his wife’s family environs until 1998, at which time he and his beloved “girl dog” moved to Boise, at the urging of his son and daughter-in-law. Being in Boise also allowed him finally to cultivate a long overdue relationship with his brother Earl, who was 17 years his senior.

   While growing award winning flowers and gargantuan watermelons, both recognized in the 2009 Western Idaho Fair (the watermelon won best in show), becoming a regular fixture on Banbury Golf Course, being a somewhat regular fixture on the island of Maui (the Hawaiian island with lots of golf courses), he cherished his greenery, his golf, his family (four-legged ones too), and his friendships throughout his life’s journey.

   Not finished yet, battling advanced pancreatic cancer, he added to his achievements in December of 2009, receiving a long overdue, sorely missed, and rightly deserved, Bachelor of Science degree in Business-Accounting from the University of Idaho and recognition from the UI Alumni Association for his 29 years of achievement in the workplace. His “senior” year was now complete. He considered it the perfect final paragraph for the story of his life. He finally graduated.

   Predeceased by his parents, siblings, and wife, Lester Eugene “Gene” Alden is survived by his loving son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Victoria Alden, as well as by wonderful nieces, nephews, and in-laws among the Alden, Frensdorf, and Burks families. As for his amazing friends, including neighbors, those at The University of Idaho and St. Luke’s Hospice, you know who you are, as does he.

   A graveside service will be held in Orofino, May 8, 2010, at 1 p.m. Donations may be made to the Idaho Humane Society or St. Luke’s Hospice in Boise.

   “God bless you all.”

Shantai S. Bybee-Fox, 25, Lewiston

   Shantai Serene Bybee-Fox, of Lewiston, died Saturday, Dec. 29, 2009, as the result of an automobile accident near Lenore.

   She was born to Anthony Bybee and Verna Barkley Bybee, now Johnson, on June 3, 1984.

   She was untied in marriage to Michael Ray Fox of Maryland on Feb. 24, 2006, at Lewiston. She gave birth to her only son, Mathias DeAndre Fox, on March 15, 2006.

   He is among survivors as is her husband Michael Ray Fox.

   Burial was at Sweetwater.

Carol Phillips, 64, Heyburn

   Carol Phillips, age 64, of Heyburn, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009, at Cassia Regional Medical Center in Burley, after a courageous seven-year battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

   Carol was born Aug. 25, 1945, in Twin Falls, and is the daughter of Jess Edward and Marie (Lewis) Stout.  She received her education in Weippe and Pierce.

   After a ten-day courtship, she married Gene Phillips on Sept. 17, 1960, in Pierce.  Together, they had four children, Tina, Lonnie, Tony and Mellisa.  Upon moving to the Mini-Cassia area, Carol was employed by Del Monte and Ore-Ida Foods retiring from McCain Foods in Burley.

   Carol was a devoted wife and loving mother and grandmother.  She was an outstanding homemaker and used her talents in crafts to beautify their home.  She was a former member of the Rupert Lady Elks and the Burley Does.

   Survivors include her husband of 49 years, Gene Phillips of Heyburn; her children, Tina Martinez of Burley, Lonnie (Jeanne) Phillips of Kuna, Tony Phillips of Twin Falls, and Mellisa (Ray) Lindsey of Heyburn; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and her siblings, Jake Stout of Orofino, Clyde Stout of Pineville, Ellen Wisdom of Weippe, Don Stout of Kamiah, Martin Stout of Orofino, and Shirley (Gary) Stewart of Weippe.

   She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, Earl Stout.

   The funeral will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010, at Rasmussen Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley.  Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Heyburn.

   Friends may call from 6 until 8 p.m. Tuesday, and one hour prior to the service on Wednesday at the funeral home.

Christine L. Spindler, 54, Lewiston

   Christine Lark Spindler, 54, passed away Friday, Jan. 1, 2009, after a courageous battle with breast cancer.

   On July 5, 1955, Christine was welcomed into the world by her loving parents, Clifford E. and Patricia A. Leachman, in Grangeville. They lived in various small towns such as Craigmont, etc., all the while adding to their family - two brothers, Charles E. Leachman and Casey E. Leachman, and a sister, Kimberly. They were a close-knit family with lots of wonderful childhood memories, mostly in Genesee, until Christine's senior year when her parents moved the family to Elk River. She was devastated; her senior class had a total of five people.

   Moving to that small town ended up being a great move. She made lifelong friends who are more like family to this day. Christine graduated in 1973, staying in the Elk River/Deary area until deciding to go to Lewis-Clark State College for a short while.

   She married Gary A. Ryan in January 1976, followed by the birth of their only child, Courtney K. Ryan, on April 15, 1976, in Moscow. The three lived in Elk River, then Bovill and Moscow.

   Christine was a wonderful homemaker, very involved with her daughter's school activities. In the early 1980s, they moved to Lewiston, where Christine went to work at BoJack's.

   The family then moved to Craig, CO with her parents and brother Casey for a logging job. When the job was finished, everyone moved back to Deary. Christine decided to apply at the Orofino Correctional Institution, where her brother-in-law worked. She was hired after training at the academy in Boise.

   Christine, her husband and daughter settled in Orofino. She made her way through the ranks to sergeant, of which she was very proud. While making several friends, she was an excellent mother and wife and was involved with her family. She loved to spend time in Deary with all of them - especially on holidays.

   In 1995, she got divorced and left prison work. Shortly after, she moved to Lewiston to be closer to her daughter. She then worked at Goodwill for awhile and also met the love of her life, Steve Spindler. They were together for several years, adding two stepchildren to her family, Tristan Spindler and Danika Spindler. She loved them as her own.

   She then went to work at Potlatch as a mill worker, a very demanding job that she loved as much as the crews she worked with.

   In July 2000, Christine became a grandmother when Courtney and Jody Sweeney had a baby boy, Keegan Ryan Sweeney. Keegan was Christine's pride and joy. He loved to spend time with Grandma Chris and Grandpa Steve, always spoiled and loved beyond words.

   Christine and Steve decided to get married Labor Day weekend 2004 at their home. Christine loved her home, always remodeling, decorating and working on the yard. She would rather be home than anywhere else.

   The family also spent time at their property at Soldiers Meadow and Elk River, riding four-wheelers and snowmobiles through the seasons. As long as everyone was together, Christine was happy.

   Christine was preceded in death by her mother and father, Patricia and Clifford E. Leachman.

   She is survived by her husband, Steve Spindler; daughter Courtney Sweeney and son-in-law Jody L. Sweeney; grandson Keegan Ryan Sweeney; stepson Tristan Spindler; stepdaughter Danika Spindler; brothers Charles Leachman and Casey Leachman; and a sister, Kimberly Spaulding, and their families.

   Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Malcom's Brower-Wann Funeral Home in Lewiston. A covered-dish gathering will follow at the family home, 1177 Lindsay Creek Road. Everyone is welcome to join in the celebration of Christine's life. A time to share stories, memories and special moments.

   Memorial contributions are suggested to the American Cancer Society.

Shirley J. Teed, 72, Lewiston

   Shirley Jean Carr Teed of Lewiston died Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009. She was 72.

   Shirley was born Dec. 24, 1937, in Lewiston, to Jessie White Carr and Irad Carr. Shirley attended elementary school at Cottonwood and graduated from Weippe High School in 1956.

   Shirley married Milo Teed on Jan. 24, 1959, in Weippe. They moved to New Meadows in 1969 and then to Caldwell in 1970. Shirley and Milo had three children: Kenneth, Karla and Larry Teed.

   Shirley was a member of 4-H and FFA while in school. During that time she was also crowned princess of the Lewiston Roundup in 1957.

   While living in Caldwell, she attended and graduated from a medical transcription program. After graduating, she went on to work at the Caldwell Memorial Hospital.

   She and Milo were both lifetime members of the Elks Club. After their children's graduation, she and Milo made their home in Alaska, first in Fair-banks and then Anchorage. They returned to Idaho in 2005 and were making their home in Lewiston.

   Shirley was preceded in death by her mother Jessie and father Irad Carr; two brothers, Bobby and Dale Carr; along with her son, Larry Teed.

   She is survived by her husband, Milo Teed; children Kenneth Teed and Karla Moore; sister Ruth Carr Space; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

   Shirley will be cremated at Vassar-Rawls Funeral Home in Lewiston. A viewing was held Jan. 4.          

   Graveside services will be held at Weippe Cemetery in the spring. The family will announce the date and time.