Mother Nature surely has been generous with all the rain she has poured on this part of Idaho. It started to rain about 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 16 and continued through the evening and into Friday. Over the next 24 hours we had 2 and 2/10th inches of rain collected in our gauge; by Saturday evening there was another 8/10th of an inch. Three inches of rain in that short of a time is one for the records. On Monday morning we could see the wheat that had been planted in the field east of our home on May 9 had sprouted.
The month of May is a busy time for anyone who has lawns to mow; the amount of moisture we have received during this time has really made that a challenge.
On Thursday, May 16 Steve and Norma Brand and Sherry Schlader met at the Fraser Community Center to set up the tables and chairs and arrange the building for the memorial service for Sherry’s father, Bill Jackson.
On Saturday morning, Jeff Sauter started the fire in the wood stove so the building warm and comfortable for the memorial service.
The Celebration of Life for Bill Jackson was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 18 with Jamie Joiner officiating. The building was filled with friends and family who came to pay their respects to a special man who was a longtime resident of the Fraser Community. During the service, stories were told about his dedication to his family and his love of farming; he had a sense of justice that brought out his tougher side when he saw a problem and stepped in to correct it.
Bill was born on Feb. 17, 1931 in St Edward, Nebraska to Paul and Irene Jackson. The family moved to a farm in the Fraser Community when he was six years old. He helped his parents farm and raise cattle and hogs.
I had the opportunity to interview Bill when the Fraser Grange arranged to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Old Fraser School on Oct. 10, 2004. The information that follows was taken from the article.
Bill and his brother Mick attended the Fraser School which was just down the road from their farm. One of Bill’s favorite teachers was June Cook; she always made sure their lessons were done.
He recalled that rowdy students had to stand in the corner for punishment. On Spring Vacation the students and their teacher enjoyed an all-day picnic at Bench Lake which was located on the old stagecoach road in Lolo Canyon. Bench Lake is now part of the Double D Ranch owned by Dan and Donna Stickney.
The Christmas Program allowed for time off from their schoolwork as they practiced their parts. The teacher’s desk was stationed on a permanent stage at the front of the room, the desk was removed and portable floor sections were added to each side for this production. Hay wire was strung in front of the stage to hang up the curtains which were opened and closed during each presentation.
A fresh Christmas tree was cut and decorated by the children; this was a special time for the students and their families.
Everyone walked to school, but once in a while they would get a ride on one of the lumber trucks driven by Leo Cochrell or Joe Green.
When the 4-H Program was introduced to the Fraser area, the Jackson boys got involved. Carl Braun raised Red Duroc hogs. Bill remembered they were some of the top hogs in the county. Carl sponsored the boys by giving them a pregnant sow. When she had her litter they could select two of the young hogs to raise, the rest were returned to Carl. Claud Judd was one of Bill’s 4-H leaders over the livestock division.
In 1945 the Fraser School was consolidated with the Cottonwood School, and the students attended classes there. Bill graduated from Weippe High School in 1949.
He met Donna Hayes while she was working at the Café in Weippe. The story was told about Bill’s attempt to give her a ride home one day. He insisted on accompanying her to the house to meet her parents. This meeting turned into a positive one because Bill and Donna were married on Oct. 16, 1952 at the family farm in Fraser.
They raised their three children on the farm. Sherry is married to Larry Schlader, Dianna is married to Bill Funke, and Dennis is married to Candy Johnson. Bill and Donna were married for 62 years before Donna passed away on March 23, 2014.
Blanche Kinney, Marge Carlson and Sally Marks managed the kitchen while family and friends attended the interment at the Weippe Cemetery. A variety of flowers arranged by Linda Jackson were displayed down the center of each row of tables. Mike Jackson gave the blessing before the family lined up to fill their plates.
The potluck dishes covered the serving counter in the Community Center and the dessert table had a variety of tasty sweets to enjoy. Linda Jackson baked the turkey and hams and made the gravy; Ken Carlson carved the hams. A surprise power outage happened as everyone was finishing their dinners. This did not stop friends as they continued to visit until it was time to return home.
Sherry Schlader recognized that it takes an army of volunteers to successfully organize a special event and wanted everyone to know how much Bill’s family appreciated those who came and paid their respects.
The guest book contained 102 signatures and there were many who missed putting their names down; an approximate final count amounted to 120. Loretta Judd had driven to the ranch from her home in Spokane and attended the service, Steve and Carol Green came from Coeur d’Alene and Wilma Green and Dick Shedd came from Lewiston to mention just a few.
Thanks to everyone who helped put the Center back in order for the next event. The power outage created a problem with the cleanup of the kitchen. Another “BIG” Thank You goes out to Vern and Blanche Kinney, Dolores Watson and Norma Brand for returning on Monday at 10 a.m. to wash the dishes and to put the kitchen back in order.
The gals also organized the drawers that contain the serving utensils while Vern scrubbed the floor.
Bill will be remembered for his dedication to his family and to all his neighbors and friends. He will be missed.
Treasured thoughts of one so dear
Often brings a silent tear
Thoughts of scenes long past
Years roll on but memories last
We miss you Dad & Grandpa xxx
The Retreat to Weippe 19th Annual 3 Mile
Run/Walk will take place on Saturday, May 25 at 8:30 a.m. at the Weippe Mini Park. You can still register for this event, cost after May 10 is $20 for individual with a t-shirt, $14 without t-shirt. New this year is kids under 19 register for free with the registration and payment of a parent.
The “All you can eat Breakfast” will be served from 7 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at the Weippe Community Center. The Horseshoe Tournament and hamburgers will start at 12 noon at the Weippe Mini Park.
There will be a potluck dinner and Celebration of Life for Mike Green on Saturday, May 25 at 5 p.m. It will be held at the Green Family Cabin at 64 Schmidt Mill Road near the Deyo Reservoir. Smoked pork tenderloin will be provided along with table service, please bring your favorite potluck dish to share. Steve and Carol Green welcome everyone; happy hour starts in the afternoon as people arrive.
Happy Anniversary Greetings go out to Danny and Donna Brown on June 1 and Larry and Sherry Schlader on June 3.