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OBITUARIES - August 2008
Gertrude Elisabeth Breding

Our dear mother and grandmother, Gertrude Elisabeth Breding went home to be with Jesus on July 25, 2008. She was born in American Falls, on July 23, 1915, to Henry and Christina Roth. She resided in American Falls her entire life except in her early 20’s when she was a nanny in Portland, OR. She married Gilbert H. Breding when he came to Portland where she was working and proposed to her. They were married in Oregon City, OR, before they returned to American Falls to live in their home in Pleasant Valley. They raised three children, Ralph, Marion and Larry.
Gertrude was an energetic homemaker, caring for their home, yard, children, and also cooking for harvest crews. A loving, hardworking helpmate, she assisted her husband in any way necessary to make their home warm and loving and their farm a success. She was very knowledgeable about flowers and loved raising them. She was awarded first place in open class flower display at the Power County Fair. She also enjoyed many crafts and painting. She adored children, especially her seven grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Even in her later years, her eyes lit up and a big smile greeted young ones when they came to visit her. With music always being a part of her life, she especially enjoyed worship and praise music. She loved going dancing with Gilbert and as a youth, she enjoyed tap dancing.
Gertrude became an accomplished pilot soon after her husband, Gilbert decided to become a pilot. She earned her license in 1948. They traveled in their plane to every state in the U.S., along with Mexico, Canada and Cuba. They also were early members of the Idaho Flying Farmers and attended yearly International Flying Farmer Conventions in the U.S. and Canada. Gertrude was crowned Queen of the Idaho organization and held that title for two years and also served as president of the Idaho Flying Farmers. She enjoyed hosting fly-ins at their farm in American Falls where other Flying Farmers flew-in for lunch.
Gertrude taught her children to strive for excellence in all they did. Most importantly, she taught her children how to pray and love Jesus. Her precious love and vibrant smiles will be greatly missed by all.
She was active in community affairs and was a member of Toastmistress Club. She also was a lifelong member of St. John’s Lutheran Church.
She is survived by sons, Ralph (Carletta) Breding, Larry (Kathleen) Breding and daughter, Marion Breding; grandchildren, Greg Allbright, Kristin (Andy) Deiro, Donald (Gina) Breding, Jody Breding, Lesa Breding, Ryan (Melissa) Breding and Nichole (John) Glover. Also 12 precious great grandchildren and her siblings, Theodore (Jessie) Roth, Tina (Preston) Osterhout, and Adeline (Ross) Totten. She is predeceased by her beloved husband.
Services were held at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 656 Tyhee Ave., at 10 a.m., on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2008. Interment followed at the Fallsview Cemetery. Family received friends from 6 to 8 p.m., on Friday, Aug. 1, 2008, at Davis-Rose Mortuary, and at the church one hour prior to the service.
Memorials are preferred to Hope House in care of St. John’s Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 55, American Falls, ID 83211.

Agnes Davis Falter

Agnes Davis Falter, 89, of Nampa and formerly of American Falls, passed away Friday, Aug. 1, 2008, at a local care facility in Nampa.
Agnes was born March 5, 1919, in Preston, ID, to Reese John Davis Jr., and Mary Ann Perry, the third of six daughters. Her family moved to Twin Falls, ID, as a young girl where she graduated from high school. She attended BYU in Provo, UT, for a short time. She married Russell (Bud) Falter on May 31, 1941, in Hailey, ID.
After her husband served in the Army, they settled to raise their family in Pocatello. In the mid 1960s they moved to American Falls, where she lived until moving to Caldwell, ID, in 1999 to be near her children.
Agnes enjoyed crocheting, knitting, crossword puzzles, word searches, and watching most sports on television. She loved to play card games with her grandchildren Wendy and Jeff, fishing with her family, and family gatherings.
She is survived by her two sons, Gary Falter of Pocatello, and R. Steven and Kathie Falter of Nampa; one daughter, Becky and Ron Watson of Caldwell; sister-in-law, Margaret Gardiner of Newport, WA; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Russell (Bud) Falter, and five sisters.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Alsip & Persons Funeral Chapel, 404 10th Ave. S. Nampa, ID 83651, 208-466-3545.

Jene Margaret Sparks Cook

An American Falls pioneer family lost one of its own with the death of Jene Sparks Cook, 90, who died in Medford, OR, Friday, July 11, 2008, after many years of declining health.
Jene’s grandfather, Thomas Sparks, brought his first herd of Texas Longhorn cattle to the Snake River bottoms in 1879.
Jene Cook was born June 8, 1918 on her parents’ ranch “Sunbeam”, near American Falls, to Paul M. Sparks, Sr., and Lily Blaine Sparks. She moved to Medford with her family in 1926 and graduated from Medford High School in 1936.
She married Riley Cook of Medford in 1939 and they spent a long, happy life together until his death in 2001. Jene was an accomplished spinner and weaver, a longtime member of the Rogue Valley Handweaver’s Guild.
In addition to her husband and her parents, Jene was preceded in death by a sister, Rae Sparks McGonagle, and a brother, Paul M. Sparks, Jr.
She is survived by her sister, Alice Sparks Bennett and husband Jim of Cincinnati; son, Forrest Cook and wife Carole of Sams Valley, OR; son, Arthur Charles Cook of Grants Pass, OR; daughter, Alice Cook Matheny and husband Bruce of Applegate, OR; four grandsons, six great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Barbara Sue DeFores

Barbara Sue DeForest went to be with her Lord and Savior on Monday, Aug. 4, 2008 in Sapulpa, OK.
Sue was born to Benjamin and Avalie Landers in Rural Brisco, OK, on Nov. 27, 1944.
Sue is survived by her husband, Johnny DeForest of American Falls, ID; a sister, Norma Jean (Gene) Jones of Alexander, Ark.; two daughters, Mary Ann (Dusty) Downs of Sapulpa, OK, and Treva Thompson of Chicago, IL; one son, Dale (Teresa) Thompson of Sapulpa, OK; 11 grandchildren (five boys and six girls); and one stepson, Adam DeForest.

Roger K. McAtee
Roger K. McAtee, 65, of Idaho Falls, died July 29, 2008, at Good Samaritan Society.
He was born May 15, 1943, in Idaho Falls, to Von Kaye McAtee and Angelina Regina Krieger McAtee. He attended local schools and graduated form Idaho Falls High School in 1961. He attended Idaho State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968.
He married Judi Shore in 1969 in Sun Valley, Idaho. They were later divorced. He worked at Key MIC Real Estate as a realtor and broker. He later owned and operated Key Realty and Key Environmental.
He was a member of the rotary Club in Pocatello. He was a member of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Idaho Falls. He enjoyed golf, skiing, boats, fast cars, and piloting airplanes, but most of all, his two grandchildren.
Survivors include: daughter, Mendi (Paul) Bradley of Aberdeen; mother, Ann McAtee of Idaho Falls; brother, Gary (Vicki) McAtee of Kennewick, WA; brother, Rick (Kerry) McAtee of Idaho Falls; and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1, 2008, at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church, 9th & Lee, with Father Joseph McDonald officiating. A Rosary was held on Thursday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m. with a visitation following until 8:30 p.m. at Wood Funeral Home (273 N. Ridge). The family visited with friends on Friday from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at Wood Funeral Home prior to proceeding to the church.
Burial was at Rose Hill Cemetery and Veteran’s Rites were performed by the Bonneville County Veteran’s Memorial Team and the Idaho Honor Guard. Condolences may be sent to the family online at
Vincent Roy Benson

Vincent Roy Benson, 83, of Blackfoot passed away Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008 at Bingham County Extended Care Facility.
He was born April 28, 1925 in Pocatello, to Edward I. and Josephine Roy Benson. He grew up on the family farm in Roy, ID, attending school in Roy through the eighth grade.
He entered the U.S. Navy in 1944, serving as a 1st Class Seaman aboard the U.S.S. Goshen and was honorably discharged in July 1946. He was proud to have served his country during World War II. He was extremely patriotic and active in the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
On Jan. 18, 1947, he married Ilene Ruth Morris. They had four children, Douglas Roy, Carolyn Ilene, Vincent Blaine, and Sheila Marie. They moved from Roy to Rockland in 1958, ultimately moving the family to his farm west of Blackfoot in 1965.
Farming was Vince’s passion; he loved tilling the soil, planting and watching the crops grow. He was a member of the Blackfoot Elk’s Lodge, served on the board of the local grain growers’ association and was inducted into the Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1999. He was an avid hunter and fisherman.
He is survived by his wife of over 61 years, Ilene; son, Blaine (Kerry) Benson of Blackfoot; daughter, Sheila (Jerry) Jackson of Pingree; six grandchildren, Lisa (Steven) Blight, Nick (Sherice) Benson, Mandy (Clay) Anderson, Barbie (Matt) Albaugh, Chad (JanaLee) Jackson, Kelsey (Dave) Osmond; and 14 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Douglas (stillborn); daughter, Carolyn Gazarek; sister, Ethel Cotter; and two brothers, Cliffy and Don Benson.
A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15, at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 S. Shilling Ave., Blackfoot. The family met with friends Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home and for one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Interment was in the Rockland Cemetery at 3 p.m. on Friday.

Sylvia Vollweiler

In loving memory Sylvia Vollweiler
Oct. 21, 1948 – Aug. 15, 2008
ISLAND PARK — Sylvia Vollweiler, a longtime and beloved member of the Island Park community, passed away at her cabin in Shotgun on Friday, Aug. 15, 2008. She was 59 years old.
Sylvia was born on Oct. 21, 1948 in Champagne, Ill., the daughter of Francis Eugene Cope and Juanita Pearl Cope.
Since Francis was a member of the military, the family lived in many areas of the U.S. and spent a few years in Germany.
The family eventually settled in Caldwell, where Sylvia graduated high school. She then went on to work for companies such as Ore-Ida Foods and Household Finance before moving to Island Park in 1975.
Sylvia worked at the First Security Bank in West Yellowstone and the Targhee National Forest’s Island Park Ranger District. She served on the advisory board of the Bear End Day Care Center in West Yellowstone.
She and Tim lived in American Falls for four years, where she was an enthusiastic participant in many community activities, including those involving the chamber of commerce.
Sylvia was very active in the Island Park community, as a member and/or part of the leadership of the Fugowee Snowmobile Club, Island Park Quilt Guild, Island Park Pool League, Targhee Women’s Club, Island Park Library Friends, Island Park QRU, and Island Park Area Chamber of Commerce. She founded the local chapter of the Red Hat Society, known as the Red Hat Mountain Mommas. She served on the Fremont County Fair Board.
An avid snowmobiler, Sylvia participated in the Ol’ Ladies Snowmobile Race for 18 years. She loved boating and enjoyed many outdoor activities that Island Park offers. She also loved her dogs and photography, and won awards for her photography at the Fremont County Fair.
Because of her many years of service to the community, the Island Park News community achievement awards committee named Sylvia “Woman of the Year” in 2004.
Sylvia took great joy in organizing a Christmas Eve service at the Little Church in the Pines. She did this for 13 years, making it a cherished part of the community’s holiday season.
Sylvia and her husband, Tim, owned Island Park Services and were partners in Targhee Construction and Island Park Sand and Gravel.
Everyone who knew Sylvia, “Sly,” will affirm that she was a straight shooter in all matters and always willing to chip in when her help was needed.
Sylvia is survived by her husband of 15 years, Tim Vollweiler, her daughter, Abby Todd, and stepdaughters Kortney (Thomas) Hinckley and Nichole (Matthew) Carlton.
A celebration of Sylvia’s life is set for 11 a. m. on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008 at the Little Church in the Pines at Mack’s Inn, with Pastor Ted Pierce officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Targhee Women’s Club scholarship fund, P.O. Box 112, Island Park, ID., 83429.

Joseph John Runge

Joseph John Runge, 54, of Denver, CO, died of cancer Sunday, July 6, 2008 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver. His funeral was held Saturday, July 12, at Waterstone Community Church.
He was born March 15, 1954 in Denver to John and Viola Runge. He was an only child.
Joseph was preceded in death by his father John Runge on July 4, 1986 and his mother Viola Runge on Nov. 6, 2006.
Joseph is survived by his wife, Sheila (Hall), two step-daughters and two son-in-laws; Karen and Michael Constance and Pamela and Skip Wilkins and four grandchildren, Dakota Wilkins (11), Kiefer Wilkins (8), Victoria Constance (9) and Ariel Constance (7). He is also survived by his mother-in-law Alta Hall, brother-in-law Dana Hall, both of American Falls, and Sandra (Hall) Hess of Caldwell, ID.
Joseph was educated in Jeffco schools and graduated from Wheat Ridge High School in 1972. He went on to graduate from Western State College in geology/drafting in 1976. He later graduated from Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in 1988 to become a Goldsmith. Joe worked as a Wellsite Geologist for approximately 12 years and as a Goldsmith for 19 years.
In the early 1990s, Joe became a Denver area Baptist singles leader. He was a member of Applewood Baptist Church, were he served as a co-director of a divorced/widowed support group. In early 1992, Sheila, attended the support group were she met Joe for the first time. They were married Aug. 14, 1992.
His hobbies were photography, hiking, camping, boating, backpacking, fishing and flower gardening. His knowledge of the mountains was truly amazing. He was able to name all of the wildflowers, rock formations and mountain peaks. In college, Joe climbed all but one of the Fourteenier Mountains in Colorado. His love for the great outdoors was evident in all that he did. He always saw the beauty of God’s handiwork in everything.
Joe healed our family with his strong faith in God. When we met Joe 16 years ago our family desperately needed a spiritual leader and he brought that to us. His knowledge of the Bible and God truly changed all of our lives.

Peter Gonzales
Peter Gonzales, 78, passed away at his home in Aberdeen on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008.
He was born Dec. 23, 1929 in Pocatello. He attended Pocatello High School and graduated in 1950. He joined the Navy and served four years for his country. Upon his return, he attended I.S.U. in Pocatello and then barber school in Salt Lake City, UT.
He met and married Alice Mitchell, opened and ran a barber shop for 37 years in Aberdeen where they lived. He enjoyed all of his special friends and customers.
His greatest achievements were his two children; Peter Brett (Carla Gonzales) and Alice Marie (Tony Rossi). The loves of his life — Charles, Mathew, and Amber Gonzales, Marina and Carson Rossi. He was a great man, husband, father, Papa, and brother. As per his wishes no services will be held. The family would like to specially thank Dr. Dean Williams, Tom Sutton, and Idaho Home Health and Hospice.
The family held an open house on Saturday, Aug. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Gonzales home. Arrangements are under the direction of the Hawker Funeral Home.
Alla Parsons
Alla Belle Claunch Parsons, 90, died Friday, Aug. 22, 2008 at The Willows Assisted Living Center in Blackfoot. She was born July 24, 1918 in Aberdeen, the daughter of William Maurice Claunch and Rebecca Elvira Brinkley Claunch. She married Marvin Fay Parsons on Aug. 14, 1935 in Pocatello.
Alla was a substitute mail carrier for 39 years and a regular carrier for eight years. She played bridge and pinochle for years. Alla was a fantastic cook and made the most delicious Cinnamon Twists; they would melt in your mouth.
Alla is survived by her sister Phyllis Blackburn, who lives at the Ridge Wind Assisted Living Center in Pocatello; her children, Carol (Bill) Myers, Olympia, WA; Marlene (Leo) Fehringer, Aberdeen; Steve (Ardis) Parsons, Sterling; and Lynn (Julene) Parsons of Blackfoot; 8 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
The family thanks the following for all the love and care they gave to our folks over the last seven years: the Willows Assisted Living Center and all the staff at Aspen Hospice, Blackfoot Home Health and Hands of Hope Hospice and April Lloyd from Hands of Hope Hospice. Thanks a million!
The funeral services were held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 26, at the United Methodist Church in Aberdeen, with Pastor Marcie Collins officiating. Interment was in the Springfield – Sterling Cemetery.
July 2008 Power County Press & Aberdeen Times Obituaries
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