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OBITUARIES - January 2009
Clifford Strand

This past August, Clifford Strand celebrated his 100th birthday at a three-day celebration of his life in American Falls; over 100 of his relatives from 17 states attended the festivities. Today, we celebrate the end of Clifford’s wonderful life as he passed away peacefully in Pocatello on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008 after a brief hospital stay.
Clifford was born on a farm in the Norseland Township, near St. Peter, Minn., on Aug. 14, 1908 to Ole and Olephine Strand; his grandparents had emigrated from Norway to homestead in Minnesota in the 1800’s. Clifford’s family had nine children, two of which survive him today; sister Doris George of Torrance, CA, and brother Dr. Sherman Strand of Rancho Mirage, CA. Clifford was extremely proud of his 100 percent Norwegian ancestry and still spoke almost fluent Norwegian. His early life was spent working on local farms and cutting ice blocks in the winter out of frozen lakes for delivery to ice boxes in local homes and businesses.
In 1936, Clifford moved to California and joined the Merchant Marine; he ended up sailing the world for nine years. Although his first position was that of a lowly ‘engine wiper’, he quickly rose up the ranks to second in command Chief Engineer. He served as a combat merchant mariner during World War II on ships hauling bombs, ammunition and fuel to the war zone of the South Pacific.
Clifford always felt he had a ‘guiding angel’ seeing after him during WW II as of the 10 ships he served on, six were either destroyed or severely damaged by enemy torpedoes, mines, or other catastrophic events. In 1943, Clifford met and married registered nurse Ruth Strand in Long Beach, CA. He left the Merchant Marine when WW II ended and when the first of his three sons were born to seek a land-based career as a ‘steam fitter’ in the air conditioning systems industry in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Clifford spent his next 30 years as a steam fitter before retiring in 1975. When he was not working, his hobbies did not include golf, fishing, hunting, or boating. His life hobbies were the activities of his three sons; he was super active in support of each of their multiple sports teams, music lessons, band membership, and the Masonic Youth DeMolay organization. He and Ruth were also very active in the local chapter of the Sons of Norway, their Lutheran Church, and the Masonic Lodge.
Clifford and Ruth moved to American Falls in 1993 to be closer to son Ben and family. They quickly became ‘Idahoans’ and involved in American Falls activities including St. John’s Lutheran Church, Power County Senior Center, and Masonic Lodge (Clifford was a 50+ year member of the Masons).
Clifford is survived by Ruth, his loving wife of 65 years and two sons Mike Strand of Frisco, TX, and Ben Strand of American Falls; a third son David preceded Clifford in death in 1989. Clifford has five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, all of whom attended his August 100th birthday celebration.
Clifford will be most remembered by everyone who knew him as being the most perfect example you can imagine of what an outstanding husband, father, and grandfather should be. His children and grandchildren have all had their lives impacted in a most positive way by his example of how to be exemplary.
A memorial service for Clifford was held on Monday, Jan. 5, 2009 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 656 Tyhee Ave., American Falls; a reception immediately followed the service. In lieu of flowers, the family is encouraging donations be made to the St. John’s Lutheran Church Youth Fund; donations can be mailed to St. John’s at P.O. Box 55, American Falls, ID 83211. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Davis-Rose Mortuary.

Lynn Thompson

Pocatello -- Lynn Thompson, 69, passed away at his home Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. He was born March 5, 1939, the second of two children to Ralph Tobias and Mildred (Cobbley) Thompson in Thomas, ID.
Lynn attended schools in Aberdeen and graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1957.
He married Marion Nugent on May 29, 1958, and they had four children: Kelly, Donna, Casey and Jodi. They were later divorced.
Lynn started working for Chuck Behrend where he learned to farm. In 1965 he started on his own farming in the Michaud/Truckerville area, which grew to be a large farm in this region. He was a devoted father and supported his children in their sporting and other events.
He met Betty Lou Dawson Jones and they were married May 12, 1988 in Palisades, ID. Lynn continued farming for another eight years, retiring in 1996. While he was farming he served on the American Falls School District Board from 1983 to 1985 and from 1986 to 1988 he served on the Power County Planning and Zoning Commission and from 1989 to 1995 he served as Power County Commissioner. He loved working with wood and was very talented at it. He also loved traveling but didn’t like to stay long before he got homesick to come home. He enjoyed camping and bird watching and especially hunting with Casey and his sons. He was a member of Christ Church where he attended in Pocatello.
Lynn is survived by his wife, Betty Lou Thompson, Pocatello; children, Kelly Thompson, Anchorage, AK, Donna (Richard) Bailey, Idaho Falls, Casey (Shyrene) Thompson, Pocatello, and Jodi Thompson, Pocatello; and a sister, Raeona Nugent, Aberdeen. He is also survived by step-daughters, Marjorie Huber, Pocatello, Christine (Phil) Egan, TX, and Angela (David) Corrigan, Idaho Falls; 15 grandchildren and step-grandchildren and 14 step-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, at the Colonial Funeral Home Chapel, 2005 S. Fourth Ave, Pocatello. The family met with friends and relatives from 10 to 10:45 a.m. prior to the service on Tuesday. Burial was at Falls View Cemetery, American Falls.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at

Ralph Dennis “RD” Kuttler

Ralph Dennis “RD” Kuttler passed away Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009 in Pocatello, after an accident occurred while he was doing what he loved, riding horses.
RD was born to Ralph Dean and Lillian B. Kuttler in Idaho Falls on July 12, 1945. Ralph and Lillian divorced in 1952. In 1953, Lillian married Kenneth F. Morgan and the family moved to Mount Pleasant, UT. The family later moved to Roosevelt, UT, and then to Spanish Fork, UT, where RD attended school and met Rosalie Marshall.
RD enlisted in the United States Army in 1963, where he bravely served as a member of the 101st Airborne Division as an Airborne Ranger. RD was very proud to serve his country, and was a decorated soldier. Among his many military accomplishments, RD won the All Service Boxing Championship.
While on a short leave from the military in 1964, RD and Rosalie were married. After RD was honorably discharged from the army, they moved to Salt Lake City, UT. On Dec. 7, 1966 their son Justin Dean was born. The family then moved to Aberdeen, where RD farmed and worked as a meat cutter at Cardinal Market. In 1970 they moved to American Falls, where he continued to work as a meat cutter. In 1973, RD went to work for Union Pacific Railroad as a carman welder. On July 17, 1977, their daughter Tanji Donn was born.
RD enjoyed riding bareback horses and loved the rodeo. In 1986, RD was named the NOTRA Championship Bareback Rider.
Rosalie and RD later divorced. RD met Cindy Carr at a rodeo in Nebraska, and they were married on June 22, 1990. Their son Max Dennis was born Oct. 7, 1991. RD retired from the railroad in 1996. Later that same year, on July 26, their son Gus Morgan was born. While not a son born to RD and Cindy, Wrangler “Tennessee” Nix joined their family in August 1996, and they raised him as their own.
RD’s entire life revolved around his family and friends. He enjoyed pack trips, hunting, and going on the yearly cattle drive with his friends and family. RD Kuttler never met a stranger. If you met him, even once, you knew you’d met your best friend. He will be deeply missed by many.
He is survived by his wife Cindy; children Justin (Shawna), Tanji (Mitch), Max, and Gus; his mother Lillian; and brother Kevin; nephews Chase and Dustin; niece Kylie; and sister-in-law Kathy (Jeff); his grandchildren Jordan, Hailie, Alyssa (AJ), Anthony, Annika and Amiyah; along with many other loving family members and dear friends whom he thought of as if they were family. RD is preceded in death by his dad, Ralph Kuttler; his second dad, Ken Morgan; and younger brother, Jeff Morgan.
Funeral services were held at the American Falls High School Auditorium, 2966 S. Frontage Rd. on Saturday Jan. 24. A viewing was held from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Funeral services began at 12 p.m. Interment and military honors were at Falls View Cemetery. A gathering at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 656 Tyhee Avenue, followed. Services were under the arrangement of Davis-Rose Mortuary.

Ezelle E. Sluder

McCammon -- Ezelle “Eze” E. Sluder, 81, passed away Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009, at a local medical center. Eze was born Feb. 7, 1927 in Pocatello, to Arliss A. Sluder and LeVenia S. (Larsen) (Sluder) Hall.
He attended schools in Aberdeen and Pocatello, graduating from Pocatello High School in 1944. In high school he enjoyed working on motorcycles and cars. He also enjoyed working on his grandfather’s farm in McCammon.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII and served through the end of the War. He re-enlisted in the Air Force after WWII and served as a Military Police during the Korean conflict. He later moved to California, where he enjoyed racing boats and detailing anything with an engine.
He married Mae Louse Day and they had two children, Kathy and Karen. They were later divorced. He married M. Louise Aslett Christensen on Dec. 25, 1959 in Elko, NV. Together they raised three children, Rodney, Rhonda and Linda.
Eze was a Captain in the Alameda Police Department and retired as a Lieutenant with the Pocatello Police Department. He was employed by the Department of Justice as a Deputy U.S. Marshall.
He belonged to the Fraternal Order of Police, Model Railroad Club, and was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He enjoyed detailing model trains and flying model airplanes. He also enjoyed hunting, but especially supporting his family. He was a talented artist, and loved his well trained dogs.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Louise Sluder, McCammon; children, Rodney (Karen) Christensen, Sacramento, CA, Rhonda (Dan) Pickens, Pocatello, Linda Lee (Soren) Pierce, Sterling, ID, Kathy White, UT, and Karen Smith, CA, and beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father Arliss A. Sluder, stepmother Elizabeth A. (Barta) Sluder, stepfather Frank Hall, Mother LeVenia Hall and a sister, Linda Lee Hall.
Funeral services were held at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26, at the Colonial Funeral Home Chapel, 2005 S. 4th Ave, Pocatello. The family met with friends and relatives from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home on Monday. Burial was at the Norton Cemetery in McCammon, with police honors provided by the Pocatello Police Department.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at

Donald Gunther Potratz

Donald Gunther Potratz passed away Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at the Power Nursing Home. He was born May 21, 1916 in Beulah, ND, oldest son of Gunther F. and Mabel (Thompson) Potratz.
Don’s birth certificate may say he was born in North Dakota, but those close to him know he was really born in the saddle. Before he could walk his father gave him his first toy (a wooden horse) salvaged from a merry-go-round and installed with rockers. While Don said he could not remember the toy horse ever bucking him off, he did say he was later bucked off more real horses than anyone would ever believe possible. When asked if he was ever injured when riding horses, he said, “I don’t think so. I just thought I was a few times.”
When Don was in the first grade the family moved to Montana, riding horses was a part of everyday life. He would ride to school and then home to take care of the family’s herd of cows and horses. “I had a knack for wrangling and finding cows.”
He grew up and graduated from high school in Forsyth, MT. He enlisted with the Civilian Conservation Corps, building fences & irrigation systems.
At age 20 he hitchhiked to Idaho to find work. He used his knowledge to get a job with an Idaho rancher after the rancher broke his arm starting an old Model T Ford.
In 1939 Don settled down and married Florence Emaline Smith on April 4, 1939. The couple stayed in Idaho where Don worked on several farms. Their first daughter, Judith Grace, was born May 2, 1940. In 1943 a second daughter was born but was tragically killed in a car accident.
For a while the family lived in Homedale, ID, where their son Roger was born. They moved to Blackfoot in 1949, where Don worked on the Indian reservation riding ditch for the canal company.
He took correspondence courses in mathematics, surveying and engineering. He got a job with the Bannock County Highway Department, where he stayed until his retirement in 1980. In 1979 his wife Florence passed away.
On Nov. 30, 1980, Don and Ann Funk were married - our beloved “Grandma Ann”.
Don and Ann traveled to many different places including other countries, visiting Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean, Israel, the Tennessee River, and Canada. They spent 14 winters in Arizona. They did many tours across the U.S. In 2001 his health began to deteriorate. They built and moved to a condo on Sunbeam in American Falls. Five months later he needed to be in an assisted living facility. Three years later he was placed in the Power County Nursing Home.
Donald was preceded in death by his parents, brother Howard, daughters Donna Marie Potratz and Judith Grace Wood.
He is survived his loving wife Ann, son Roger (Nancy) Potratz, his former son-in-law James Wood, grandsons Donald (Cristin) Wood, Douglas (Cristine) Wood, Shannon (Rochelle) Potratz and Preston (Kamela) Potratz, granddaughter Terri Lynn (Terry Lee) Baldwin, and 12 great-grandchildren.
Services will be held on Saturday, Jan 31, at the American Falls Congregational Church at Sunbeam and Bennett St. at 10 a.m. Visitation will be at Davis-Rose Mortuary Friday, Jan. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Church. Burial will be in Pocatello at the Mountain View Cemetery.

Marvin Dean March

Marvin Dean March passed away suddenly in Gentry, Arkansas on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009. He was 54 years of age.
Marvin was a loving son, father, brother and more. He was born June 9, 1954 in Pocatello, the son of Lois and Vyrlen March. He worked most recently for Killpack Trucking, but also enjoyed working at farms in the American Falls area. He also worked for a sign company in Spokane, WA, and at Lamb Weston for a time. He graduated in 1972 from American Falls High School.
Marvin enjoyed spending time with his family, who will be holding services for him on Thursday, Jan. 29, at 11 a.m. at the American Falls Congregational Church, 745 Bennett Ave., American Falls. The visitation will be Wednesday, Jan. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Davis-Rose Mortuary, 170 Idaho St., American Falls, and one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.
He is survived by his daughter, Monica Braswell; mother, Lois March; brothers, Larry and Charles March; grandchildren, Morgan Bauer, Brookelynn Smith and Nickolas Braswell. He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, two nieces, three nephews, a great niece and nephew and many cousins, as well as friends such as Karen Nichols, Cody Nichols, DJ Privett, Mindy Privett and her son, Daymon.


January 2009 Power County Press & Aberdeen Times Obituaries

December 2008 Power County Press & Aberdeen Times Obituaries
November 2008 Power County Press & Aberdeen Times Obituaries
October 2008 Power County Press & Aberdeen Times Obituaries
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December 2007 Power County Press & Aberdeen Times Obituaries
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September 2007 Power County Press & Aberdeen Times Obituaries

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January 2007 Power County Press & Aberdeen Times Obituaries
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