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The Press OBITUARIES - November 2009
For obituaries in the Aberdeen Times, click here
Virgil Hunter
Longtime American Falls resident, Virgil Hunter, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at Harms Memorial Hospital at the age of 90.
He was born to George Cleveland and Ida Southwell Hunter on July 7, 1919. Virgil went to school until seventh grade when his father had him quit so he could help milk the cows. He had a pony that he and his friend would ride all over the Rockland Valley. He spent his younger years on the farm and later in American Falls, where he lived most of his life.
Virgil was married to Mary Hansen in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They had five children, four boys and one girl. When Mary passed away, they had been married for 62 years. Mary was a school teacher at the Rockland Central School and also taught first grade at Hillcrest Elementary School in American Falls.
For years, Mary and Virgil put Christmas lights up all around the yard, their adjoining property and in the house. Although it took them at least four months to do this, they enjoyed seeing how happy it made those who drove by - young and old alike. Many times Virgil would put on his Santa suit and went up on the roof where he threw candy canes down to the children.
Virgil had a fishpond filled with 25 to 30 goldfish in it. What a treat it was for the kids to come and feed the fish! They also grew a very large garden that Virgil loved to plow with his old tractor. Together, they raised corn, pumpkins, and many other vegetables and flowers. Some of the vegetables they sold, but one of the biggest joys was in the fall, around Halloween time, when they had the Head Start children come to the garden and pick out a pumpkin. One year, one of the pumpkins weighed 90 pounds! Not only did the children love picking out their very own pumpkins, but also they loved to dance while Virgil played the piano. They, in turn, would put on a program for Virgil and Mary.
Anyone who spent time with Virgil received the gift of hearing him play his piano - a gift he inherited from his mother. He went to schools, rest homes, hospitals, senior citizen centers and the V.A. Hospital in Pocatello and Idaho Falls. He was honored by the Governor of Idaho for his humanitarian service and also appeared on radio for his charitable works.
For a living, Virgil sold fruit to the stores and in addition, sold watermelon, cantaloupe and bananas on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. He also operated a fruit stand in Pocatello. Virgil coined his fruit distribution business “Hunter Produce,” which is still in operation today through his son, Larry.
In back of his house, he had a big barn. Many people from around the area gathered there and had “jam” sessions. Not only did they play their varied instruments, but also sang and danced, and invited everyone to come and be entertained!
Virgil was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is survived by his children, Ray (Jendy) Hunter, Nancy (Zenon) Wegrowski, Darrell (Faye) Hunter, Larry (Kathy) Hunter, Mike Hunter; and one sister, Muriel. He is also survived by his 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. Virgil was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, three brothers and one sister.
A viewing was held Friday, Nov. 20, at Davis-Rose Mortuary, 170 Idaho Street in American Falls from 6 to 7 p.m. The graveside service was Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Falls View Cemetery in American Falls. A memorial is planned for later in the summer.
The family thanks the many people who gave love and support to Mary and Virgil throughout all the years they lived in American Falls.
Merle Gene Davis
Merle Gene Davis, 70, of American Falls, passed away at Portneuf Medical Center on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. Merle was born Nov. 21, 1938 to Lucas and Velma Davis in Aberdeen.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Roy Davis, and a sister Deloma Randolph. In high school he was active in sports playing football, basketball, and track. In his younger years, he served in the Marines and the U.S. Air Forces and was stationed in Okinawa, Spain, and at Dover Air Force Base. He was married to Frances Liberto, had two sons and later divorced.
He is survived by his sons and their spouses: Dino Davis (Fe) and Aaron Davis; a brother Merrill Davis and sister in-law Jane Davis. He is also survived by five grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephew.
Friends and family visited from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at Davis-Rose Mortuary, 170 Idaho Street, American Falls. Graveside services followed at 2 p.m. at Falls View Cemetery in American Falls, with Pastor John Beak officiating. Military honors followed.
Brent Thomas Owen

Brent Thomas Owen, 44, of Fort Worth, TX, formerly of Aberdeen, ID, died Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009.
He was born in Rock Springs, WY, on July 15, 1965, and spent his childhood years growing up in Aberdeen. He is the son of John Thomas Owen of Malad, ID, and Gayle Owen Ball of Lewisville, ID.
Brent graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1983 where he was active in sports and music. He graduated from Ricks College and BYU and served a mission in Rosario, Argentina. He married Gail Boehm and they had two children, and then were later divorced. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Cardiovascular Rehab from Utah State University and he became a trained echo cardiogram technician. He has recently been employed as an echo technician at JPS Hospital in Fort Worth, TX.
He is survived by his children, Tyson John Owen and McKinsey Owen of Burleson, TX; his parents; and his siblings, Sharee (Mike) Millet of Riverton, UT, Gaylynn (Brent) Bean of Rexburg, ID, and Bryce (Angie) Owen of Boise, ID.
The family received friends from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 24, at Eckersell Memorial Chapel, 101 West Main Street, Rigby.
Funeral services will be held in Aberdeen on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 11 a.m. at the Aberdeen LDS Church. The family will receive friends from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. prior to services at the church. Burial will be in the Grant Central Cemetery, under the care of Eckersell Memorial Chapel in Rigby. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.eckersellfuneralhome.com.

Ted Roth
Theodore “Ted” John Roth passed away peacefully on Monday, Nov. 16, 2009 in American Falls.
Ted was born on May 24, 1920 in American Falls. He was the son of Henry George and Christina Roth, and was one of 12 children. Ted’s parents immigrated to the United States from New Berlin, Russia. He had deep roots to his German/Russian heritage and was very proud of them. Ted grew up in Pleasant Valley, where he worked hard on the family farm, attended school and the Lutheran Church. He even attended a German summer school where he studied and learned the German language - a skill he still retained.
In 1936, Ted began farming with his father. In 1939, his folks moved into town and Ted began leasing the family farm from his father. Ted enlisted in the U.S. Army/Air Force in 1942 and served proudly until he received an agricultural discharge. He returned home to American Falls to marry and begin a family of his own. He married Lois Lentz and had three sons: Dennis, Alan and Sidney. The boys were all raised in Pleasant Valley, and like Ted - remained close to the farming operation and their strong German/Russian roots.
In 1957, Ted was instrumental in getting the National Farmers Union off the ground in Power County and served as the chapter’s chairman. Nearly 10 years later, he was appointed as their Vice President, representing all of Idaho.
Ted later divorced, and then went on to marry, Jessie E. Moore on Nov. 24, 1974. With Ted still being active in different farming entities, he was nominated and served as the President of the Idaho Wheat Grower’s Association and the Chairman of the National Association of Wheat Grower’s Transportation Committee. Ted was fortunate to represent and promote Idaho in Taipei, Taiwan and Tokyo, Japan. He continued to promote Idaho’s agricultural issues throughout the 1980’s.
In 1995, Ted was inducted into the Eastern Idaho Agricultural Hall of Fame. This was something he was sincerely proud of.
Ted loved spending time on the farm, being a private pilot and flying his own plane, traveling, fishing, woodworking, dancing and his passion was renovating antique tractors.
Surviving Ted are his sons: Dennis (Meta) Roth, Alan (Penny) Roth and Sidney (Ellen Faye) Roth; seven grandchildren, Tania Phillips, Nicole Fehringer, Derrick, Brandon and Ian Roth, Kimi Guill and George Roth, and seven great-grandchildren. Ted is also survived by two sisters: Adeline Totten and Tina Osterhout. He was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife Jessie, and nine siblings.
Ted had a strong personality and a caring/loving heart. For this he will be deeply missed. The family thanks the staff at Harms Memorial and especially the dedication and perseverance given by the Power County EMS staff.
The family also extends a heart felt “Thanks” to Mark and Matt Rose (and staff) for all their support and assistance. Lastly a proud thank-you to the American Legion Roland Evans-Post #3 Honor Guard for presenting Military Honors at the graveside service.
A graveside service was held Friday, Nov. 20, at the Falls View Cemetery with Father Bud Smalley officiating.
The family requests that contributions be made to a charity of your choice in memory of Ted J. Roth.

Dorothy Nelson May

Dorothy B. Nelson May, our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother, passed away Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009 at the Harms Memorial Hospital in American Falls. She was born Oct. 3, 1918 in Rockland. Her parents were Beatrice Perry and Reuben Nelson. She was 91 years old. She lived all of her life in the Rockland Valley.
She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in many positions in the Rockland Ward; serving as dance director for many years with her husband. She was a Sunday school teacher for the youth for many years and was involved in bringing the Seminary program to the young people of the Ward. She also served as the Primary President and President of the Relief Society. She was the Stake and Ward Family History specialist. She also served with her husband as an ordinance worker in the Idaho Falls Temple.
She loved the arts and was a self taught artist and enjoyed painting the scenes that she loved of the farm and the valley. She also wrote poetry and had several published works. She was especially proud serving as the chairperson of the Rockland Valley Book that was put together for the Rockland Centennial.
She was the mother of nine children and is survived by her children: Richard E. (Betty) May of St. George, UT; Sherry (Alan) Van Orden, of Pocatello; Michael (Janice) May of Las Vegas, NV; Vicki (Norman) Kane of Idaho Falls; Gregory (Jill) May of Pocatello; Steven (Faith) May of Rockland; Colleen May of Boise; and a son-in-law, J.T. (Marie) Whitworth of Denver, CO. She had 45 grandchildren, 130 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard; a daughter, Kay May Whitworth; a son, Dana May; and three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Her posterity now numbers over 250.
Her most joyous moments were times spent with her family.
The funeral service was at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov, 17, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Rockland. The family invited friends to the visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at Davis-Rose Mortuary, 170 Idaho St., American Falls, and on Tuesday from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m., at the church prior, to the funeral service.

Noel De La Cruz

Noel De La Cruz, 45, passed away at his home on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009 unexpectedly from a heart attack.
Noel was born in Edinburg, TX, on April 16, 1964 to Felix De La Cruz and Hilda Rodriguez. He was the seventh of ten children. Noel spent the majority of his childhood in Mission, TX. He moved to be with his mother in American Falls at the age of 14, where he attended American Falls High School.
Noel later moved back to Mission, TX, where he met and married Maria Isabel Gutierrez on July 21, 1999. They had four children together Nathan (13), Hilda (11), Erika (9), and Cassandra (8). Noel was a loving father and raised Maria’s son Irving Gutierrez (19) currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He also had a daughter, Patricia De La Cruz (22), from a previous marriage.
Noel loved his family and friends. He enjoyed fishing and barbequing.
Noel is survived by his wife Maria Isabel De La Cruz; his children, Patricia De La Cruz-Rodriguez of Hawaii; Irving Gutierrez, stationed at Cherry Point, NC; and Nathan, Hilda, Erika and Cassandra De La Cruz of American Falls. He is also survived by his parents Felix De La Cruz of Mission, TX, and Hilda Serrano of American Falls;, and by his brothers and sisters, Felix Jr. (Mary Lou) De La Cruz of Moreland, ID, Ezequiel (Terri) De la Cruz of Inkom, ID, Charlie (Diane) De La Cruz of Mission, TX, Ramona (Eleazar) Salinas of Devine, TX, Fidel (Audra) De La Cruz of Inkom, ID, Mirta and (Jeff) Martin of San Antonia, TX, and Isaac and (Cindy) De La Cruz of Pocatello, ID. Noel is preceded in death by an infant sister Sonia Serrano and brother Humberto Serrano.
The Rosary was at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 353 Roosevelt Street in American Falls. The Mass was at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the church. Burial was in the Falls View Cemetery in American Falls immediately following the funeral service. Visitation was immediately before and after the Rosary and immediately before the funeral mass. The family extends gratitude to everyone for the love and support they have received.
Vera Permann
Vera Nellie Permann, our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend passed away on Monday morning, Nov. 9, 2009, at her home due to congestive heart failure.
Vera was born in Aberdeen on Oct. 20, 1919, the first child of George and Katherine Koop Funk. She lived most of her childhood in Aberdeen except for a few moves to California and back with her family. She graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1937, where she played basketball and was a member of the Mennonite Church.
In 1940, she met Ernest Permann on a blind date. They were married in the Aberdeen Mennonite Church on Nov 14, 1940. They returned from their honeymoon to Oregon and California to live on the Permann family homestead, 10 miles south of American Falls.
The first year on the farm, Vera helped Ernie with farming, but had to endure harsh winters, high winds and cooking and cleaning for many hired men. The following September they had their first child, Judy Floraine. In the next few years, they added Lanny and Dennis to their family. Dennis, age five, died in a farming accident in 1949. The winters were harsh on the farm so in the late 40’s Ernie bought the home at 730 Hutchinson from Vera’s parents. They remodeled and expanded it to make more room for their growing family. They would move to the farm homestead in the summer months and in the winter return to Hutchinson Ave. In the next eight years, they welcomed three more children, two sons: Ivan and Dwayne and a daughter, Shawn.
Above all else, Vera committed herself to her family and always held them close to her heart. HER FAMILY ALWAYS CAME FIRST. The many photos and scrapbooks are a testimony to that. She worked for and worried over them all of her life.
She was an active member in the Congregational United Church of Christ in American Falls, until her health failed. She taught Sunday school, was active in Women’s Fellowship and was even a board member.
Vera supported and participated in politics while Ernie was a state representative in the Idaho legislature in the 60’s and 70’s. They even attended the Democratic National Convention and ball in 1964 at Atlantic City, NJ.
Vera and Ernie always enjoyed traveling. They visited many places including England, Germany, Central and South America, Russia, Australia and Asia. They always enjoyed visiting family in Oregon.
Vera had a reputation amongst her family of being able to repair most home appliances. Her specialties were vacuum sweepers and washers.
Vera’s favorite activity in the last years of her life was going on long country rides with her children. She loved driving to the farm and cemetery. We were especially blessed to celebrate her 90th birthday with her just two weeks ago. She was able to stay at home during these last years, due to the constant loving care given by her son, Dwayne.
Vera is survived by her two daughters, Judy (LeeRoy) Dials, Sun River, OR, Shawn (Brad Hooker) Garner, of Pocatello; and sons, Lanny (Marcia) Permann; Ivan (Joan) Permann, and Dwayne, all of American Falls; her sister, Ida Gould of Marion, IA; her grandchildren, Steven (Robyn) Dials, Valparaiso, IN; Jody (Karen) Dials, Aloha, OR; Neal (Kristi) Permann, Brian (Sandra) Permann, Craig (Jennifer) Permann and Dennis (Monica) Permann, all of American Falls; Blake Permann, Pocatello; Bart (Kim) Permann, West Jordan, UT; Adam (Tanessa) Permann, American Falls; Amanda (Erin) Linsky; Moscow, ID; Corey Permann and Sarah Permann, Pocatello; Adriana Garner and Seth Garner, Pocatello. She is also survived by 25 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest in 1997, her sister Velma and her son, Dennis.
The family thanks the staff at Access Home Care for the excellent care given to her this last year, especially Kim and Jen.
The viewing was held at Davis-Rose Mortuary, 170 Idaho St., American Falls, Wednesday, Nov 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The funeral service was at the American Falls Congregational United Church of Christ, 745 Bennett Ave., at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov 12, with a viewing one hour prior to the service. Interment was at Falls View Cemetery.
Fred Kopp
Fred Leonard Kopp, 86, of American Falls, died Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009. The memorial service will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at Davis-Rose Mortuary.
Mary Catherine (Reed) Loyd
Mary Catherine (Reed) Loyd, 87, of American Falls, formerly of Terre Haute, IN, died Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009.
She is the beloved wife of the late Charles “Mammy” Loyd of Terre Haute, devoted mother of Cecelia Kay (Loyd) Goodin of American Falls, and Eddie Richard Loyd of San Ramon, CA.
She is also survived by her four grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and many relatives and friends in Indiana, California and Idaho. Mary attended Gerstmeyer Technical High School.
A memorial service was held in American Falls on Thursday, Oct. 29. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Mary’s favorite charity, the Disabled Veterans Association.
October 2009 Power County Press Obituaries
September 2009 Power County Press Obituaries
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The Power County Press is a newspaper serving the greater American Falls, Idaho area.
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