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Eugene Humphries, 87, of Shelley, passed away peacefully on September 11, 2014 at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was born at home on the family farm in Woodville, Idaho on March 13, 1927 to Harold Humphries and Ora May Chaffin Humphries. Eugene worked hard as a boy, helping his parents and older siblings with the farm work, which was all done by hand or with horses. With the exception of his service in the military, he spent his entire life in Woodville.
He began his education at the old Taysom School in Woodville where he first met Colleen Rogers who would later become his wife. He then attended Shelley High School where he excelled in football and was a champion boxer. Years later he met a former opponent who exclaimed “I have never been hit so hard in my entire life”.
With WWII still raging, he received his draft notice while still in high school and reported for duty in the Army just two days after graduation. He was assigned to an outpost on Adak Island in the Aleutian Chain of Alaska. He served at the same time as his three brothers who were in the Army, Army Air Corps, and the Navy.
He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1946 and returned home with a desire to engage in farming with his father and brothers. There was a shortage of tractors and farm machinery following the war and equipment was rationed, but because of his status as a veteran, he was allowed to purchase a new Oliver 60 tractor for $1400 and his farming career began.
It was at this time that he renewed his acquaintance with the pretty dark haired girl that he had met in grade school many years earlier. The relationship blossomed and on May 28, 1948 he and Colleen Rogers were married. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls Temple on July 28, 1955. He farmed with his brothers until he was able to purchase his own farm on the bank of the Snake River in 1952. He remodeled and expanded the old lava rock house and it continues to serve as the family home to this present day.
Eugene worked in potato warehouses in the winter to supplement the meager income from the farm and later took a full time job at Idaho Wholesale Grocery in Idaho Falls in addition to running the farm. In 1959 he went to work for the R.T. French Company in Shelley in the maintenance department which began a 25 year career with the company. He was soon promoted to a management position and over the years, he supervised the warehouse, packaging, production, and receiving. He retired in 1985 and went to work for the Miller Honey Company of California as a consultant for a short time.
He was very civic minded and served as a trustee on the Shelley School Board, as a director and secretary of the Woodville Canal Company, and as President of the R.T. French Federal Credit Union. He and his wife also served as members of the Shelley QRU and as volunteers at the Shelley Senior Center. In 1989 he spearheaded a citizens committee called “Save our Snake” which was instrumental in preventing the development of a hydro dam on the Snake River near his home. He wanted to protect the environmental integrity of the river he loved so much. He was a true patriot, proud of his military service, and never passed our nation’s flag without a crisp salute.
Eugene was a dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints and served as an MIA President, Sunday School Superintendent, Scouting Chairman, and as a counselor in two bishoprics in the Woodville Ward. He also served as a Stake Missionary and in 1986 he and his wife served a mission in the Washington D.C. South Mission. Most recently, he enjoyed serving as an officiator in the Idaho Falls Temple.
Eugene was a skilled welder and enjoyed metal fabrication, especially if it involved helping someone with a repair or a needed project. His most enjoyable moments were when he could be in the service of others and especially those with great need. Family gatherings were his favorite activity and he always had a sincere compliment for each person in attendance. He exemplified true charity and his service will long be remembered and cherished by his many friends and family.
Eugene is survived by his wife Colleen of Woodville, and his children, Annette (Leon) Clark of Rigby, Jeana (Robin) Cutts of Winnipeg, Canada, Kevin (Marlynn) Humphries of Lake Arrowhead, CA, Bret (Cari) Humphries of Austin, TX, Sheree’ (Diane) Humphries of Minneapolis, MN, 18 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren, and sister Joan (Ted) Hodapp of Manti, Utah
He was preceded in death by his sister Leora Humphreys, and brothers Wayne, Wendell, and Eldon Humphries.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the Woodville Chapel, 1555 N. 700 E. The family will receive friends from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15 at the Nalder Funeral Home, 110 W. Oak St. in Shelley, and from 9:30 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. prior to the services at the church. Interment will be in the Fielding Memorial Park Cemetery with military rites by David B. Bleak Post 93 of Shelley.
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