Don Richard Telford, 88, passed away Saturday, October 31st from complications caused by Covid-19, at his home in Firth, Idaho surrounded by his family.
Don Richard was born March 24, 1932, in Bountiful, Utah, to Robert W. Telford and Wanda Secrist.
He grew up in a farming community with four brothers and two sisters and developed a strong work ethic at an early age. There was always work to be done in the onion and cantaloupe fields along with his father’s many enterprising businesses which included a motel, a gas station and a produce trucking company. All of his life he has loved the outdoors. When working on the farm he enjoyed the sun, skies, fresh air, and just being alive. Time not working was spent playing baseball with friends and riding horses. Don bought his first horse, a palomino mare named Blondie, at the age of eight. He was finally a would-be-cowboy.
He graduated from Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah in 1950 and was sealed to his high school sweetheart Josie Hammon in the Salt Lake Temple. They raised four sons and a daughter. Don joined the Utah Air National Guard serving with the 191st Fighter Bomber Squadron which was activated and stationed in Clovis, New Mexico. His assignments included helping to reopen the Air Force Base, where the pilots received further training on the P-51 Fighter Bombers during the Korean War.
Upon returning from active duty he worked as a roughneck on a wildcat oil well drilling rig. Looking to provide for his growing family, he obtained employment from Bountiful Dairy as a deliveryman /salesman. He would get up at 3am to run his milk route, and then took advantage of the GI Bill and attended night school at Henager Business College in Salt Lake City.
In 1959 he passed the Utah State Certified Court Reporter examination and was hired as an official Court Reporter in Idaho Falls. In 1961, the Legislature had formed another Judicial District and Judgeship, Judicial District 13. Don applied and was hired. He moved his family to Soda Springs and purchased a small ranch and raised Angus cattle.
Five years later Don became the court reporter for Judge Henry S. Martin in Idaho Falls for 10 years. After working as an Official Court Reporter for 20 years from 1960-1980, he started his own freelance court reporting business named Telford Court Reporting until he sold the business and retired in 2001.
Don had a passion for life and all things good. He was a devoted husband and loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Throughout his life he continued to raise cattle and horses. He enjoyed playing basketball, baseball, hunting, fishing, rafting, and camping with family which provided a natural backdrop for the life lessons he taught about humility, to look for the good in others, endurance, tenacity, dependability, loyalty, and honesty. He encouraged his family to get as much education as possible and to continue learning daily. In his later years he learned to play the guitar and indexed close to 300,000 names.
He served faithfully in various callings throughout his life in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He could always be found ministering to his neighbors, friends and family, quietly filling their needs and lifting their burdens.
He will be remembered by his family as a patriotic cowboy who liked to tell a good joke but not at the expense of others. When the grandkids came to visit, he was always the first to saddle up the horses, grab the bases, or pump up the basketball. No one played more than Don. Whether it was a blessing, baptism, birthday, wedding, baseball and basketball games, wrestling, rodeo, a dance or piano recital he made every effort to be there even if it required a lot of travel. There wasn’t a foot race he wouldn’t run.
He is survived by four sons Rick (Patty) Telford of Firth, Dave (Cindy) Telford of Firth, Steve (Valerie) Telford of Nampa, Wayne (Cindy) Telford of Shelley and Vicky Halverson of Midway, Utah, two brothers and a sister, Robert Telford, Rexburg, Idaho, Mike Telford, Paul, Idaho, Kathy Telford, West Point, Utah, 18 grandchildren and 34 great -grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his beautiful wife, Josie, who he lovingly cared for while she battled Alzheimer’s, two brothers Paul and Ted, his sister Terry Lynne and his son-in-law Scott Halverson.
The family would like to express our appreciation to the Aspen Hospice staff who cared for our father.
A family graveside memorial will be held at 1 pm Wednesday, November 4 at the Firth Cemetery. Military rites will be performed by David B. Bleak Post 93.