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Don Zufelt 88 of Shelley, Idaho passed away July 8, 2020 at EIRMC in Idaho Falls. Don was born in his family’s cabin near the Snake River in Shelley, Idaho on May 3, 1932 to Erma Lamb Zufelt and Glenn Zufelt.
Don often spoke fondly of his childhood and all the adventures he had with his brother Max, sister Gay, their dogs Jip and Bounce, pet rock chucks, feeding spring bum lambs, riding his horse Rocket and playing with his many cousins.
Growing up, Don loved spending time at his family ranch in Humphrey, Idaho. He spoke often about how he would ride a sled pulled by a horse to school in the wintertime. After some dangerous winters with deep snow his family began to spend their winters in Shelley, Idaho in the winter.
When Don was 20 years old, he was drafted into the United States Army in the midst of the Korean Conflict where he served for 2 years. After he returned from Korea, Don began working for the Union Pacific Railroad in Humphrey, Idaho. He enjoyed his time there and never lost his love of trains.
In 1956, Don met the love of his life, Betty Lou Holden at a dance in Spencer, Idaho. They were married June 22, 1956. Don and Betty made their first home in Humphrey, Idaho. In 1960 Don accepted a position at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory where he worked as a Nuclear Reactor Operator until his retirement in 1996. After moving to several locations around “the site” they settled in Shelley where he lived the rest of his life.
In 1962, Don’s interest in religion began. He met a woman who was starting her own religion and wanted him to join. He began avidly studying different religions. He said, “After not very much comparing” he knew he had found the right one and Don and Betty were baptised into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple on March 6, 1964.
The Church and its gospel were very important to him, he never stopped studying the scriptures. He held many callings that he loved including working in the temple cafeteria.
Don loved to take his large family on vacations, they went to many different places. His children remember them as some of the best times and they are surprised they all survived.
He looked forward to taking his family to Lagoon each year and he loved all of the rides more than anyone else.
Don never lost his drive to explore, and was never without a map. He would pack up and go camping, hunting, or on wild motorcycle rides even in his 80’s.
Don loved learning, he never found a history book he didn’t like, he would study maps and atlases, or read anything, even the encyclopedias when given the chance.
Don was preceded in death by his wife Betty Lou Holden, his mom Erma Lamb Zufelt, dad Glenn Zufelt, brothers Albert Max Mitchell (Margie) and Dick Zufelt and sister Gay Shield (Bob).
He leaves behind his seven children: Glenda Johnston (Tom), Robert Zufelt (Anita), Norma Dickson, Joan Law (Jack), Barbara Zufelt (Michael), Erma Zufelt, and Sarah Zufelt, 13 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and his first great-great granddaughter to be born any day.
Don will be laid to rest at a small family service held on July 11, 2020 at 3:00 pm at the cemetery in Spencer, Idaho.
The family wishes to thank his wonderful neighbors, friends and ward members. Their dedication and love for Don did not go unnoticed, and EIRMC hospital for the love and care they provided.
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