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Lloyd Joseph Willden, 89, passed from this life at his home in Shelley, Idaho on January 28, 2020.
Lloyd was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War era. He married Beverly June Upperman (deceased) and they were blessed with four children: Gary Dean Willden, Gregory Dale Willden, Shari Lynn Willden (Pace), and Ricky Lloyd Willden (deceased). In 1971 Lloyd married Valerie Hill Willden and raised her child from a previous marriage, Stacie Smithhart Hill.
Lloyd was born in Paradox, a remote area in southwestern Colorado on March 10, 1930 at the beginning of the Great Depression. He was the youngest child of Myron Willden and Alice Amanda Lance. His brothers were Leonard, Harry, Fontella, Myron, and Howard. Sisters were Betty, Cora Inez, Inez, Dot, Betty Louise, all of whom preceded him in death.
Lloyd learned how to work hard, kill and dress game, drive a team, break horses, work at a sawmill, milk cows, raise bum lambs, and many other things. At age eight his father had a stroke and Lloyd shaved him with a straight razor until he passed away when Lloyd was eleven. He night herded sheep in the high mountains with only a horse and dog for company. He loved baseball and was a fine athlete. He played center field semi pro ball in several leagues. Trophies claim a batting average of 700 and 800.
Lloyd was devastated when his adored brother, Myron, was killed in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. As a teenager Lloyd went to work for the S &S Cattle Company, at that time one of the largest ranches in the United States. He became one of the last cowboys to trail cattle on lengthy drives over the rugged mountains and bluffs from Paradox Colorado through the dry desert country of Moab and over to Thompson Springs, Utah. They swam three thousand head of steers across the Colorado River and the herd would string out for five miles at times.
After his stint in the military, Lloyd married Beverly and after a time they moved to Kerns and then Bountiful, Utah, then California with their family. Lloyd wanted to build things, and so he began learning carpentry. Soon he was made a foreman, then a superintendent and general superintendent over several large construction companies building bridges, dams and overpasses on freeways, missile silos, etc.
Lloyd and Valerie were married in 1971. They moved to Chowchilla, California, and Lloyd started his own commercial construction company called Willden Construction building bridges, dams, and commercial buildings. At that time he also obtained his structural engineer license.
Lloyd and Valerie moved to Victor, Idaho in 1981. They moved to Shelley, Idaho in 1997. Lloyd was an active member in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was in bishoprics several times and was a branch president of the Chowchilla Ward in California. He was also a missionary and served in the Idaho Falls Temple as a temple worker for years.
He raised cattle and winning Appaloosa horses. His horses were regional and national racing champions and set many track records. He was Owner, Breeder and Trainer of the Year several times in Idaho. One of his horses, J & B Little Dan, held a world record for eight years. He always loved dogs and horses.
Lloyd’s grandchildren are Jenny, Elizabeth, Shaun, and Chance; Tiffany and Kimberly; Aaron; Christopher and Kelly; Chase, Jacob, Cache and Courtney. Jeremy Willden preceded him in death. He was proud of all of them. So far there are twenty-one great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, February 1, 2020 at the Shelley South Stake Center (675 S Milton Ave.). The family will receive friends on Friday evening from 6:00 to 7:30 P.M. at Nalder Funeral Home (110 West Oak) in Shelley and Saturday morning from 9:00 to 9:40 AM at the church. Burial will be at 2:30 pm in the Victor Cemetery with military rites.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Alzheimer's Association at alz.org or your local animal shelter.
Friday, January 31, 2020
6:00 - 7:30pm (Mountain time)
Nalder Funeral Home
Saturday, February 1, 2020
9:00 - 9:40am (Mountain time)
Saturday, February 1, 2020
10:00 - 11:00am (Mountain time)
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