As the world puts the pandemic year of 2020 in its rearview mirror, we’re absorbing the accumulation of loss over the last nine months—the loss of events and gatherings, of experiences, of jobs, of savings, of travel and of vital connections.

Nothing is more heartbreaking than the loss of loved ones and friends. Over this holiday season, those bereaved in our community are mourning the absences—the “empty chairs,” in the words of President-elect Joe Biden—while cherishing all the memories and good times.

Here, the Idaho Mountain Express lists those people who have passed away and whose obituaries were published in 2020. Some we’ve singled out to showcase their contributions to Blaine County’s rich history:

Curtis Page, 73

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Curtis Page

Best known for his 40-year career as a senior pastor, Curtis was instrumental in growing the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood from a tiny congregation into an assembly large enough to need a new sanctuary along the Big Wood River in Ketchum. His ministries here, as well as in Indianapolis and Los Angeles, emphasized community organizing and inclusion. He built his churches with a quick sense of humor and an easy, approachable personal style. Less known was Curtis’ role in helping launch the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper in 1974 and serving on the publishing company’s board of directors for over 40 years. He was a strong proponent of editorial independence, community service, fiscal responsibility and concern for all the Mountain Express employees.

Valerie Donnelly, 90

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Valerie Donnelly

Born in San Francisco in 1930, Valerie had a love of nurturing children that started as a teenager working at an orphanage. Witty, energetic, loving and kind, the mother of four moved with her family to Hailey in 1973 and started the Learning Tree School and later the Donnelly School. For over 30 years she conveyed her passion for reading, travel and the arts to young children. She received Idaho’s Brightest Star award in 2003 for her dedication to early education.

Jack Crawford, 88

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Jack Crawford

An instructor to the stars, Jack was one of the last in a long line of congenial Sun Valley Resort employees who recognized and catered to guests and locals—season after season. Having first visited Sun Valley in 1937 as the 5-year-old son of a Union Pacific telegraph operator, Jack attended Stanford on an athletic scholarship and considered author Ernest Hemingway as a mentor.

“Reading his books, I learned about the world,” Jack said.

A lifelong athlete, he helped put the resort’s tennis program on the map and served as a ski instructor for 30 years. He left a legacy of happiness and joy.

Betty Weir Bell, 95

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Betty Bell

The Midwestern girl from Ohio and Omaha thoroughly enjoyed a spectacular run through life’s fast track. She first worked at Sun Valley as a soda fountain jerk, which gave her time to become a 1952 Olympic skier and eager participant in all of the early Baldy Alpine races. The mother of four was a 3-handicap golfer and keen tennis player who also loved to fly airplanes and became a sought-after flight instructor. She flew hundreds of charter flights to Salt Lake City and Boise before there were scheduled flights to Hailey. An avid reader, Betty was also an accomplished writer who penned one of the Idaho Mountain Express’ first columns, called “Small Potatoes.”

Frank Halverson, 75

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Frank Halverson

A fourth-generation Idahoan, Frank was a champion wrestler and calf roper in high school, graduating from Mackay High in 1963. He worked summers as a smokejumper for the Forest Service and served overseas with the Army Corps of Engineers from 1969-79. He earned his M.S. in civil engineering from Oregon State while in the Army. In 1988, Frank and his wife, Marcia, moved back to their beloved Idaho and joined Power Engineers in Hailey. He became Power’s chief operating officer and a 26-year board member before retiring in 2020. Known for his intelligence, integrity and decency, Frank loved flying his Cessna with his pilot buddies, riding with his Harley pals and restoring old vehicles with his know-how.

Mollee Lou Hecht, 94

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Mollee Hecht

A lover of books, reading, gardening and the outdoors, Mollee was one of the first waitresses at the “new” Pioneer Saloon after arriving in Ketchum with her five children in 1965. She was recruited to manage Ex Libris bookstore on the Sun Valley Mall in 1967, a life-changing opportunity that led to her opening the cultural oasis called Mollee’s Bookery in Ketchum in 1971. She was a competitive runner into her 70s, as well as a downhill and cross-country skier. At 52, she climbed Idaho’s highest peak, Mount Borah and spent her final years watching the flowers bloom at her home in Boise.

Fred Bradshaw, 73

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Fred Bradshaw

The well-known father of five, a 1966 Wood River High School graduate, served many positions in the Boy Scouts—scoutmaster, Snake River Council board member and chairman of the Camp Bradley Committee. A quiet giant and a friend to all, he taught respect and marksmanship to boys as Camp Bradley shooting sports director. He also helped his beloved wife, Jeannie, coach Wood River’s track and field team. Fred was the owner of A&A Audio and Security.

Margaret Hamilton, 89

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Margaret Hamilton

The daughter of Lloyd and Kate Walker was born in Hailey in 1931. She enjoyed a wonderful childhood chasing her two mischievous older brothers, doing chores and developing a lifelong talent of piano playing. When she was a teen, the family moved to the outskirts of Hailey where Lloyd, a butcher, had a slaughterhouse and raised cattle on a ranch where Albertsons is located. One day, a man named Pat “J.P.” Hamilton knocked on the Walker door asking permission to cross their property for fishing. That started a 52-year love story between Pat and Margaret. The couple raised seven children in Buhl, where Pat built and operated the family business, Farmers Bank. The Hamilton kids became well-known for their athletic abilities, and Margaret and Pat were avid boosters of Buhl sports.

Galen Hanselman, 72

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Galen Hanselman

Born in Ohio in 1948, Galen moved with his parents to Ketchum in 1962 af-ter they bought Ketchum Trailer Park, where Knob Hill Inn is now located. He learned to ski, hunt and fish in Idaho’s mountains—and in 1976 started Sentinel Fire & Security. In 1982, his wife, Mary, bought him a flying lesson as an anniversary gift—launching Galen on a life of flying adventure into Idaho’s backcountry and beyond. He self-published a series of backcountry guidebooks, including “Fly Idaho.” His independent, do-it-yourself, fix-it-yourself nature and adventurous spirit came mainly from growing up and living in the Idaho mountains.

Those we lost in the last year

December 2019

  • Jeanette Miller
  • Esther Sarah Dadaian
  • Priscilla Johnson
  • Carla Ann Roché
  • Raymond J. Slomski Jr.
  • Pamela Ann Perryman
  • Margaret Traylor, 102
  • Steven Harry Mills
  • Jack Lamey
  • Joseph (Joe) Mallea

January 2020

  • The Rev. Curtis M. Page
  • Robert Earl Nero
  • Melidee Wright
  • Paul Donald Stoops
  • Clyde Edwin “Buzz” Mandeville
  • Hannah Ginsberg
  • Kirk Douglas Rongen
  • Vernal O’Dell Thomas
  • Kathleen “Kathy” Harriet Spence
  • Tobey Campbell Crane
  • Francis “Kiko” Xavier Shetterly
  • Sandra Chandler
  • Jim Walker
  • Sarah Elizabeth Snapp
  • Jan K. Leyse
  • Helen Miller
  • Marcia Elinor (Boothe) Stoll

February 2020

  • Martha Anne “Marty” Harriss
  • Karen Scheurmier-Davis
  • Dolores Estelle “Dee” Fox
  • Robert James Holland
  • Brainerd “Pat” Pidgeon Jr.
  • Michael Ward
  • Judy Ann Castle
  • Dr. W. Guy Fiscus
  • Maryl “Bunch” Cohan
  • Sue Spain
  • Dave Syferd
  • Jack Bemis Crawford Jr.
  • Carol J. Springer
  • Paul Richard Wiley
  • Keith Allen Boren
  • Thomas Bezdeka
  • Carol Gwen Hijar
  • Michael T. “Mic” Terra
  • Michelle Futral

March 2020

  • Betty Weir Bell
  • Louis Leon Mallea
  • Michael A. “Mike” Barto
  • Ileana Kathryn (Oliver) Wood
  • Per Johan Lindfors
  • Nicholas “Nick” Thompson
  • Lois Anne
  • Durrell Pilling Anderson
  • Lynn Walton Bockemohle
  • George R. Spence
  • Edward Weil
  • David John “Dave” Pakonen
  • Carsten Grover Harvey
  • Audrey Evelyn Cannon Bashaw
  • Celia Pauline Kunau
  • Bettye Bradley Robinson
  • Retired Capt. William K.
  • “Bill” Sullivan

April 2020

  • Charles “Reid” Lau
  • Austin William Krenz
  • Leslie D. Rosenberg
  • Becky Ann Brown
  • Steven Arthur Tompkins
  • Mike Harder
  • Betty Ann (Schroeder) Urbany
  • Saul Turteltaub
  • Fred William Zauner
  • Aletha Orchard
  • Martha E. Bolliger
  • Robert Christopher Root
  • Jeffrey Blaine “Jeff” Zaccardi
  • Rebecca Moon Hemingway
  • Arlene Bennett
  • H. Cory “Corky” Fowler
  • David M. Norton
  • Frederick W. “Rick” Brown
  • Bennett William Crowley
  • Matthew Danziger
  • Kianna J. Hansen
  • Betty Vernette Marcroft (Davis)
  • Sophia Martha Padgett
  • Constance “Conny”
  • Henderson Price
  • Mollee Lou Hecht
  • Frederick W. “Rick” Brown
  • Lucille Ellen (Lucy) Gustafson
  • Bruce Lium
  • Leigh Whitfield Rabel
  • Paul Michael Downey
  • Kevin Cincotta

May 2020

  • Patrick Leahy Hickey
  • Betty Stephens
  • Ramiro Avila
  • Galen L. Hanselman
  • Virginia Huff Parker
  • Logan Ray Hennefer
  • Ronica Lee Henning
  • Thomas B. Morris
  • Allan Patzer
  • Dr. Jack Bandrevics
  • Harold “Jim” Miller Jr.
  • Brenda Anne Douglas
  • Roger Donn Olson
  • Marvin Grant Porter
  • Jeanne Ivie Dorr
  • Barbara Spafford
  • Heather Jane Langley-Evans
  • Cathy Christye
  • Negreponte Zaccardi

June 2020

  • Chris Thompson
  • Fred C. Bradshaw
  • Bettye Isaacs Roos
  • Tye K. Alvey
  • Judith Rae Warde Davis
  • John Kahm
  • Marguerite Davis DeBaun
  • Larry Richard Severon
  • Anna Brown Taugher, 101
  • Gregory A. Howell
  • Lehua “Leslie” Engl
  • Lawrence “Larry” P. Klavano
  • Beverly McVay
  • David Lee McClanahan

July 2020

  • Richard “Dick” Wetherell
  • Charlotte Ann Pennell Angle
  • Linda Lee Smith
  • Richard L. Emik
  • Marie Hall (Dugger, Wright)
  • Jerry Flynt
  • Michael A. Hanley
  • James Mathew Harper
  • Doris Maureen Smith
  • Candice Rosenberg Populus
  • Richard “Dick” Brooks
  • Walker Bennett Monroe

August 2020

  • Jay Clark Pace
  • Joseph Paul Bacca Jr.
  • Frank D. Halverson
  • Todd Anthony Rippo
  • Harry W. Thompson
  • Suzanne Joan (Van Zeipel) Auvil
  • Floyd “Ron” Willis III
  • Holly Blair
  • Craig Zweifel

September 2020

  • Gavin James McDonald
  • Brien Singleton Wygle
  • Karen Sue (Dolan) Johnson
  • Patricia Ann Maxey
  • Gerald B. Bashaw Jr.
  • Judy Whitehead
  • Linda Darlene Parks
  • Marlene Yvonne Lacina
  • Sean Timothy Higgins
  • Hugh F. Van Deventer III
  • William “Dusty” Granville Pollock

October 2020

  • Richard Arthur Kluge
  • William Hollis Poe II
  • Phil Jennison
  • William Lee Molyneux
  • Ashley Marie Midby
  • Philip Paul Schaefer
  • Tommy Dale Wells
  • Glenn Rice Jr.
  • Walter Amandus Durels
  • Sylvia Jean Wood
  • William “Bill” Isaac Merizon
  • Frances I. Myers
  • Rita J. Engelhardt
  • Jeffrey Miller Bradford
  • William “Brack” Hale
  • Jared Murphy
  • Sandra “Sandy” Bridges Ovard
  • Craig Stephen Hopper
  • Martha “Marti” Pat
  • Isaacson Martin
  • Larry Ronald Questad

November 2020

  • James P. Kjelland
  • Kirby “Max” Maxwell Casebolt
  • Diane Dale
  • Sally Graham
  • Carla Garrison
  • Katherine Peggy Pleasants
  • Barbara F. Scarpella
  • Melissa Robin Roemer
  • Margaret Irma Hamilton
  • Carmen Varley Palmer
  • Mary Elizabeth Osborne Cone
  • Raymond “John” Walter Pascoe
  • James R. Conlon
  • Rick Slone

December 2020

  • Elizabeth Anne Hatch
  • Valerie Marion Donnelly
  • Gary Lee Patterson
  • David Dean Munster
  • Norah Margaret Bretall
  • Louise Miller McElhinny
  • Dan Curtis Stahn
  • David Stuart Chadwick
  • Jean Pierre Chesnel
  • Patricia Ann (Reiswig) Morrow Moulton
  • Douglas Reed Peterson
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