John Carr, 80

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

John J. Carr, 80, of Mountain Home, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2003, of complications from Parkinson's Disease.

His death came despite the undaunting care of his wife, Lillian, his family said.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Dec. 6, at Summers Funeral Homes, McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home. Burial followed at Mountain View Cemetery.

John was born Oct. 17, 1923, near Ontario, Ore., to John Seth Carr and Margaret (Teddy) Bullard Carr. As an infant, he moved with his family to Weiser where they farmed on the Weiser Flat. He attended Hale School and Weiser High School, playing football, basketball and baseball. He and his brother, Bud, were feared around the valley as a great pitcher-catcher battery in baseball. He remained a lifelong sports fan.

After he graduated from Weiser High School in 1942, he worked in Portland for the Timber Structure Company and later in Hermiston, Ore., during the construction of the munitions site.

He enlisted in the Army in 1943 and took his basic training in Florida. He participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day at Utah Beach and continued with his company across France into Germany where he helped liberate the victims of the concentration camps near Nuremburg. He was honorably discharged at the rank of staff sergeant in November 1945.

Upon his release, he returned to Weiser where he was employed by the U.S. Post Office and then Home Lumber and Coal Company under the G.I. training bill. It was at that time he met the love of his life, Lillian Irene Haun, a local beauty, and they were married in Weiser on May 4, 1946.

John took an accelerated business course at the University of Washington in 1948 and was promoted to manager of Home Lumber and Coal Company in Mountain Home in October of 1949. Twenty years later, with the encouragement of his partners, John and Claude Bermensolo, they purchased the business. In 1976, John expanded the old store into a new retail outlet. He later became sole owner of the business where he worked for 50 years serving the community. The family business is still operated as Carr's Home Lumber Company by his son, Stephen and daughter-in-law Lisa.

John was highly regarded by his business associates and respected by his peers, his family noted, adding that the foundation of his business was built on customer service and integrity. He furthered his knowledge by attending conventions, meetings and seminars, meeting people and making friends. He believed that service with a smile was the best policy and no customer's needs were ever too small, his family said, adding that he always said he never met a person he didn't like and that there was something good to find in everyone.

John loved the outdoors and was an avid fisherman and hunter. He grew up hunting ducks and pheasants on the farms around Weiser. He also enjoyed steelhead trips to Riggins with Stephen. They participated in bass tournaments on C.J. Strike together and hunted elk in the Bennett Hills.

John and Lillian loved attending social functions. They especially enjoyed dancing and never missed a chance to do the polka. They traveled to Alaska, Hawaii, Europe and often to Mexico.

John was a member of the National Lumber and Building Materials Dealers Association, served on the Western Building Material Association Board of Directors, listed in Who's Who of U.S. Executives, was a member and past assistant fire chief of the Mountain Home Volunteer Fire Department, was a charter member of the Elks Lodge #2276, Mountain Home Chapter #24 Royal Arch Masons, Elmore Lodge #30, A.F. & A.M., the El Korah Temple, Boise York Rite Bodies, member and past president of the Elmore Shrine Club, past associate Guardian of Jobs Daughters, past Adjutant and fifty-five year member of the American Legion Post #26, and a member of the Disabled American Veterans.

John was selected as the Grand Marshall of the 1998 Air Force Appreciation Day Parade. He was a 50-year member of the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce and the 2003 recipient of their distinguished business award.

John is survived by: his wife, Lillian; a daughter, Cynthia Jenkins of Boise, and her daughters Jessica of McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and Abigail of Boise; a son, Stephen and his wife, Lisa Marie, and their daughters, Jacey and Stevie of Mountain Home; a brother, Leslie R. (Bud) Carr and his wife, Virginia, of Bend, Ore.; a sister, Maxine Tipton of Payette, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorials be made to the National Parkinson Foundation, P.O. Box 02-5163, Miami, Florida 33102-5163 or Legacy Park of Mountain Home, c/o Parks and Recreation Department, 795 South 5th West, Mountain Home, ID 83647, or a favorite charity.