Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, at Summers Funeral Home, Ustick Chapel, Meridian. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery. A viewing for family and friends will be held one hour prior to the Wednesday service time.
John was born Aug. 1, 1920, in Mountain Home, to Errol F. and Anna Gray Black. He attended schools in Little Valley and Mountain Home, and was a member of the first class to attend Bruneau Grade School.
John was raised on the family ranch at Bruneau, Shoofly, and Battle Creek, and was doing a man's job by the age of 10, his family noted. He buckarooed with his father until his late teens when he left the ranch and began a career that included operating heavy equipment.
John worked for highway districts building and maintaining roads and was an expert blade operator.
During his cowboy years, John participated in gathering wild horses off the Bruneau desert and breaking them for sale to the cavalry. He also contested in local rodeos, entering and often winning the horse races, foot races, team roping, and wild cow milking events.
John married Viola Collett on Sept. 25, 1949. They settled in Bruneau, where John worked on the family ranch. In 1951, they bought a farm in Grand View and moved there. While farming, John worked for the Grand View Mutual Canal Co. as the ditch rider for 10 years. He then worked for the Simplot Land and Livestock Co. in Grand View until he retired in 1979. At the time of his retirement, he was the farm boss of the Grand View operation.
Following John's retirement, the open road and warmer climates beckoned. The couple spent winters at their home in Yuma, Ariz., and summers in Idaho for 25 years.
John is survived by: his wife of 54 years, Viola; children Rayola Jacobsen of Boise, Tom Black of Boise, and Mary Anne Bachman of Wilder; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother and sister in Bruneau.
John felt his greatest achievement in life was raising his family.
Memorials may be made to the Grand View Ambulance Service.