Gary Chipman

Friday, February 1, 2013

Gary Harlan Chipman, 69, died in his home on the ranch on Jan. 14, 2013, surrounded by his family and friends, after a courageous battle against cancer.

Born on Jan. 22, 1943, in Boise to Jack and Martha Frost Chipman, Gary and his brother, Bill, grew up in Meridian and Mountain Home where they spent many hours taking care of their family's cattle, riding horses, putting up hay, helping the neighbors and milking cows while sneaking a smoke in the barn. Their family included many aunts, uncles, and cousins with whom they shared lots of good times and the coffee pot was always on in Martha's kitchen. They learned the value of hard work on the ranch but they always managed to figure out how to make it fun.

Gary graduated from Mountain Home High School in 1961, where he played football and was elected president of his senior class. The first member of his extended family to enroll in college, he was directed toward the University of Idaho and the Delta Chi Fraternity by caring mentors. There he was elected president of Delta Chi, president of the Interfraternity Council, and chosen as a Distinguished Senior and Greek Man of the Year. His degree was in Ag Economics, but he also majored in bridge and pinball, logging many hours with Madge at the Perch and even missing a final due to a hot bridge game.

He met Margie Felton while in Moscow and they were married on June 7, 1967.

They moved to Grand View, Idaho, after graduation, where Gary rode pens for Simplot, beginning his 45-year friendship with Herb Ingersoll who, most ironically, preceded him in death due to cancer by four months.

He later became a cattle buyer and began a long relationship with the ranchers, sale yard operators, and fellow traders of Idaho, Oregon and Nevada as they bought and sold countless numbers. He returned to Moscow to school in 1969 to work toward his master's degree in animal nutrition. Always ready for a game, checkers was the choice in graduate school. Dr. Richard Bull, his major professor at Idaho, sparked Gary's interest in animal nutrition and he was always a cattle feeder at heart.

Work interfered with the writing of his thesis when he was hired by Rich Hormaechea to work in the Sunnyside Feedlot in Weiser. The young couple was fortunate to adopt a baby boy, Robert Howard, in 1974, who made their family complete.

Gary served as the president of the Idaho Cattlefeeders and the theme of his convention was, "Chipman Makes a Speech." He was not one to speak much in public but people listened when he did.

Many ranch and feedlot opportunities led him to try different locations, but he purchased the ranch of his dreams in the Weiser Cove area in 1998 and he loved it there.

Always one to partner up, he enjoyed many business relationships, but the one that endured was with Ed and Ruth Raney of New Meadows and Weiser. They enjoyed and respected each other and took great care of their cattle and land. Their latest adventure was their involvement with Richard Brown of Snake River Oil and Gas and the many great people they met during the natural gas exploration process. Gary even testified before the Senate and House Natural Resource committees and was appreciated by the legislators as a landowner who took the time to come to Boise to express his opinion.

Gary was a member of Delta Chi Fraternity, the Idaho Cattle Association, Vandal Boosters, and served terms on the Weiser Hospital Board, the Weiser School District Board of Trustees and the Washington County Weed Advisory Board.

He always maintained that his wife, Marg, was the die-hard U of I fan and that it really didn't matter to him if the Vandals won or lost, but that was a front as "hope springs eternal" and he always felt the latest coach would be the one to turn things around. He had many friends in the Vandal family and joined them in mourning the loss of "The Voice," Bob Curtis, this past year.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret, at the ranch in Weiser, son Rob and wife Kim and his mother, Martha Ascuena ,of Weiser, grandchildren Jenny Cornett of Boise and Rick Cornett of Ontario, great-grandson Matthew Xavier, aunt Lorna Cairns of Boise, sister-in-law Carol Chipman of Pullman, Wash., brothers- and-sisters-in-law Mike and Judy Felton of Buhl and Tim and Pat Felton of Midvale, stepbrother David Ascuena (Ruth) of Mountain Home and stepsister Christina Serpa (John)of Pocatello, as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews whom he thoroughly enjoyed.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Bill, and his father, Jack.

His family would like to extend its appreciation for the excellent, loving care given him by Dr. Matthew Schwarz, Dr. Michael Mallea, and Dr. William Kreisle and the wonderful staffs of MSTI Fruitland and the 4th floor of St. Luke's Downtown, as well as Denice and Debbie of Legacy Hospice in Fruitland and Dr. Deric Patterson and the staff of ICU and Telemetry at Meridian St. Luke's.

Contributions in his memory can be made to The Shamrock Club, 423 Frasier Road, Weiser, ID 83672; River Discovery, PO Box 8336, Boise, ID 83707; The Weiser Education Foundation for the Indianhead Academy High School, PO Box 244, Weiser, ID; or a charity of choice.

A celebration of Gary's life will be held on Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Vendome in Weiser.

A longtime friend, Dr. Craig Rowan, characterized him as "Proud of always riding a fine horse--a cowman's cowman."