Sunday, June 15, 2008

Us Now and Then

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gordon McNamara.

Gordon McNamara.
Gordon McNamara, 80, of Idaho Falls, died March 25, 1998, at his home of natural causes.
He was born Feb. 10, 1918, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Joseph Daniel and Sarah Maude Butte McNamara. He grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated from high school there. During World War II he served with the military in Italy and was awarded the Bronze Star.
On Aug. 17, 1937, he married Eva Bailey in Salt Lake City. They made their home in Idaho Falls. He worked as a butcher for Bill's Supermarket and operated his own general delivery service. He then worked as a pipefitter for the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory for 35 years. His wife died Oct. 26, 1976.
He served as Post Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He loved anything mechanical and enjoyed working with his hands. He loved his family and friends, and was always very proud to have served his country while he was in the military.
Survivors include his three daughters and their husbands, Linda Lee Packer (Don), Sherry Marlene Watkins (Dane), and Jan Lorraine Holtom (Steve), all of Idaho Falls; a brother, H. Wayne McNamara of Idaho Falls; 18 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by three sisters and a brother.
Funeral services will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Coltrin Colonial Mortuary, 2100 First St. in Idaho Falls. The family will visit with friends Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until time of services at the mortuary. Burial will be in the Ammon Cemetery, where the Bonneville County Veterans Team will perform military rites.

That Was A While Ago

All-area honors
Coach of the Year: Newel Sargent, Shelley
Player of the Year: Kathy Jensen, Skyline
First team
Teresa Gemar, Shelley; Camille Woodbury, Sugar-Salem; Melinda Gee, Sugar-Salem; Jennifer Wilburn, Idaho Falls; Kathy Jensen, Skyline.
Second team
Kris Stears, Shelley, Stephanie Keller, Madison; Kera Buell, Idaho Falls; Jackie Hallady, Ririe; Heather Fife, Madison
Third team
Stephanie Jepson, Blackfoot; Meisha Bird, Shelley; Shannon Young, South Fremont; Kristi Nitterer, West Jefferson; Jenni Meiners, Skyline
Honorable mention
Laura Lusk, Bonneville; Val Sorenson, Idaho Falls; Monica Dexter, Sugar-Salem; Sara Lentz, Skyline; Cheri Simmons, Bonneville; Alison Holtom, Idaho Falls; Linda Humpherys, Blackfoot; DorisAnn Burnett, Mackay.
All-Area Girls' Basketball Team

Cheers and Jeers (dad)

CHEERS to Idaho Falls High School Principal Steve Holtom. He refused to take a side in the cola wars. Soft drink companies are trying to buy their way into American schools, negotiating exclusive access to their young clientele. Coke and Pepsi executives believe winning a youngster' s loyalty to their brand will create a lifelong customer. In exchange, they' re willing to pay a bonus to schools that give them a monopoly on the vending machines available to students. Three of Idaho Falls' four high schools have signed these kinds of contracts. And that' s netted them some money. That' s fine. A marketing battle over soft drinks isn' t going to break any moral principles. Just the same, it' s refreshing to see a school administrator allow students to exercise their own choice - ahead of a few extra dollars.

Last Day of School (dad)

Right after the bell rang Wednesday morning, Idaho Falls High School Principal Steve Holtom picked up his telephone to broadcast the day' s announcements. From his office, he reminded students to pay fees and fines before they left for the summer and to clean out their lockers. Then, after a brief pause, Holtom bid them farewell. Make the best of every day, he said, and most of all, good luck. It was another last for him. On Tuesday, he herded about 350 seniors through his last graduation practice. Later that night, he gave his final commencement speech to teary-eyed parents and students. Soon he' d be walking up Seventh Street, across Tiger Avenue by Ravsten Stadium - his morning route to work - for the last time. After 37 years in education, 22 of those as IFHS' s principal, Holtom is retiring. "It' s been a nostalgic week," he said. "When I look back on it, it' s all gone so fast." Holtom, 61, first considered a career in education during his junior year at Bonneville High School. Raised near Iona, Holtom had plowed enough fields, harvested enough wheat and strung enough fence to know that was not a life he wanted forever. In 1956, he went to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, to study education. Six years later - he spent two years in South Africa as a Mormon missionary - Holtom returned to eastern Idaho to teach driver' s education in the Idaho Falls School District. He then taught social studies at Clair E. Gale Junior High School for a year before taking time off to complete his master' s degree. He returned to the old Central School and was promoted to assistant principal and then principal. It was at Central that Holtom went through one of his most trying and memorable times. The school, where the Aquatic Center stands now, burned to the ground in the middle of a school day in 1973. When fire was spotted in the back of the school, teachers grabbed their roll books and everyone evacuated the building, he recalled. Holtom and a few others went back in to gather student records while teachers accounted for all 800 students. "I remember we were moving something out of the office and one of the teachers told me to be careful or we' d chip the paint on the door," he said. "All I could think is there wouldn' t be a door left pretty soon." From across the street, students and teachers watched their school burn to rubble and cinders. Holtom has two framed pictures of the fire in his office along with four of the school' s burned bricks. He' s used them over the years to remind teachers and students why the school must plan for disasters like fires. "No one thinks it can happen, but it can," he said. Holtom has also dealt with pranksters stringing dead cats from the school' s marquee as an Emotion Bowl prank (IFHS' s mascot is a tiger), and has watched angry people storm Clair E. Gale Junior High School looking for a student who beat up some O.E. Bell students. In that case, Holtom and another principal locked the student in the main office and called the police while an O.E. Bell mom kicked a hole in the door. "They were arrested for disorderly conduct and we ended up testifying in court against them," he said. Holtom is well-known in the Idaho Falls School District for his even-keeled, fair temperament and steady handling of bad situations. For that reason and others, several young principals have trained under Holtom, including Skyline Principal George Boland, Edgemont Principal Cody Claver and Randy Hurley, IFHS' s new principal. "He' s provided a lot of stability to the district during times of turmoil," said John Murdoch, assistant superintendent. Mary Noble, who' s taught journalism at IFHS for 20 years, attests to Holtom' s fairness. During her years as the Tiger Times' advisor, Holtom has backed her up on more than one occasion and has never told her students what they cannot print. Holtom is one of the longest serving principals in the district, and has also served the longest tenure at one school. Holtom is the third principal the nearly 50-year-old IFHS has had. Glenn Manion, Holtom' s predecessor, also served 22 years there. Holtom' s last day isn' t until the end of June - he still has to sort through 37 years of paperwork and files. But in many ways, this week was the end for Holtom. This was the last week he patrolled the halls making sure students attended class. It was the last time he played the national anthem over the intercom, which he' s done every Monday since he became principal. He' s played a different artist each week, ranging from Jimi Hendrix to the Army Band. On Wednesday, students and staff stopped by to wish him luck. He signed yearbooks and conducted interviews with the media. When the final bell rang, Holtom stepped into the hall to make sure nothing happened the last day of school. "I just need to make sure the building is clear and they leave the building intact," he said while confiscating a piece of metal a student had taken from a broken desk.

Bessie Storer Holtom

Bessie Storer Holtom, 94, longtime resident of Iona and Idaho Falls, died April 20, 2001, at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. She was born Nov. 9, 1906, at Milo, Idaho, to Frederick John Storer and Sarah Jane Cleverley Storer. She grew up and attended schools in Milo and also attended Ricks Academy. She was a lifelong resident of Bonneville County, having lived 21 years in Milo, 17 years in Idaho Falls, and 56 years in Iona. She married Jesse Everett Holtom on June 29, 1927, in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. They made their home in Iona where she was a homemaker and mother. She also worked as a retail clerk and as a produce line worker. Her husband passed away Feb. 13, 1974. As an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she served as an MIA teacher, Relief Society President, temple worker, and visiting teacher. She was a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and the Teamsters Union. She enjoyed gardening, quilting, and crocheting. Survivors include three sons, Gary S. (JoAnn) Holtom of Apache Junction, Ariz., Steve E. (Jan) Holtom of Idaho Falls, and Dave J. (Anne) Holtom of Orlando, Flo.; one brother, Walter Storer of Idaho Falls; one sister, LaVeta Bacon of Idaho Falls; 17 grandchildren; and 38 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband; five brothers, Arthur, Willard, Dell, Lorus, and Lawrence; and a sister, Myrtle Brown. Funeral services will be Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Iona LDS 5th Ward, Iona Road & Ririe Highway, with Bishop Michael Long officiating. The family will meet with friends Tuesday from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Wood Funeral Home, 273 N. Ridge Ave., in Idaho Falls, and Wednesday one hour before services at the church. Burial will be in Fielding Memorial Park.

Michael Packer

Mike Packer was a naturally gifted racer. It didn’t matter if it was onboard a Suzuki Street Bike, a rear-engined Dragster or the Packer-family’s latest colorful `48 Fiat Topolino roadster. A second-generation competitor, he was always under the watchful eye of his Dad Scott, an amazingly talented rider in his own right.
He was a former event champion at Firebird and one of the fastest to ever ride a Street Bike down the Firebird quarter-mile. In 2005, Mike rode his 2002 Suzuki 1300 cc bike to the top spot on the 100 mph club with a booming 153.81 ride, which outdistanced all 55 riders that season. One year earlier it was Mike that just edged out his Dad with a 160.88 mph blast. Scott finished second overall that year just a mile per hour and a half behind his son at 158.59. He was also successful behind the wheel of a colorful rear-engined Dragster. He was quick learner in Super Pro and it didn’t take long before Mike reached the Winner’s Circle. Among a variety of race wins, he was a former Super Pro victor at the Octoberfast Best of Detroit races at Firebird in the Fall of 2001.Mike’s last victory at Firebird came during our biggest race of the season. He was the champion on Saturday night, August 11, 2007, aboard his Hayabusa motorcycle, at the Pepsi Nightfire Nationals.