Robert Charles RheadAugust 7, 1929 ~ July 8, 2017 (age 87)
Robert Charles Rhead, 87, passed away on Saturday, July 8th 2017 at his home surrounded by family. Robert, known as Bob to friends and family was the husband of Marlene DaBell Rhead. They shared more than 66 years of marriage. He succumbed to complete heart block. He had been battling the devastating disease of dementia for the last 3 years.
Bob was born August 7th, 1929 in Shelley Idaho to Claude and Sarah Rhead. Bob was taught the art of growing potatoes by his father saying, “I followed my dad around like a shadow and he taught me how to grow spuds.” Claude’s advice to his son was “To be successful there are things you need to do, you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time and then have enough inner fortitude to do something about it.” Bob eventually became a premier Idaho potato grower, even being recognized as an “Outstanding Idaho Spud Grower”.
In 1950, the year Bob and Marlene were married he received 100 acres from the US government in a trial run to determine if potatoes could be grown in the desert outside Rupert. He and his brother Doug developed a system to clear the land of sagebrush and prepare it for planting. Following that experience he often said “the more and the higher the sagebrush the better soil for planting spuds.” Bob commented he’d never seen such beautiful potatoes in his whole life. Those were very lean years. They lived with cows, snakes and rats even living in a converted chicken coop out in the desert. Potatoes and fresh milk were always on the menu. In June 1954 they suffered a catastrophic frost that killed the entire crop of potatoes. With hard work and the grace of God they persevered. Bob filled every position on the farm including moving pipe.
He farmed in Minidoka, Bingham and Elmore Counties for more than 30 years. He told his family the most important shadow on the farm is your own. Bob wore out several pickups as he surveyed and managed each field. When looking back Bob said he knew his father would be proud of what he accomplished. He could harvest more spuds in a day than his dad did in an entire season. He wore many hats including entrepreneur, visionary, engineer and mechanic. He could look at the desert and envision where the pump would go, how to get the water to the crops, where the house and barn would function best and then turn the dream into reality. He built spud cellars and grain silos.
Bob had an outgoing personality and loved to talk to folks. He learned how to be an auctioneer and for many years served as the Basque Association auctioneer selling many lambs. He was the announcer for local rodeos whenever needed.
Bob loved horses his whole life and took the opportunity to breed, train and race Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. The Rhead family supported each other in everything they did and that included sometimes racing from church meetings in their Sunday best in order to catch one of Bob’s races. Some of the Winners Circle photos are considered prized Family Portraits.
Bob and Marlene served an LDS mission in Nauvoo, Illinois. When it was discovered he was a gifted horseman he was immediately assigned the privilege of driving the tour carriage pulled by two huge draft horses. Bob enthralled the visitors with church history mixed with songs and lots of fun stories of the early pioneers. He always finished the tour with a heartfelt testimony of his love for his Savior.
Returning from their mission Bob and Marlene gave numerous church and community performances teaching of the pioneers in stories and song.
Bob served in multiple church callings, serving as a Temple Ordinance Worker, in Bishoprics and as Sunday School Coordinator. In his last years he enjoyed serving as the Sunday School Gospel Doctrine Class Coordinator.
Bob was preceded in death by his mother and father, his brother Donald and sister Norma. He is survived by his loving wife Marlene Rhead, his brother Doug and sister Carol(Bob Girton), his children
“All Because Two People Fell in LOVE”
Children: Christine (Steve) Hatch, Alaire (Del) Christensen, Daryl (Beth) Rhead, Bobbette (Bill) Poulson, Sami Lue (Rick) Rice, Royce (Jen) Rhead
Grand Children: Sandy (Randy), Rhead (Angie), Sean (Destiny), Erich (Kiera), Mihaela, Sofie (Eugene), Patrick (Chelsea), Hilari (Stewart), Rex (Kayla), DJ (Lyndsy), Blake, Mallory (Bryce), Ashley (Andrew), Garrett, Claire (Ben), Robert, Jake (Kate), Zack (Sasha), Carli, Brielle, Jadice, Haven, Heston. Great Grand Children: Bryant, Mary Ann, Steven, Lauren, Kaitlyn, Shailey, Savanna, Neilson, Zalia, Calla, Leilana, Snow, Tank, Kaasten, Lydia, Carson, Scarlett, Hayden, Lexi, Tyce, Lucas, Isaac, Elijah.
There will be a viewing Wednesday, July 12th from 6-8pm at Bowman Funeral Home, 10254 W. Carlton Bay, Garden City. There will also be a viewing prior to the Funeral Services Thursday, July 13th from 9:30-10:30am and Funeral Services will take place at 11am, at 3775 E Ustick Road, Meridian 83646, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Interment will take place at Meridian Cemetery.