10254 W. Carlton Bay | Garden City, ID 83714

Robert Max Tarbet December 25, 1934 - September 12, 2022

Robert Max Tarbet

December 25, 1934 – September 12, 2022

Robert (Bobby) Max Tarbet came into this world on a cold snowy day, on December 25, 1934.  Born in Burley, ID to Bourke and Caroline “Kitty” (Waterson) Tarbet.  Bourke hitched the horses to a wagon and traveled into Burley to pick up the doctor when Dad was born.  And so, the journey begins!

Bobby was the 5th of 7 children; the Tarbet house was full.  Dewain was the oldest followed by Doris, Lamar, Floyd, Bobby, Lois and Bonnie Ann.  The Tarbet family moved from Burley, ID to Benson, UT, which is a farming community near Logan, UT.  Bourke, Kitty and kids would dig up clay from the nearby slew, form the clay into bricks then place the clay bricks in the oven.  Together, they built their home that stands today and is an example of the can-do attitude.  Today their home is on the Utah Historical list.

Quote:  Grief never ends…but it changes.  It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…It is the price of love.  Author Unknown

Growing up on the farm provided a lot of opportunities for the brothers and sisters to work hard, learn how to fix things while using parts and pieces laying around the farm and to work together. At the end of the day the brothers and sisters learned about to perseverance and never giving up! A skill set that was passed on to their children as well.

Dad always talked about hand milking the cows twice a day and how the farm cats would gather around at milking time for a chance of catching a drink of warm milk.  Dad was a pretty good shot at arcing a stream of milk through the air to hit the cats’ mouths.  Dad even remembered the sticker number, L175, on the Tarbet milk cans.

Quote:  Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.  Theodore Geisel (You know him as Dr. Seuss)

Before the Tarbets had coal heat they heated and cooked with wood.  Dad talked about splitting wood and feeding the fire to keep their home warm.  Dad said the family had a tradition at bedtime when their home was quiet.  Someone would knock on their bedroom wall and all the brothers, sisters, Mom and Dad would join in, returning the knock; then everyone would drift off to sleep.  Dust off that Tarbet tradition tonight and think of our Dad.  Knock, knock.

Dad graduated from North Cache High School in 1953.  The 34th president of the United States of America in 1953 was Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953 to 1961).  The number one song was from the Moulin Rouge (Where is your heart).

Quote:  I’m always relieved when someone is delivering an eulogy and I realize that I’m listening to it.  George Carlin

In 1953, a pair of farm boys, LaThair Munk and Bob Tarbet, graduated from North Cache High School.  On June 9, 1955, those two handsome young men walked into a military recruiter’s office and joined the Army together.  A new journey began!  (LaThair sent me a text with this quality piece of history.  Thank you LaThair.)

Dad’s discharge letter is a photo copy and difficult to read but by using a magnifying glass to read the document, Dad was discharged as a Specialist 3rd Class, Expert Gunner and received a Good Conduct Medal.  (The Expert Gunner notation makes me smile because it was an experience during pheasant season hunting with Dad.  Dad rarely missed a pheasant.  He was an excellent shot!)

Quote:  There is no expiration date on the love between a Father and his Children.  Author Unknown

Dad married Karen Gaydean Stanger on May 1, 1959.  They lived in Logan, UT for two years during that time they had a son, Craig.  They moved to Hyrum, UT and had a daughter, Teresa.  In 1970 Dad’s job moved our family to Winnemucca, NV; in 1972 our family moved to Brigham City, UT; followed by a move to Twin Falls, ID in 1974; then to Pocatello, ID in 1978; and a final move to Boise, ID in 2012.  It was great when Mom and Dad moved to Boise since Teresa and I had our families in the Boise area.

Dad always looked forward to deer/elk hunting season.  I remember going with Dad and his high school/work friends to set up a double wall tent with a stove in a secret place near the Tony Grove area of Logan Canyon.  These two short sentences are a small piece of Dad’s history, but this piece of history will always make me smile.

Quote:  So you have pain now, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.  John 16:22

Mom and Dad’s 34 years in Pocatello was the longest time spent in one location.  Dad took many fishing trips to Henry’s Lake, American Falls Reservoir and Lake Powell.  Mike Reese, Doug Peterson, Allen Broadhurst and many others were part of the fishing group.  They took a week-long trip to Canada to Lake Iskwatikan, BC.  Pike and Lake trout were the primary fish to be caught.  The sun didn’t quite set while we were there so the cabins had black out curtains.  We had such a great time.

While talking to Allen Broadhurst, he shared that Bob was like a brother and that he was a “prince of a man!”  He said one of Dad’s pre-bedtime habits when on a fishing or hunting trip was just before bedtime Dad would burst out with the tale of “The Cremation of Sam McGee”.

Allen also shared that Dad was passionate about gardening and Dad said that he was proud to have shared his love for gardening with his grandsons, Jason and CJ.  They spent a day planting the garden together, giving special coaching on the planting of tomatoes.  Dad loved tomatoes.

I haven’t been able to read this poem without getting teary eyed.  Dad was constantly cold the last 5 years of his life.  Dad choose to be cremated and he was born on Christmas Day.

The Cremation of Sam McGee
~Robert W. Service

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ’round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he’d often say in his homely way that “he’d sooner live in hell.”

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
“It’s the cursèd cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet ’tain’t being dead—it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”

A pal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: “You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it’s up to you to cremate those last remains.”

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the “Alice May.”
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, “is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: “I’ll just take a peep inside.
I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked”; … then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm–
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

About two weeks before Dad passed (which I like to think of as being promoted) as usual he was cold, so we went outside and set up the lawn chairs in the warm sunshine.  We talked about little things that I don’t remember much of but what I do remember is Dad staring into the blue sky above. From time to time Dad’s head would move from side to side, like he was watching something move in the sky.   All I could see was blue sky and a spattering of white clouds.  After a period of silence, I asked Dad what he was looking at.  Dad never replied…

I like to think Dad could see the stairway to Heaven and he watched the Angels escorting the beautiful souls to the stairway.  I believe it brought a sense of peace to Dad as he had a glimpse of what his journey would be.   ~ Craig Tarbet (Son)

Quote:  How lucky am I to have something that makes saying, good bye so hard.  Author AA Milne, also wrote Winne the Pooh

How can I find the RIGHT words to honor my Father?  To let him know how much we LOVED him.  To say “thank-you” for all you have done and ALWAYS being there.  You, Dad, walked with Craig and I through life.  Through the joys, successes and laughter of life.  Through the tears and toughest parts of life.

You, my sweet, quiet, tender hearted Dad are the BEST we could have hoped for.  And I see and feel the sweetest lifetime of devotion you invested in us.

Thank you for the time we had together.

Thank you for LOVING us.

Thank you, Dad for being our HERO, our SUPERMAN!   ~ Teresa Peterson (Daughter)

Quote:  The only difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time congress meets.  Author Will Rodgers.

When Teresa and I started to work on our Dad’s Obituary we weren’t sure where to start and after we started we weren’t sure where to end Dad’s story.  In the end, we realized Dad’s story will never end because Mom, Teresa, John, Jason, CJ, Sally, (put your name here) and I will carry a sweet memory of Dad in our hearts.  Forever.  Please feel free to add your special memory of our Dad and loving husband in the comment section below.  Knock, Knock.

There will be a committal with military honors on Friday, November 4, 2022 at 1pm at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, 10100 Horseshoe Bend Rd. Boise.  Reception to follow at 2:30pm at Bowman Funeral Chapel, 10254 W. Carlton Bay Dr., Garden City, Idaho.

Hello Friends and Family of Bob Tarbet.

For those that can't make it to Bob's service in person on November 4th, we're inviting you to join online via Zoom.


We'll start the Zoom meeting early at 12:30 to let people join early.

The service at Veterans Cemetery begins promptly at 1:00 and ends at 1:30.

We'll use this same Zoom meeting again at 2:30 when we meet at Bowmans Funeral Home for a reception.


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  1. REPLY
    Jay and Susan Larsen says

    Karen and family we were so sad to read that Bob has passed. We will be keeping you all in our prayers. Bob was so fun to be around, we especially enjoyed playing horseshoes with him.

  2. REPLY
    Margaret Carroll says

    My condolences Sally and Craig. I hope you will be comforted by all the love and support from family and friends.

  3. REPLY
    Alan Broadhurst says

    Where would I start or end in telling you about my best friend ? It would take pages to convey our friendship and it’s special respect and caring it had for one another. From the wilds of Canada to the “River of No Return” after Steelhead or laying half frozen in snow hunting geese. I am sure we wore the soles off many pairs of boots ! See you in heaven Partner and maybe grab a ham-bugga or have an Oly and a “Ring a Red” together.

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