Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Larry Raymond Crall, 79

| August 9, 2020 1:00 AM

Our dad, Larry Raymond Crall, 79, of Kellogg, Idaho, was finally released from his battle with Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at the Good Samaritan Society- Silver Wood Village in Silverton. He was born on Aug. 17, 1940, in Coeur d’Alene, to Cleon Crall and Ruth Carney Crall. Dad grew up in Kellogg and graduated from Kellogg High School in 1958, where he played basketball, a love he later passed on to his oldest granddaughter. After graduation, Dad joined the United States Army and became a devoted Army soldier and helicopter mechanic. He served in Korea and at various Army bases around the United States before he was honorably discharged in 1964.

He married his high school sweetheart, Janice Marie Turbak, on April 23, 1960, in Kellogg. They were married for 55 years before she passed away in 2015. Mom moved with Dad to Columbus, Ga., where he was stationed at Fort Benning, and they welcomed their first daughter, Kim. Later, they welcomed another daughter, Kellee, and a son, Brett. After his Army career, Dad worked as a bartender and a roofer until he found his true passion. Under his stepfather, Frank Warnecke’s watchful eye, Dad completed his apprenticeship at Bunker Hill and began his lifelong career as a journeyman electrician. He worked for many years at King Electric in Kellogg, under the leadership of his friend, Jack King, where Dad secured his reputation as “the best electrician in the Silver Valley.”

After the mine closures in the early 1980s, Dad traveled to find work, spending time in California and Leavenworth, Spangle, Spokane, the Tri Cities, and Republic, Wash., but Kellogg always remained his home. After he “retired” he was called back to work by Strom Electric and was the foreman of many more jobs, including the wiring of Fred Meyer in Coeur d’Alene, Walmart in Post Falls, and finally, the Walmart in Smelterville. During and after his 50-year career, he was always helping family and friends, lending his expertise to wire their home additions, shops, etc. He even traveled to Cozumel, Mexico, multiple times to help Brett wire the home he and Laurie built, and he also snuck in a couple of scuba-diving excursions while he was there, under Brett’s guidance.

Although Alzheimer’s eventually robbed him of his memory, Dad always stayed busy until the very end. His yard was always the envy of the neighborhood. He enjoyed refereeing, basketball, softball, yard work, tinkering and fixing things, duck-hunting, golden retrievers, riding his bike along the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, often between Kellogg and Mullan, and spending time with his family and granddaughters. He was their biggest fan at events, and was a fixture at Spokane Hoopfest year after year, often “helping” the referees and coaches.

By far, Dad’s greatest joy was spending time making the river property (Gilligan’s Island) beautiful and comfortable for his large family. Whether it be mowing, weed-eating, installing and maintaining electricity and water, a concrete basketball court (on which mom hand-painted the key), or horseshoe pits, he could always be found there from spring to fall, year after year, working long hours to get everything “just right.” As a result, we had many happy years and made so many memories that will never be forgotten. Dad earned the nickname “MacGyver of the North Fork” due to his ability to fix anything, often with limited resources. He was also the worlds’ best at airing up and patching hundreds of tubes and rafts over the years so that his kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews could float the river. He was always our hero.

In addition to his parents, Cleon and Ruth, Dad was preceded in death by our mom, Janice; his mother-in-law, Marge Turbak; sisters-in-law, Carleen Turbak and Lois Bening; and brothers-in-law, Jim Bening, Gene Turbak and Chuck Bottinelli; as well as his treasured aunt and uncle, Jack and Shirley Carney and cousin, Linda McKinley.

Dad is survived by his son; Brett (Laurie Ann Lavigne) of Eagle River, Ark. and Cozumel, Mexico; two daughters, Kim (Dave) Rowley of Liberty Lake, Wash. and Kellee Mills of Hayden, Idaho; two granddaughters, Megan Mills of Boise and Melanie Mills, of Hayden; a half-brother, Pat Crall of Oregon; in-laws, Wayne and Rita Johnson of Spokane, Carol Bottinelli of Deer Park and Jack Turbak of Smelterville; and cousins, Tom McKinley and Cindy Elfsten. He is also survived by multiple nieces and nephews.

Dad’s honorary family includes the entire staff at Good Samaritan Society in Silverton. We needed a safe place for Dad, and although his stay there lasted just nine months, most of it during the COVID pandemic, the love and care that he received was beyond what we could have imagined. The entire staff stepped up and worked as a team to care for Dad and often chased after him as he figured out door codes and set off alarms. We will be forever thankful for the love and care from this extended family of caregivers.

An informal celebration of life will be held on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, at Gilligan’s Island on the north fork of the Coeur d’Alene River, a half mile below the Bumblebee Bridge. Grab your lawn chair and come by anytime between 1 and 5 p.m. and see the place that brought our Dad and family so much happiness. We will be enjoying the river, sharing stories, laughing and visiting. Food will be provided between 2:30 and 4 p.m. from the GarrenTeed BBQ food truck of Kellogg. Cold drinks will be provided by the family. Look for the Black and Gold balloons (Idaho Vandal colors) marking the entrance to the property.

A graveside service with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, Dad’s 80th birthday, at the Greenwood Cemetery, Kellogg. Father Jerome Montez will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Good Samaritan Society in Silverton, or St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Kellogg. Another way to honor Dad’s memory is to float the river, and, as he was so fond of telling floaters, “pick up your garbage.” Messages of condolence may be sent to the family online at www.shoshonefuneralservice.com. Shoshone Funeral Services, Kellogg, is assisting the Crall family with arrangements.