Earl Linford Priest passed away peacefully at his home in Middleton, Idaho on Monday, February 5, 2018. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday.
Earl was born on January 23, 1938 in Boise, Idaho to Melvin and Helen Priest. He was the oldest of five children and grew up on 32nd Street in Boise; he graduated from Boise High School in 1956. Earl served a two-year mission for the LDS Church to the New England States Mission. He also attended Boise Jr. College for a time. Earl married his high school sweetheart, Judy Cornish, on December 9, 1960 in the Logan, Utah LDS Temple. Judy and Earl raised their six children in Caldwell, Idaho.
Earl started working at Priest Electric with his father Melvin in 1957. Through the years he was blessed with many friends and colleagues he met while working on their motors, pumps, and industrial equipment. He was proud to be part of a service business helping farmers and ranchers, factories, municipalities, mines, and anyone else who walked through the door. He continued a regular work week at Priest Electric and even after sixty years, he refused to retire.
Earl had various hobbies throughout the years. He had a love for aviation and enjoyed flying his various airplanes around the skies of Idaho. He was particularly proud of his airplanes, some he built in the basement and garage, but he finally settled on a Cessna 182 with modifications for the back country for the last 25 years. He loved to drive the car he adored since his high school days, a self-built 1952 MG TD. You may recall seeing him in various parades throughout the valley with a pretty queen perched on the back of the car and American flags flying from the side rims. He loved spending summer time in Cascade and at home in the backyard.
Of all his projects and hobbies, Earl’s favorite way to spend his time was supporting his children and grandchildren in their endeavors: rodeos, dirt bikes, sports of all kinds, dance recitals, and simply going on walks with his family. His family came first and he would often drop whatever he was doing to support them.
Earl’s heart was devoted to serving others, and he and Judy were the foster parents to over two hundred foster children. He loved other’s children as his own, and devoted years on their behalf. Earl was a father figure to many and had a lasting impact on the lives of countless individuals. He was an active member of the LDS Church and served faithfully in various callings from the nursery to the High Council.
Earl is survived by his wife Judy; his children and their spouses, David (Shelena) Priest, Nancy (Randy) St. Clair, Greg (Angela) Priest, Christina (Andrew) Bettinson, Sheri Priest and Viviana Priest; brother, Richard (Judy) Priest; and sisters, Sandy (Jim) Shipley and Jan (Garland) Dennett. He was the beloved grandfather to 14 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. Earl was preceded in death by his parents Melvin and Helen, and brother Kenneth.
Friends and family are welcome to a viewing from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 9th at Dakan Funeral Chapel, 504 S. Kimball Ave, Caldwell. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 10th at the LDS Church, 1749 Willis Rd, Middleton. A viewing in the Relief Society room will also be held prior to the funeral services from 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. Condolences may be shared at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com