Cecil R. Binford, 95, of Nampa, slipped away into the arms of Jesus on September 26, 2018 at a local hospital after a brief illness, finishing a full life of faithfulness to his family, his faith and his country. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, October 5, 2018 at College Church of the Nazarene, 504 E Dewey Ave., Nampa. Arrangements are in the care of Dakan Funeral Chapel, Caldwell. Condolences and memories may be shared with Cecil’s family at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com
Cecil was born February 15, 1923 to the farm family of Ernest and Myrtle Ross Binford in Haviland, Kansas, the oldest of 5 children. He attended school in Haviland and graduated from the academy of Friends Bible College, where he also attended one year of college. While there he met Lois Gossard, and they were married at the newly completed Greenleaf Friends Church in Greenleaf, Idaho November 16, 1944. After their marriage Cecil and Lois farmed near Haviland for the next few years, interrupted by 8 months of service in the Army as World War II was coming to a close. A daughter, Marilyn, and a son, Howard, were born while the family was in Kansas. In 1951 Cecil moved his family to a farm near Greenleaf, Idaho “where he could see the mountains.” Daughter Jana and son Chris were born in Caldwell after the family moved back to Idaho. In 1955 Cecil became a homestead farmer west of Paul, Idaho. He cleared 97 acres of sagebrush, put in irrigation and built a family home. After 3 years Cecil moved the family back to Greenleaf to be able to enroll his children in Greenleaf Friends Academy.
Cecil continued farming until 1970, when he held a farm sale and went to work as a carpenter for Cliff Ralphs. He worked in the construction of many homes and churches in the Treasure Valley. In 1979 Cecil and Lois began a new chapter of life, making annual snowbird trips to Yuma, Arizona, and he made his last trip to Yuma earlier this year. Cecil and Lois discovered a whole new life of friendships and activities, including the fun of running and maintaining dune buggies in the desert and on the sand dunes, and serving as a gleaning volunteer for the Yuma Food Bank. Their garage became a social center for weekly potlucks and game nights. They also began volunteering for the Mobile Missionary Assistance Program, working in construction projects for churches and Christian camps, in jobs that took them to Hawaii, Mexico, Canada and many states in the lower 48. Later Cecil became the co-founder of VOW, Volunteers on Wheels, supporting ministry construction projects of the Northwest Yearly Meeting of the Friends Church. In 1982 Cecil fulfilled the dream of helping with mission field construction projects in Peru and Bolivia, and later in Surinam. Cecil helped in many remodel projects for his family, and extensively remodeled several homes where he and Lois lived. Cecil so enjoyed being active, and as he merged into semi-retirement, he took up a regular regimen of walking in the morning, and in later years, riding a stationary bike. Cecil’s guiding principles of life were anchored in the Bible and his personal relationship with Christ. He faithfully lived by his convictions, putting his faith on display in his work ethic, his commitment to obedience to Biblical commands as he understood them, his love for his family, his love and loyalty to his wife, and his care for others. He served on the Boards of George Fox College and Greenleaf Friends Academy, where he also served as board chairman, and gave generously to Greenleaf Friends Church and Academy. He encouraged the launch of the annual Greenleaf Academy Auction and was honored with the Spirit of GFA award in 2013. After he and Lois moved to Nampa, he found a new church home at College Church of the Nazarene, and enjoyed singing with Grace Notes, the Senior Adult Choir. He also began volunteering at the Nampa Senior Center. His dear wife Lois passed away March 7, 2013, after 68 years of sharing life together. Later Cecil began a friendship with Wally Holtry, a co-volunteer at the Nampa Senior Center, and that friendship, a great comfort to him, led to romance, and he and Wally were married August 15, 2016. Cecil loved people and had a great sense of humor. He was ever a farmer at heart, and loved what the soil produced. His family has many fond memories of camping trips and family gatherings. He picked up the hobby of making caramel popcorn, perfected his recipe, and shared his ‘caramel corn’ wherever he went. He was frugal and loved findings bargains when he shopped. He is loved and honored by his family as a godly patriarch, and will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Leona Miller, his wife, Lois, and his daughter, Marilyn Shaw (Richard).
Cecil is survived by his wife, Wally of Nampa, son Howard (Alice) of Greenleaf, daughter Jana Fine (Steve) of Nampa, son Chris (Nancy) of Twin Falls, brothers Allen (Barbara) Binford and Paul Binford, and sister Pauline (Bob) Busby, all of Kansas, 18 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren, and 5 great, great-grandchildren, numerous other family members and numberless friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in his honor to Greenleaf Friends Academy, 20565 Academy Rd, Greenleaf, ID 83626; or to Barclay College, 607 N Kingman Ave, Haviland, KS 67059.