Kent W. Gist, 90, of Fruitland, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family in his home Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, Aug. 24th at the First United Methodist Church, 2nd and Nebraska, Fruitland. Following the service, graveside rites will be performed at Park View Cemetery, New Plymouth by Washoe Lodge #28, AF&AM, and the United States Air Force. Funeral services and arrangements are under the direction of Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel, Fruitland. Condolences may be made to Kent's family at www.shaffer-jensenchapel.com.
Kent was born in Inwood, IA, to Joseph R. and Gladys Leffler Gist. When Kent was four years old the young family moved to a farm near Presho, SD. Younger siblings Rodney and Ruth were added to the family during the 10 years they lived there. This was the time of The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Struggling to survive, the Gists' made two crops in ten years. In 1937, the family moved east to Canton, SD. Kent graduated from Worthing High School in 1939 as president of his class.
At age 20, Kent enlisted in the Army, and was trained as a radio operator and Morse code specialist. Serving in the Army Air Corps, he had duty stations in Guadalcanal, Emirau, Hawaii, Saipan, and Iwo Jima. He witnessed the raising of the American Flag on Mount Suribachi from a Navy destroyer. Kent was honorably discharged Dec. 6, 1945.
In 1946, while attending college in Madison, SD he met his one true love, Edith Ingalls of Bryant, SD. Kent and Edith were married June 6, 1948 in Bryant and began a union of more than 64 years. Kent and Edith started their married life in Arlington, WA, where daughter Sara was born in 1949, moved to Idaho in 1950 where daughter Melissa was born in 1952, and son John in 1956. March 1, 1958, the Gist family moved to a five acre plot on Denver Road near Fruitland, where Kent and Edith have lived ever since.
Kent was a self-employed businessman, who enjoyed meeting and serving others. With his partner Ed Powell, he built a successful insurance and tax preparation business. Kent had loyal customers, and many had him do their tax preparation for 30 years or more.
Kent was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church, and served in many capacities in all ministries of the Fruitland First United Methodist Church. He was a talented vocalist, and was called upon many times to share this talent with others.
Kent was a Past Master of Washoe Lodge #28, AF&AM, was active in York Rite and Royal Arch Masonry, and served as Grand Chaplain of the Idaho Grand Chapter, Order of Eastern Star. Kent and Edith traveled many miles and met many dear friends through their participation in Masonic fraternities.
Kent had an undying and infectious sense of humor, an incredible resolve of self- discipline and example to others, an unshakable faith in his God and Savior, and the eternal gratitude of his loving family and friends who were touched by his remarkable life.
We will always remember the professional and loving care provided to Kent and all of our family by Heart 'n Home Hospice. You made the impossible manageable, provided us with wonderful support, needed advice, and dignity throughout the process.
Kent is survived by his wife, Edith; children, Sara Young of Orangevale, CA, Melissa Nelson (Randy) of Boise, and John of American Falls, ID; four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church or Washoe Lodge #28, AM&FM, c/o Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel, P.O. Box 730, Payette, ID 83661.