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Leah May McGovern


1914 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Leah May McGovern Obituary
Leah May McGovern passed away in the early morning hours, December 21, 2014, at Bingham Memorial Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation where she had resided for the past five years.
Leah was born on August 13, 1914 in Salmon, Idaho to Lester and Nanny (Martinelly) McGovern. Her father having accepted the position as ranch manager, the family moved to the Rea family ranch between Kilgore, and Island Park. There being no schools nearby, Leah with her mother returned to Salmon where she began first grade while living with her Grandmother Martinelly. She completed her first year of schooling in Spencer, Idaho where she lived with an aunt and uncle. The next year Leah attended school in Nampa while living with her McGovern grandparents. She completed her education in Kilgore, living with her aunt and uncle, Virginia and Ed Frederiksen and family. Leah fondly recalled skiing with her cousins on Sundays and upon their return home, Aunt Virginia would have hot chocolate or warm milk for them.
The beginning of Christmas vacation during her 9th grade year in Kilgore, Leah began her journey home to the Rea Ranch on the mail sleigh, met enroute by her father with his sleigh. She recalled being wrapped in blankets with a heated rock provided for extra warmth. Her formal education ended when deep snow and blizzards made it impossible for Leah to return to Kilgore and school.
While living on the Rea Ranch Leah's family grew to include her brother, Dean Rea McGovern, who died when just one-year old, and her sister Nadine. In 1939, at the time of the completion of the Island Park Dam, Leah moved with her family to Riverside, Bingham County, where she assisted her family on the farm. In 1969, following the death of her parents, Leah moved to Blackfoot. Her new home was within walking distance of the Idaho State Fairgrounds. She eagerly anticipated this annual event where she enjoyed viewing the exhibits, watching other fair visitors and talking with the friends and relatives she encountered. Another favorite activity was the frequent walk to Stan's Restaurant for breakfast or lunch and to visit with the staff she came to know well.
Health issues necessitated Leah's move to Bingham Memorial Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation in April 2009, where she resided until her death. In August of this year, she celebrated her 100th birthday with a party held by the staff in her honor. Leah was preceded in death by her parents, her infant brother Dean, and sister Nadine (Mrs. Melvin Wheeler). Final arrangements have been provided by Hawker Funeral Home. Leah's request was to be buried in the Kilgore Cemetery near her parents and brother. Respecting her wishes, a memorial service is being planned for early July.
Leah's extended family expresses its appreciation to Bingham Memorial Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the excellent care Leah received during her residency. She enjoyed her caregivers and the personal attention they provided her. A special thank you to Pat Taney, a friend who in the absence of immediate family, visited Leah frequently and attended to any needs she might have.
Published in The Morning News on Dec. 30, 2014
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