Max O. Huntsman

Max Odell Huntsman, 91, of Idaho Falls, died Wednesday, December 4, 2013, at his home.

Max was born September 13, 1922, in Woodville, Idaho, to Evon W. Huntsman and Martha Gif- ford Huntsman. Max was the seventh oldest child in the family of six brothers and four sisters and outlived all his siblings. Max grew up in Woodville and attended schools in Shelley.

He met Hazel Thorngren at a community dance hall in Idaho Falls, and they were married in 1944 in Dillon, Montana. To this union were born three children, Max David, Beverly Jean and Jeffrey Paul. Max and Hazel raised their family in the Idaho Falls area. At the age of 5, half of Max's left foot was severed in a farm accident and then reattached. Due to the accident, Max was unable to serve in the military, so during World War II, he worked in a military commissary in California.

Max's experience working in the commissary led him to build a neighborhood grocery store on East 18th Street in Idaho Falls in 1948, which he owned and operated with his brother, Reed, for many years. Later, he leased out the store to other parties and worked for Fanning Wholesale in the sporting goods industry and as a salesman in the food industry, calling on wholesale and retail grocery stores for grocery product manufacturers.

In 1965, when the sales tax was signed into law in Idaho, Max worked for the Idaho State Sales Tax Commission as a sales tax auditor, helping retail stores in southeast Idaho set up the process to collect and remit sales tax receipts to the tax commission.

Max spent the last two decades of his professional life in the potato industry working for the Potato Growers of Idaho as executive secretary and office manager, and later working for the Idaho-Oregon Potato Marketing Order. In semi-retirement, Max sold seed potatoes to area farmers for the seed potato growers in the Ashton area.

Max and Hazel purchased and operated the Starlight Motel in Mack's Inn, Idaho, in 1959. They operated it for a few years, then sold the motel and kept the acreage in front of the motel, where they established a summer resident for the past 50 years.

In retirement, Max and Hazel sold their Idaho Falls home and traveled around the United States for two years in an RV with friends and family before purchasing property in Arizona for winter residence. Max and Hazel spent many winters in Mesa and Littlefield, Arizona, and summers in Island Park, where he could fish and golf to his heart's content.

Max is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Hazel; son, M. David (Angela) Huntsman; daughter, Beverly (Harland) Hendricks; daughter-in-law, Jessica Gallavan; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Max was preceded in death by his son, J. Paul Huntsman, and nine brothers and sisters.

The family would like to thank Idaho Home Health and Hospice for their caring and kindness.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, December 9, at Wood Funeral Home East Side Chapel, 963 S. Ammon Road. The family will visit with friends from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Monday prior to services. Burial will be in Fielding Memorial Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Reel Recovery, an organization that provides fishing opportunities and fellowship for men diagnosed with prostate cancer,

Condolences may be sent to the family online at

Family Tribute

Funeral Home

Wood Funeral Home East Side
963 South Ammon Road Idaho Falls, ID 83406
(208) 522-2992

Published in Post Register on Dec. 6, 2013