James LuRene "Rene" Shurtliff, 96, of Hamer, Idaho, passed away Monday, April 28, 2014, at home surrounded by his family. Rene was under the care of Hands of Hope Hospice.
Rene was born Aug. 23, 1917, in Iona, the son of Tom and Mayme Shurtliff. At the age of 9, he left home to live with Sheldon and Alice Cutler. Rene went to school and worked part-time for different farmers. He learned to drive 10 to 13 head of horses on a combine, plow, or just to haul feed.
On Sept. 18, 1937, Rene married Lella Campbell. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls Temple.
That fall, he went to work for Lawrence Kidd on his horse ranch near Camas. Each winter, he worked the beet campaign for U and I Sugar in Lincoln, taking charge of a feedlot with approximately 500 cattle.
In the spring of 1942, Rene went to work for Oscar Berggren in Ucon. This is where he got his start in farming.
In 1946, the family moved to Osgood. Together they farmed, raised sheep and had dairy cattle. It was here that Rene became involved with pulling horses, later entering local fairs including the Eastern Idaho State Fair where he had the number one pulling team of lightweights for three years in a row.
In 1951, Rene moved to Hamer to start his own dream of farming and ranching. Times were tough, so he went to work on construction at the DOE Site to make ends meet. After several years, Rene purchased his own backhoe. This proved to be a good investment obtaining him a number of contracting jobs.
Rene was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He enjoyed attending church and being involved in activities such as high priest group leadership, organizing temple excursions, putting together rodeos for the 24th of July and ward activities. One of his highlights in later years was being the ward greeter.
The family offers a special thanks to Hands of Hope Hospice for their kind and loving care of Rene.
Rene is survived by his six children, Herb (Georgia) Shurtliff of Ucon, Barbara Rausch of Moreland, Margaret (Vernon) Ritchie of Idaho Falls, Tim (Karen) Shurtliff of Pocatello, and Bill Shurtliff and Dena (Roger) Stadtman, both of Hamer; 19 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren with three soon to arrive; and a brother, Rex (Alice) of Idaho Falls.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, one granddaughter, three great-grandchildren, one son-in-law, one daughter-in-law, three sisters and three brothers.
Funeral services will be held at noon Saturday, May 3, at the Hamer LDS Ward, 2454 E. 2100 North. The family will visit with friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Saturday prior to services, both at the Hamer Ward. Burial will be in Iona Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.