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Charles Packham


1925 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Charles Packham Obituary
Charles Orson "Bud" Packham passed away peacefully in Blackfoot on Oct. 16, 2017 at the age of 92. He was born on May 21, 1925 in Groveland, Idaho, the son of C. Orson and Vessie Packham at his grandparents home.
He married the love of his life, Marian Hepworth on Dec. 28, 1948 which was later solemnized at the Idaho Falls Temple on Jan. 23, 1976 and remained married for 64 years until Marian's passing in 2012. Together they adopted two daughters, Ann and Pamela Packham and had four children of their own, Charles D. Packham, Scott 0. Packham, David A. Packham and Lynne (Hatch) Packham.
Bud was proceeded in death by his wife Marian (Hepworth) Packham; brother, John Edgar Packham; his son Charles D. Packham; daughter Ann Merriman and his parents. He had 17 grandchildren and five great- grandchildren at the time of his passing.
Bud's family moved to Pocatello in 1928 where his father worked as a haberdasher for the Rowles-Mac Clothing store. He resided on West Whitman Street and in the winter when it was covered with snow, Bud would ride his sled down the steep roads, which probably initiated the love of downhill skiing he enjoyed later in this life.
Bud attended the Emerson Grade School while in Pocatello. Bud also became a mountaineer and his first summit he reached as a boy was Kinport Peak.
His family then moved to Idaho Falls in 1938 where his father managed the Block's Men's Store. Bud attended the seventh grade at the Otis E. Bell Junior High School. Bud was a strong advocate of the Boy Scouts of America and became a Boy Scout Explorer troop leader.
As a young Scout while at camp, his troop scaled the 11,100-foot Table Mountain which sits below the majestic Teton Mountain Range in order to earn his hiking merit badge. While on that expedition, Bud was struck with the grandeur and rugged beauty of the 13,776-foot Grand Teton with its steep slopes and snow covered peak.
Later in life, Bud ended up scaling the Grand Teton not once, but twice, as well as the Middle Teton twice - once with his wife and once with his sons. Many other impressive mountains in Wyoming and Idaho were summated by Bud, including Mt. Owens, Mt. Moran and Mt. Borah, the highest peak in Idaho. Bud always loved the outdoors and used to take his family camping and back packing into many of Idaho's beautiful high mountain lakes.
Bud's family then moved back to Blackfoot when he was 13 where he completed junior high school and then graduated from Blackfoot High School in 1943. World War II had started and half way through his senior year, he and his friend, Charles Horrocks, had enough credits to graduate early and they both enlisted in the Navy Air Corp., since it was their hope to become Navy pilots.
Both of them had hoped to get orders to ship out to some exotic place for training, but instead they were sent to the Navy V-12 training school just 25 miles away in Pocatello.
While in training, the Navy required that Bud learned how to survive in the water in case he was shot down and had to tread water, fully clothed, in the cold unheated pool at the YMCA for 30 minutes. Then he had to wait outside in the frigid winter weather waiting on the bus, which turned out to be late.
Consequently, he contracted a cold and shortly thereafter Bud came down with a severe case of rheumatic fever, since penicillin had not yet been discovered. Due to his medical condition, Bud was interned to the hospital in Sun Valley that had been commandeered as a naval hospital during the war.
After his full recovery, Bud was sent to the Naval base in San Diego where he worked various duties including driving an ambulance on the North Island Air Strip. When he was honorably discharged from the Navy, he was told by the Naval Doctor to live in a warmer climate if possible to make sure his recovery was complete.
So, Bud hitch-hiked to Tucson, Ariz. and checked out the University of Arizona. He filled out the college application papers and was accepted. Bud spent the next three years earning his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
While attending college, he joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. While he was in the fraternity house, Bud worked as the head house manager to pay for his room and board. Bud was also inducted into the honorary business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi.
After earning his degree, Bud returned to Blackfoot and began to work in the business his father and mother founded, Packham Real Estate and Insurance as an Independent Insurance Agent and became a realtor and broker as well.
Being a civic minded person, Bud joined the Blackfoot Jaycees and his devotion to community projects began which would become one of his best characteristics. Bud would later become the second president of the Blackfoot Jaycees and also served as the 5th District State Vice-President. It was at this time that Bud became very active in donating his time helping to get the Blackfoot Golf Course up and running.
In order to secure funding for the sprinkler system at the golf course, the "300 Club" was formed. Three-hundred memberships were sold for $100 each, which was a considerable amount of money back then, so members were allowed to pay $8.35 each month to meet the club dues.
This was Bud's idea and he purchased the first club membership. After this, the Blackfoot Municipal Golf Course has been running ever since. This was the first of many civic projects promoting Blackfoot that Bud was involved in.
Other notable achievements and projects include:
- Raising funds to get the tennis courts at the Blackfoot High School built.
- Served as an original member of the Blackfoot Planning and Zoning Commission.
- Worked tirelessly with Dr. Bud Miller to promote and develop Jensen's Grove Park.
- Was a founding chairperson of the Blackfoot-Snake River Fire Protection District.
- Organizer and first chairperson of the Blackfoot United Fund.
- Served as President of the Blackfoot Chamber of Commerce in 1964.
- Was the recipient of the Greater Blackfoot Chamber's "Community Image Award" -three times.
- Received the Greater Blackfoot Chamber's "Distinguished Image Award" for being instrumental in helping to obtain the two event signs for Blackfoot.
- Received the Greater Blackfoot Area Chamber of Commerce "Life Time Membership Award" for his outstanding service to the community.
- Was a Founding member and Past President of the Blackfoot Kiwanis Club.
Board Member and Past President of the Idaho Association of Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Idaho in 1972.
- Received an award from then Gov. Cecil D. Andrus for serving as a member of the State Insurance Committee.
- Recipient of the Blackfoot Chamber's "Best Foot Forward" award in 1977.
- Served as President of the Blackfoot Board of Realtors and received the Blackfoot Board of Realtors "Realtor of the Year" award - each twice.
- Received the George F. Hixson Fellow award from Kiwanis International in 1998, the civic clubs highest honor.
- Was on the Blackfoot Beautification Committee which was responsible for planting the pine trees on the north and west roadways leading into Blackfoot.
Charles 0. "Bud" Packham always maintained that if you didn't care who got the credit, then there's no limit to the amount of good one can do, but without the help of so many civic-minded people, very little would have been accomplished.
Blackfoot is truly a better community because of Bud's tireless efforts. Bud loved his family and his community and believed that there was no better place on earth to raise a family and enjoy life.
Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 20 at the Groveland LDS Chapel. 
The family will greet friends and relatives from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 at Hawker Funeral Home and again for one hour prior to services at the church.  Interment will be in the Groveland Cemetery.  Condolences may be sent to the family at www.hawkerfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Morning News on Oct. 20, 2017
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