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Millard ‘Doc’ Wallace Ickes

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This wonderful, generous man taught all of us how to live. His life demonstrated his Christian faith, hard work, integrity, reliability, morality, ethical standards and leadership, with sensitivity to his fellow man.

Millard Wallace Ickes was born Dec. 6, 1919, in a farm house in Page, Neb., and passed away at his home near Caldwell on Sept. 10, 2008. He was the eldest of the eight children of Rachel Schwasinger and Neven Darwin Ickes. His early life was typical of family farm life in that era with Millard being assigned farm chores at a very early age. He completed elementary through 12th grade in Page, graduating in 1937. He enrolled in the University of Nebraska College of Agriculture in Lincoln in January of 1938. Millard would alternately work a semester and then go to school a semester. He was in the ROTC, so therefore he was deferred from the draft and graduated from college mid-term December 1942.

On Dec. 24, 1942, he married Ivy Otley and a few days later received his orders to report for military duty at Fort Omaha, Neb., where he was commissioned Second Lieutenant. By the fall of 1943 Millard knew the infantry was not for him, so he transferred into the Army Air Force and attended navigator's school. When his training was finished, he was stationed in England were he served as a navigator on a B-17, flying 23 missions over Germany. When the war ended, he had attained the rank of Captain and was honorably discharged from the military. He then worked as an assistant extension agent until he was accepted to study veterinary medicine at the Colorado State University A & M at Fort Collins, CO.

He raised registered Weimaraner dogs and worked at various jobs, including pouring concrete to support his growing family while attending vet school. He graduated from vet school in 1950 and moved his family to Nampa, Idaho, to begin his career as a veterinarian.

Over the years, Doc raised and owned many outstanding show, performance and racing quarter horses. In 2006 he was inducted into the Idaho Quarter Horse Racing Hall of Fame and that same year was named Outstanding Horseman of the Year by the Idaho Horse Park Foundation.

In 1975 he married Constance "Coco" Hoyt Wilson. Together they built the beautiful Hi Horse Ranch along the Boise River and the Hi Horse Indoor Arena near Nampa. Millard was deeply loved and respected by Coco's five children and many grandchildren and formed a strong bond with them that has endured. Coco passed away in 1992.

In 1979, Millard retired from veterinary practice and started the MWI Drug Company. He sold his fast growing company to Agri Beef Co. in 1981, and remained in management with the company for 12 years. Millard was always proud of the fact that he had laid the foundation for a company that went on to become a large, traded, veterinary supply company.

Millard had always loved team roping and when he retired from MWI in 1992, he took up this sport as a full time career. He began spending the winters in Cave Creek, Ariz., the winter team roping capital of the world. Over the years he won money, saddles and belt buckles in many championship events, as well as jackpot events. To celebrate his 70th birthday, he roped 70 steers. But one of his proudest accomplishments was winning a saddle in February 2008 at the age of 88.

In March of 2002, Millard married Shirley Symms Maggard, a long-time family friend. Millard warmly welcomed her five children, who have known and respected him all of their lives, and her grandchildren and great-grandchild as a part of his extended family.

Millard's quick wit and sense of humor were appreciated by all who knew him and made our time with him so much fun. Millard, your life has been filled with success and is truly deserving of the proudest and most graceful exit to which your family and scores of friends will avow. The following quote reminds us of you. "Rugged in body, resolute in mind, massive in the strength of his convictions, he is of the granite hewn."

A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, at Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church, Caldwell, with a reception to follow. Memorials may be made to the Idaho Horse Park, 208-442-3335 or Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Condolences and memories may be shared with Millard's family in his online guest book at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Sept. 16, 2008
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