H. Lloyd Kalblinger
1931 ~ 2020
Lloyd was born in Crookston, Nebraska to Roy and Leona on June 12, 1931 as the youngest out of four children. When Lloyd was three, the family relocated to Nampa, Idaho from Valentine, Nebraska. Those that have had the opportunity to know Lloyd, know that Lloyd was always willing and able to tell colorful stories of his life. It was one of Lloyd's favorite stories to share about when he was a young boy in Nebraska that the Native Americans would come down to the watering hole to water their ponies and try to "barter with Mom for the little yellow haired boy." It was this knack of rumination that set Lloyd apart from many and how many of us will remember him.
After living in Nampa briefly, he and his family moved north to Moscow, Idaho where Lloyd finished out his youth. Lloyd was always a hardworking man with integrity and work ethic. As a young boy at the age of twelve, he worked on the Moscow area farms and provided to his family. He would be the first to arrive to the fields and the last to leave; he was even known to sleep on his foreman's porch in order to get to work first thing in the morning. All of his hard work paid off continually through his life; one of his first major accomplishments as a result of his strong work ethic was that he paid his way through college and graduated from the University of Idaho.
After finishing his degree, Lloyd joined the United States Airforce and became a First Lieutenant in the 341st TCS as an accomplished fighter pilot of the F-86 air combat swept wing fighter plane. Lloyd loved flying and continued to do so later in life. In addition to excelling in flight, Lloyd also loved to play baseball and was a member of the Great Plains Conference team that earned a runner up title in the United States Air Force Worldwide Championship games. During this season in Lloyd's life he had also married his first wife and had a son.
Once Lloyd was finished with his commitment to Air Force, he returned to Nampa where he began his success as a celebrated business man. With a little financial help from his parents, Lloyd began the prominent country western store, Lloyd's Country Store. It was in this course of his life that Lloyd fell in love with all things rodeo and country western.
Lloyd was trusting and no nonsense person. He would often conduct business the old-fashioned way with a handshake and "your word", but you had better have kept it. He was proud of this principle and made many life-long friends with this attitude. He was also able to cull out those who had alternate approaches to his ethics.
Lloyd was a people person and he found his calling when he owned and operated the store. Lloyd thrived on the energy of the customers that came through his store and many became more than just customers in his store, but became allies, partners and dear friends. You could often find Lloyd visiting and connecting with people at the coffee bar at the store, or laughing and telling stories with those that came to visit him.
The combination of his business savvy and enthusiasm for life, created many successes for Lloyd, as he was an unmistakable and memorable character. Every Christmas he would have a Christmas tree in his store filled with ornaments where every child that came into the store would be able to pick one of the ornaments to keep. He loved to give and provide for all of those around him; he loved the innocence and hope in children. Throughout his life he always would be delighted and amazed by children and the world through their eyes.
In addition to being a leader in his industry, he was a major supporter of high school rodeos, snaffle bit futurities and ultimately served as a long-time board member and avid supporter of the Snake River Stampede. He generously donated his time and supported the Nampa Lions, Snake River Stampede, Miss Rodeo Idaho, Idaho's Snaffle Bit Futurity, Idaho Golden Gloves and several other organizations throughout the Treasure Valley.
After many decades and many successes with his retail stores, Lloyd decided it was time to move onto the next season in his life and slow down. During this time, Lloyd met and committed to Niki, his life partner and companion for over 25 years. The two of them traveled extensively and spent ample time in Mexico, tooling around the United States and visiting Alaska. They would travel many miles to a horse auction or estate sale just because they could. Lloyd and Niki were known to go for a Sunday drive on a Tuesday and come back home the next Saturday! They enjoyed their adventures together and would never miss an opportunity for a new experience or to learn something new. Lloyd was constantly seeking knowledge and new things as he was grateful to always get to learn. Niki and Lloyd built their home together in the Garden Valley area.
Together with two of his close friends, Pat Sweeney and Boone McCurly, Lloyd built fence, barns, out buildings, and sheds on a parcel of land outside of Garden Valley. The three comrades worked and built and created Lloyd's version of a mountain oasis to spend the rest of his days with Niki and the many animals they cared for.
Lloyd had a full, blessed, life that he was continually grateful for. On Sunday, July26, 2020, Lloyd moved onto the next season of his life peacefully with Niki by his side. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother and sisters. Lloyd accepted Niki's children and extended family as his own, and in his special way. He will always be the grandkids' "Gumba" as Holden, Colton, Wyatt and Norah will forever hold Gumba in their hearts. He left this earth but not without teaching people that loved and appreciated his enthusiasm for life of what is really essential in life.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and per Lloyd's final wishes, there will be no official service. There will be a celebration of life to be determined at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Lloyd wishes that you please donate to one of the many organizations he has supported throughout the years. Also, if you have a chance, stop by Willie's Stagecoach Steakhouse and have a brandy in Lloyd's memory and honor. Lloyd will be missed but never forgotten.
Funeral arrangements were cared for by Potter Funeral Chapel of Emmett.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Aug. 9, 2020.