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Clifford Jay Eidemiller

1949 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Clifford Jay Eidemiller
February 7, 1949 - February 1, 2017
A man of insatiable curiosity and keen observation, with a love for learning, Cliff Eidemiller left this world on February 1, 2017, to join those who have gone before.
Clifford Jay Eidemiller was born February 7, 1949, to Albert Jay and Odessa Duspiva Eidemiller. Cliff was the grandson of 1907 Fargo community homesteaders Raymond and Linnie Alice Eidemiller, who turned the land from sagebrush to productive, irrigated agricultural land. Raised on the Eidemiller family dairy and row crop farm, Cliff cultivated his lifelong passion for agriculture and farming.
Attending school in Homedale, Cliff was active in 4-H, raising animals for the Owyhee County Fair. Cliff traveled as a participant in the 4-H People to People Ambassador Program to Washington, D.C., New York, and Europe. An insightful writer and a skilled photographer, Cliff kept the high school press rolling and was in his element as a writer for and editor of The Argonaut at the University of Idaho. During college, he worked two summers traveling the Northwest, photographing and interviewing farmers and ranchers, and writing for the Northwest Unit Farm Magazines based in Spokane. His feature stories were published in the Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho Farmer-Stockman magazines. He was a charter member of the Alpha Phi chapter of AKL and continued to be active with the fraternity as a member of the board of directors. Cliff graduated with a degree in Agricultural Business & Economics and a minor in Journalism.
Cliff enlisted in the National Guard Army Reserve upon completing college coursework in December of 1971 and served six years as a cook in the military. He delighted in telling how he was baking apple pies that day in May of 1972 while his fellow classmates were graduating. After graduation, Cliff worked for the Farm Credit Banks in Spokane, directing all media activities.
Cliff and Arlene Johnson from Lewiston, ID, were married June 3, 1972. Their first child, Elise, was born in 1973 in Coeur d'Alene. Cliff and Arlene returned to the family farm in September 1974. Their family was complete with the birth of Seth in 1976 and Lara in 1978.
Cliff farmed, raising feed crops for his dairy, Fargo Holsteins, Ltd., and sold registered Holstein bulls. From July 1981 through July 1996, Cliff served on the Board of Directors for the United Dairymen of Idaho. For nine of those years, he served concurrently on the national United Dairy Industry Association board, attending quarterly meetings in Chicago, and was instrumental in approving the "Got Milk?" advertising campaigns. Cliff's work on the state and national boards afforded him the opportunity to advocate for the larger dairy and ag industries. Active in politics in a variety of capacities, Cliff was a Republican committeeman, political consultant, campaign strategist, and a candidate for the Idaho Senate in 1996.
In addition to his careers in journalism and farming, Cliff worked for the Idaho Department of Agriculture from 2004 through 2016 as a fruit and vegetable inspector. As Senior Inspector, he was certified for inspecting 10 crops and was respected by the many area growers for his expertise. Cliff also led sampling crews for potato cyst nematode in eastern Idaho for the USDA. During this time, Cliff raised alfalfa, researched and grew a multitude of heritage bean and melon varieties, and experimented with developing color variants in poppies and hollyhocks. Amishlandseed.com catalog displays colorful pictures and detailed descriptions.
Cliff enjoyed a good debate. Nicknamed the "Great Debater" by his 1967 Homedale classmates, he was a philosopher and a voracious reader. He rarely missed an opportunity to talk with someone and learn about that person's life. When Cliff paid a visit, he often would be at the door carrying a box filled with the best in-season fruits or vegetables of the Treasure Valley.
An ardent supporter of local businesses and artists, Cliff collected and traded folk art, vintage kitchen tools, decoys, and antique agricultural equipment. At the Owyhee County Fair, many enjoyed Cliff's historical exhibits and the salt block art contest he sponsored. Cliff was happiest being outside, working the land, antiquing for treasures, and exploring the West. A steward of the history of the land of his forefathers, he gathered stories and implements of the pioneers who laid the foundation for Idaho's early development.
Cliff is survived by his children, Elise Eidemiller (Jeff Morrison), Seth Eidemiller, and Lara Eidemiller (Joko Budiono); his soul mate of 14 years, Carolyn Rees; siblings, Elaine Carpenter (Bob), Betty Eidemiller, Jane Spencer (Craig), and Patrick Eidemiller (Sandy); and his ex-wife, Arlene Eidemiller. Cliff is also survived by a maternal aunt, Jean Fisher, numerous nieces and nephews, and cousins from both the Eidemiller and Duspiva families.
Cliff was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Odessa Eidemiller; his grandparents, Mike and Jennie Duspiva and Raymond and Linnie Eidemiller; numerous aunts and uncles; and a favorite cousin, Jewel Thurston Hunter.
The family will hold a memorial celebration of Cliff's life at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 1st at the First Presbyterian Church, 320 N 6th St W, Homedale, ID 83628, where he was a lifelong member. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com
Memorials in honor of Cliff may be directed to: Owyhee County Historical Museum, [email protected]; University of Idaho Foundation – 4-H Endowment Campaign, [email protected]; Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266; or First Presbyterian Church of Homedale, PO Box 577, Homedale, ID 83628.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Mar. 26, 2017
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