Our beloved father Joseph William Dunford passed away on June 14, 2020 at the age of 81. Joe was born and died in the same home his grandfather built in 1893 in Bloomington, Idaho. He was the youngest of eight children born to Thomas Jefferson Dunford and Ruth Dora Hulme. Joe spent an idyllic childhood in the fields and hills surrounding Bloomington. His mother, whom he adored, became chronically ill when he was six years old and passed away when he was fifteen. That life-changing event brought him especially close to his seven older siblings.
On March 4th, 1957 Joe married his high-school sweetheart, Nola Jensen. Nola was very supportive through many years of education and career establishment. Together they had six children. They were later divorced.
Joe graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor's degree in Range Management. Early in his career he worked for the U.S. Forest Service moving his family several times throughout Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. He enjoyed managing a large ranch in Montana before taking a position as an appraiser for the State of Nebraska. He eventually moved his family back to Idaho where he continued his career as a real estate appraiser and realtor. He started JW Dunford and Associates in Montpelier, Idaho and had offices throughout southeastern Idaho. Joe was an esteemed and sought-after appraiser for large ranches and parcels of government land. Throughout his life Joe loved ranching, team roping, hunting, singing, and a good Western movie. He was an impressive yodeler, enjoyed telling silly jokes, and entertained his kids when they were young with renditions of "The Cattle Call" and "Blood on the Saddle". Grandpa Joe was idolized by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren who were so proud to have a genuine cowboy for a grandpa. Papa Joe helped raise two of his grandchildren, Justin and Austin, as his own.
Joe served in many capacities in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints including the fifteenth bishop of the Bloomington Ward. He loved the youth. One of his favorite assignments was scoutmaster. Through the years he took three different groups of scouts to the Boy Scout National Jamborees.
Joe is survived by his six children Ruth Blair (Forrest), Ron (Dana), Scott (Kelly), John (Heather), Jennifer Edwards, (James), Leah Horman (Todd), twenty-eight grandchildren, and thirty-two great grandchildren. He is also survived by one sister Ann Marie Rogers Budge and a sister-in-law Joan Dunford. He was preceded in death by his parents Thomas Jefferson and Ruth Dora Hulme Dunford, three brothers, Hulme, Robert, Thomas, and three sisters, Nadine, Elaine, and Leah. A viewing will be held Friday, June 19, 2020 at the Dunford home from 10:00 am to 11:45 pm. Funeral services will follow at 12:30 pm at the Bloomington, Idaho Cemetery. Interment will be at the Bloomington Cemetery.
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Published by Idaho State Journal on Jun. 17, 2020.