Schenk, Alvin Ray
February 21, 2021, age 86
RUPERT—Our family lost a very special man on February 21, 2021. Alvin Ray Schenk, 86, passed away at his home in Rupert.
Alvin was born April 13, 1934, in Rupert, Idaho, to Katharina Dietz Schenk (Katie) and Gottlieb Schenk Jr. He was born in the upstairs of his childhood home and was the youngest of seven children. He grew up on the family farm, where he worked and learned the skills to be a farmer. Dad graduated from Rupert High School in 1952 and earned the Seven-Letter Varsity Award for his participation in varsity track, basketball and football. He attended the German Congregational Church, as it was known at the time, because the services and songs were performed in German. After high school, Dad went to Yankton, South Dakota, and completed one year of college. He then decided to come home, get married, start a family and begin farming.
Dad and Mom grew up together in Minidoka and Cassia Counties attending the same church in Paul, where they met. When Dad returned from Yankton, he decided it was time to ask his future wife and life partner, Dorothy Jane Neiwert, to marry him. So, on September 11, 1955, Dad and Mom were married. This began their more than 65 years of adventures and memories.
They raised five kids and farmed sugar beets, beans, corn, hay and grain north of Rupert. Dad loved his family and friends. Some of the best moments were the backyard barbecues where they would stay up into the wee hours of the morning playing horseshoes and telling stories. He loved attending his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids functions. He would go to softball games, basketball games, rodeos, horse shows, and football games. You always knew your “number one” fan would be there.
Dad loved to travel, knew his geography, and read the National Geographic from cover to cover. You could quiz Dad on the state capitals and he knew all 50 with no hesitation. Together with Mom, and often times with friends, they would take an annual trip to California, Nevada, and parts unknown, until they arrived. When Dad got behind the wheel, you never knew where you would end up. One thing Dad always told us was, “If there is a loop you can take to get home, no need going back the way you came.” Sometimes the loop Dad would drive would be an extra 300 miles, but you got to see something different. That is what Dad liked. He was always ready for adventures on the road. These road trips are also why Dad has such an extensive baseball cap collection. When they would step into an establishment, Dad would admire the baseball caps. He would tell the owner that he would advertise for them if he could have one of their hats. Next thing you know, here comes Dad with another new cap for the collection.
Dad also loved to socialize. He always had time for a friendly chat with strangers he just passed on the street. He often met his friends and fellow farmers at the local coffee shop where they would discuss cattle and crop prices, farm equipment, and sometimes which neighbor may need help in getting their crops harvested. Dad was always ready to lend a helping hand. He was a farmer through and through! Even after Dad retired from farming, he still stayed connected to the local farmers as a crop insurance adjuster. He did this for ten years. It gave him the opportunity to travel to remote areas, check out the crops, and to socialize with the farmers. He enjoyed being out in the fields.
Dad had a love for the outdoors. We spent many summers with family and friends taking an annual camping trip. We could get away from the farm once or twice a summer and go to the mountains. The time spent in the mountains was always full of fun adventure and a little break from the busy summer farm work. Dad taught us to work hard and play hard. For the past 25 years our family still gets together once every summer to enjoy the mountains, riding 4-wheelers, and sitting around the campfire sharing stories and making memories. But the best part was watching Dad’s eyes light up because he was surrounded by his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.
Dad was involved in his community. He was a member of the Rupert Elks for over 60 years and served as a board member for Federal Land Bank and Farm Service Center. He attended and supported numerous fund-raising events and never missed a 4th of July parade.
We want to give a very special thank you to Minidoka Home Health and Hospice. We appreciate the care and compassion you showed our dad – especially, nurse Diane! Her knowledge, honesty, compassion, generosity and sense of humor was greatly valued by the family. We would also like to thank Dad’s care team from Hearts for Seniors, Jenna, Dayzi, Desiree and Mary. All of your kindness and support made it easier for Dad.
Dad is survived by his wife of more than 65 years, Dorothy Neiwert Schenk; children, Debbie Schenk, Linda Manning (Dennis), Laurie Montgomery (Jack), Suzan Schenk (Val), and Greg Schenk (Michelle); seven grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and his sister, Ardena Snapp (Gene).
Alvin Ray Schenk, husband, dad, grandpa, brother, uncle and friend, lived his life to the fullest, taking advantage of every opportunity to play hard. He was a kind, sincere, compassionate, strong, honest, caring, patient and a genuine individual. Dad had a contagious smile. He loved to laugh, play a practical joke here and there, and never turned away from a challenge. He remained steadfast to the very end. He taught us to work hard, play hard, and always put God and family first. He will be greatly missed, but we all know God has carved out a very special place for Alvin Ray Schenk. We will all miss you, but we know that you are resting peaceful now.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 3, at Rasmussen-Wilson Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, where a visitation will be held from 5 until 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, and again on Wednesday, one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Rupert Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rupert Senior Center, St. Jude’s Hospital for Children, or a charity of your choice.
A webcast of the service will be available at rasmussenfuneralhome.com.
To continue in the fight to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, those who will be attending the funeral and viewing are asked to wear a face mask and practice social distancing.