Valley County, IDGenWeb Project

Otto Creston Close

Otto Creston Close, 99, formerly of McCall, died Dec. 12, 2010,

Private family services will be held at a later date.

Creston Close was born Sept. 9, 1911 in McCall, one of 12 children born to Otto and Sylvia (Savage) Close. He was given the nickname “Creek” in early childhood.

He wore several hats over the years. He was a chauffeur for Metro Goldwyn Mayer during the two-year filming of “Northwest Passage” in Idaho in the 1930s.

At the beginning of World War II, he enlisted in the service and spent two years in Samoa building airstrips with the SeaBees, where, in one of life’s amazing coincidences, his younger brothers, Clarence “Corn,” and Rollin “Sully,” happened to be stationed during the same time period.

After the war, he joined his brothers in the Prineville, Ore., area and operated a sawmill. He married Marie Hixson in 1952 (they divorced in 1972) and ranched in Mitchell, Ore., for a few years until moving to California to drive log trucks.

The family returned to Prineville, Ore., in 1962, and purchased a cattle ranch and raised registered Angus cattle and registered quarter horses. “Creek” was well-known as an expert horseman. He and Marie also owned and operated a restaurant, Marie’s Fine Food, for many years.

He resisted taking up golf until well into his 60s after years of making fun of his brothers for being addicted to the game. He ended up playing every day for years. Sports Illustrated featured the brothers in an article which highlighted their skill, and challenged any other group of five brothers in the world to step up and match or beat their combined handicap of 12.

He obtained his real estate broker’s license, specializing in selling large ranches and worked in offices including Morris Real Estate in Bend, Ore., through which he met the love of his life, Bernice “Bee” Edgar.

They married in 1979, and blended their two families. He opened Close Realty and actively sold property well into his late 80s.

Known for his quick wit and incredible stories, he entertained everyone around him and kept everyone laughing literally up until the end. He could recall minute details of life, clear back into his early childhood in McCall.

He fell in love with the writings of William Shakespeare in his teens, read the dictionary for fun, studied science, religion, philosophy, politics and the Old West continually, and read every non-fiction book he could get his hands on.

He took several college classes, including a welding class when he was 90. When asked how the class went, he said “I did so good, that I can weld buttons on a shirt.”

Creston leaves his beloved wife, Bee; children, Kathleen Close and Jason Naiman of Portland, Ore., Lorin and Connie Close of Prineville, Ore., Ron and Nena Close of Tumalo, Ore., Terry and Joyce Edgar of Phoenix, Ariz., Cheryl and Don Spagnolini of Bend, Ore., Robin Edgar, of Salem, Ore., and Jay and Toni Edgar of Beaver Creek, Ore.; 11 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson. He is also survived by his sister, Edythe Cummings of Beatty, Nev.

He was preceded in death by his parents, 10 siblings, including his sister, Lois Wilde of McCall, and a son, John.

In his memory, contributions may be made to Hospice of Bend through St. Charles Medical Center, 2500 NE Neff Rd., Bend, OR 97701 or The National Audubon Society.

Back to McCall

Of this place, the raw, wild Idaho of our early past century, they came.

There were twelve … spirits into being, some close, all Close, they scattered to the winds.

Lives lead along unexpected paths, world journeys, connected by threads of blood and love.

Sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers and so many, many elders . . . later, husbands, wives, and yes … second wives.

Daughters, sons, with aunts and uncles … oh, such wonderful uncles! Grands, and friends, always friends . . . the tribe.

Almost all of it, all 100 years of it, to all twelve but one now, he returns … being into spirit, scattered to the winds.

By Jason Naiman

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