Valley County, IDGenWeb Project

Gaylord E. Krahn

Gaylord Krahn, 82, passed away peacefully on June 6, 2011. His life was full of service to others, being devoted to his family, friends, and community.

A service celebrating his life will be held Friday, June 10, at 10:30 a.m. at the McCall Community Congregational Church.

He was born and raised in Portland, Ore. As a senior in high school he enlisted in the Navy, serving as a quartermaster aboard the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Bremerton in the South Pacific.

The friends and experiences he had in those years were major influences on him and he would share memories of them for the rest of his life.

He attended the University of Oregon on the G.I. Bill. He excelled in his major, accounting, and was a member of Alpha Beta Psi accounting honorary, and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

He and Marilyn Janet Christopher married on June 14, 1952, and thereby began a strong and enduring love and partnership that was the foundation of all they did from then on. They had Julie, Dan, and Marge, and were devoted to creating a strong, loving family.

His professional life included working for Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, and Shell Oil Company in New York City. In 1961, he and Marilyn decided they would rather raise their kids in Idaho and moved to Boise to become a partner in Gem Furniture Company.

Through hard work and innovative business practices, they became successful enough to open a second store in McCall, in 1973. In 1981 that store became Krahn’s Home Furnishings, which was already being managed by their son, Dan.

While in Boise, his community involvement centered around his 25-plus years as a member of the Capital City Kiwanis Club. He spent many hours in service to their causes, and in various offices. When he was responsible for beginning meetings, he became known for always opening with a knock-knock joke.

He also served as chair of the annual Peanut Sale, wearing Planter’s Peanuts Pants to meetings and when selling the peanuts at games and on street corners. He was very proud of having served as president of the Club in 1981.

Other activities included service on the finance committee for Boise Music Week, and as an Elder for the First Presbyterian Church. He also coached the little league team that Gem Furniture sponsored for many years.

His favorite sport was golf, and some of his favorite times were playing in the twilight league at Crane Creek Country Club, where he was a founding member, and weekends spent with the family traveling to weekend golf tournaments in Buhl, Gooding, Weiser, and McCall.

He only occasionally won trophies, but always loved the challenge, camaraderie, and just plain fun of the game.

Gaylord was a do-it-yourself individual, and taught his family those skills. His motto was, “If a Krahn can’t fix it, throw it away!”

The entire family remembers hearing the response, “Put it on the work bench,” when anything was broken – and it would magically appear in perfect working order in a few days.

His landscaping talents are evidenced by his designing and building of an 80-foot curved, terraced rock wall that is still standing at their Portland house.

He and Dan together also built a similar terraced back yard out of railroad ties that still stands at their Boise home.

He has given to his family the priceless gift of personal integrity in all areas of life, and a healthy work ethic that they all practice and live.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Bob, and grandson Christopher Michael. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; children Julie, Dan (and Nancy) and Marge; grandchildren Kate (and Rob) O’Neil, Bob, Will, and Mike; and great granddaughter, Cora.

Memorials may be made to the St. Luke’s McCall Hospital Foundation, 1000 State Street, or the McCall Community Church, 901 First Street, both of McCall, ID 83638.

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