Jens Patrick Wilde, 79, of Pocatello and Montpelier, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2006, at his home after a longtime battle with diabetes.
He was born on March 17, 1926, in Howe, Butte, Idaho, the son of Jens Nicholai and Marie (Gregersen) Wilde. He spent most of his early childhood days in and around the Idaho Falls and Shelley areas. After graduating from Shelley High School in 1944, he joined the Navy and was sent to the Pacific Theater, and received the Purple Heart after being injured when a Kamikaze Japanese pilot dove his airplane into the ship they were on.
It was while attending school at Idaho State College that he met the love of his life, Patricia Joan Christopherson Garrard. They were later married on April 2, 1948, and from that union seven children were born.
Pat retired from teaching in 1983, after 36 years in the education field. If he was not teaching, he was working for the Forest Service in many different capacities.
It was while working for the Forest Service that he walked every trail in the Montpelier district of the Caribou National Forest, and was instrumental in establishing the “High Line Trail.” He served as president of the Rainbow Rod and Gun Club, secretary of the U.S. 5th District Wildlife Service, board member of the Bear Lake County Free Library and was instrumental in the reconstruction of the free library system in the county.
He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and served in many different callings.
As a journalist, Pat wrote for many of the local papers and published articles in several magazines. He had authored five history books and loved to share his knowledge with those who had an ear to listen. He started a long-running history program that still airs on the radio today.
In 2000, Pat and Pat, as they were known, left their long-time Bear Lake Valley home and moved to Pocatello to be near the dialysis center.
He loved the out-of-doors and spent many hours with family and friends. His second passion was cooking, and he could make a Dutch-oven sing. Pat was often found cooking for large numbers and gatherings including Scout groups, family reunions and anyone who had a “hankerin’” for good cooking.
Pat is survived by his wife, Patty, of Pocatello; four daughters, Marcile Louise (Clark) Herron of Kalispell, Montana, Robinette Marie (Tim) Hirschi and Linda Elise (Ken) Yellen, both of Montpelier, Melany Ann (Kim) Wilcox of Dayton, Ohio; three sons, Alton Gale (Paula) of Rigby, Idaho, Lawrence Ray (Kathy) of Sandy, Utah, George Andrew (Dana) of Logan, Utah; 30 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Pat will be remembered and loved by all those who knew him.
Funeral services were held Jan. 23, 2006 in the Montpelier Tabernacle. Interment was in the Montpelier Cemetery.