This obituary was written by my uncle, Dennis Wright.
Lillian Beatrice Wright passed away on October 9, 2012 in Twin Falls where she had resided since March l, 2008. She was, I believe, Bellevue’s oldest native, having been born in Bellevue on November 16, 1919 to B.H. and Minnie Barker approximately 3 blocks from her gravesite. Her father at that time farmed most of the acres where O’Donnell Park and Sunrise Subdivision are located. She joined siblings Dorthilla, Ada, Ernest, Emily, Clara, David, Curtis and Lula. Later, two more children would join the family, William Jack and Dixie. She was the last surviving member of the immediate family.
The family moved to the Baseline in 1926 where the parents continued farming and running a large sheep operation. Lillian began her schooling at Gannett and graduated in 1937 in the final class from Gannett High School. Her early life centered around the family and the farm where all were expected to ‘pitch in’. After high school, she lived at home for about two years and helped her mother with cooking for the hay and threshing crews. She began dating Charles Wright during this time and on June 4, 1939 accompanied by her sister Lula and George Shoemaker, she and Dad were married in Gooding.
They began their married life in Bellevue while Dad was employed at the Triumph Mine and soon were setting up a household on the corner of Poplar & 4th Street, where they were to raise their family and spend their lives in the home they built. Four children were born to this union: Shirley Ann, Charles Dennis, Robert Dale and Kenneth D. Lillian busied herself in running the home and raising their four children in addition to assisting with many community activities. She was active in the PTA and other school functions. She served as President of the Civic Club for several years and helped with the annual Polio Dinner in the Lodge Hall dining room. For many years she joined other ladies in preparing the hundreds of free sandwiches given away at the annual Labor Day Barbecue. As a member of the Bellevue Community Church she helped with dozens of events and funerals that took place here. She loved to crochet and was also interested in making quilts. Most of her creations were gifted to family and friends. She had several blue ribbons from her entries at the Blaine County Fair. After her own family was raised, Lillian drove to the Ketchum region where she helped several ladies of that community in their homes and with their children. In 1972 she worked for the Blaine County Sheriff as a dispatcher. Later, she was employed in the Blaine County Treasurer’s office for several years and even ran for the office in 1974, losing by 9 votes. After full retirement in the 80’s, she continued to run her own home and took particular pride in her manicured yard and flowers that graced the neighborhood. She grew a vegetable garden up until the last summer before moving to Twin Falls. Every fall saw her prepare fresh batches of her favorite jams. In later life she spent many an evening attending City Council meetings to stay abreast of events in her community. She was a life long Democrat, although somewhat conservative, and never missed the chance to vote. Questioning her politics was something many learned not to do. She may not have been right all the time but she believed she was seldom wrong. She believed in being who you are and saying what you feel because in the end, those that matter don’t mind…. and those that mind, generally don’t matter. Among the clippings that she used to save from papers or articles she read, I found a poem, which definitely was the way she thought. The closing lines are: “Just give me one flower today, pink or white or red. I’d rather have one blossom now, than a truckload when I’m dead”.
Perhaps her true joy in life was watching her children grow to adulthood. As the grandchildren appeared, she delighted in sharing the holidays and milestones that accompanied their young lives. She enjoyed preparing a superb meal and having the family and friends sit down and enjoy the fruits of her labor. Her table in those years was as important to her as was her yard. She loved preparing the holiday meals as much as the guests and family enjoyed eating them. She and Dad managed to survive the traumatic loss of their youngest son, Kenneth in May of 1972. They continued with their lives as best they could until in December of 1987 Dad passed away. She managed to continue and was tested again in September of 1992 when her first born, Shirley Ann was suddenly taken. Somehow she was able in her own way to survive these losses and carry on with life as it was presented. In the following years besides maintaining her home, yard and garden she did some traveling to Illinois and Missouri visiting relatives. After reaching her upper 70’s or so, she began driving to Hailey, many times with her sister Lula to enjoy the noon meal and socializing at the Senior Center. She even enjoyed a few trips to Jackpot, although quickly realized they weren’t handing out any fortunes. In September of 2007, she fell in her flower garden while digging those persistent weeds and broke a shoulder. This was followed by another fall in late November. Following two surgeries and another stay in Blaine Manor, she finally realized she couldn’t go home and made the decision to move to assisted living at Bridgeview Estates in TF on March 1, 2008. As she used to say, it wasn’t home, but it was where she needed to be and she certainly made the best of it, joining in most of the activities that were available to her. Her days went quite well until on April 21 of this year a fall sent her to the hospital for x-rays. While there, she had another fall that resulted in more surgery for a second broken hip. From there on it was all down hill. She tried but just wasn’t able to come back a third time.
Calvin Coolidge once said, “There’s no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.” As a child of the depression years, I don’t know if she ever read those words, but she certainly lived them. It was very important to her that she paid her own way in later life. She managed to do that in Twin Falls and up until the end.
Her last days were comfortable with no pain. One can’t hope or ask for much more than that. Hospice Visions of Twin Falls was with her when family couldn’t be and the family thanks them for the comfort they brought her in her final days.