Logan Herald Journal, 09/26.12
FAIRVIEW — Martell Gilbert Rawlings, 92, passed away peacefully Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, of natural causes at his home in Fairview, Idaho. He was surrounded by his wife and family members. He was born July 16, 1920, to Merlin and Erma Gilbert Rawlings in their rural Fairview home. Aside from college he was a resident of Fairview his entire life.
He attended both north and south Fairview schools and graduated from Preston High School in 1938. He attended the University of Idaho in Moscow for two years where he studied dairy science and agriculture.
In his youth Martell enjoyed baseball and played for the Fairview teams. As a young Boy Scout with the Cache Valley Council, he attended the first ever National Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia.
He married Connie Monson of Preston on Oct. 11, 1940. The marriage was later solemnized in the Logan LDS Temple. They welcomed 11 children into their home, while also opening their home for two foster daughters, Bernice and Amelia, through the Indian Placement Program. Together they served 18 months (1987-88) in the Gilbert Islands of the Fiji Suva LDS mission. They also served as Logan LDS Temple officiators for more than 11 years.
In addition to working hard as a dairy farmer, he was engaged in church and community activities throughout his lifetime. He was a director of the Fairview Water District. As an active member of the LDS Church, he enjoyed serving in many callings including ward clerk and as a gospel teacher. He loved reading, studying the scriptures, and was an ardent supporter of the LDS Perpetual Education Fund from its inception.
A progressive dairyman, he built the first grade-A dairy barn with a pipeline bulk milk tank in Idaho. In 1953 he received a letter of commendation from Idaho Gov. Leonard B. Jordan regarding this achievement. Many people came from afar to check out his modern dairy. He custom topped sugar beets in Fairview and Preston for many years and self-engineered and installed his own gravity-sprinkler irrigation system in 1978, one of the first in Franklin County.
Hunting, fishing, family activities and trips kept him busy when he was not running the row-crop, dairy, hay and grain farm. He enjoyed large gardens and grew plenty of watermelon and cantaloupe, which he gladly shared with family and neighbors. Blessed with an incredible memory, he recited poems and sang songs learned in his youth until the very end of his life.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years; 10 of 11 children, Gary (Deborah) of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Louise (Robert) Sorenson of St. George, Utah, Craig (Kai) of Tallinn, Estonia, Laraine (LaMont) Harris of Preston, Idaho, MarJean Pitcher of Ivins, Utah, RaNea (Michael) Blair of Sterling, Utah, Kieth (Marianne) of Heber City, Utah, Karla (Bart) Gundersen of Fairview, Idaho, Kevin (Bonnie) of Centerville, Utah, and Kirt (Crista) of Shingle Springs, Calif.; and son-in-law Larry Hone of Sacramento, Calif. Also surviving are 49 of 52 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren and 24 great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by three brothers, Boyd (Chioko) of Seaside, Calif., and Brent (Sue) and Kent (Pam) of Fairview, Idaho; and sister June Wilson of New Harmony, Utah. He was preceded in death by his parents; stillborn twin daughters; daughter Sharen (Larry) Hone; daughterin-law Deanne Bird (Gary); grandchildren Chad Rawlings, Sean Harris and Rachelle Blair Akagi; brothers Thad and Vandell; and sisters Thora Simpson and Twilla McLachlan.
The family would like to thank Dr. Beckstead and the nurses and aides from Franklin County Home Health and Hospice for their care of Martell. A special thank you also is expressed for those within the family who kept him comfortable this past year.
Funeral services are scheduled for noon Saturday, Sept. 29, in the Fairview Chapel 165 W. 4800 South in Preston, Idaho, with Bishop Lewis Palmer of the Fairview 2nd Ward conducting. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at Webb Funeral Home, 1005 S. 800 East in Preston, Idaho, and before services from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Fairview chapel. Burial will be in the Fairview Cemetery.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www. webbmortuary.com .