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Emile Ernest Gentillon

October 20, 1920 September 6, 2020
Emile Ernest Gentillon
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Obituary for Emile Ernest Gentillon

Emile Gentillon, 99, of Nampa, formerly of Firth, passed away Sunday, September 6, 2020.
Emile was born to French immigrants, Isidore and Augusta Gentillon, farmers on the banks of the Snake River north of Firth, Idaho. His mother passed when Emile was 12 years old. He spoke only French until he attended the Firth Schools. He was coached in High School Football and Basketball by Lyle Smith of Boise State Fame. One of his favorite memories was a summer in the 1930’s, he and one younger friend, Hadley Sorensen, herded wild mustangs from the Pahsimeroi Valley in the Challis area and across the eastern edge of Craters of the Moon, using only the Twin Buttes as their guide, to Blackfoot for a rodeo.
Emile served in the Air Force during World War II as a mechanic and a welder. After the war he attended a dance at the Crystal Maze Dance Hall and met a cute telephone operator, Vesta Lee Hone. They married on August 12, 1947.
He farmed and ranched much of his life, ramrodding the many trail drives of several combined herds of cattle to and from the Rawlins Creek Ranch above the Blackfoot River with his brother Albert Gentillon and partner Neil Bithell. The family has many fond memories of those years in “the hills” and on the farm. The community of Firth was the ideal place to raise their three children: Rita, Randy and Kathy. The family has held a close bond throughout their lives and their door was always open to family and friends.
Nampa, Idaho became their home in 1990 and they enjoyed golfing, gardening and many new friends.
Vesta passed away in December of 2012. Emile stayed in their home in Nampa. He enjoyed mowing the lawn, working his “farm”, the garden, tinkering with projects in his garage shop, and playing countless games of dominoes with his kids, friends, grandkids, and great-grandkids.
He lived the simple life of a hardworking and disciplined farmer and family man. He woke up before the sun and lived every day like it was a gift. He taught us all how to grow old with a wink and a smile.
Emile is survived by his children: Rita Jean Shafer (Dean), Randal Gentillon (Cynthia) and Kathy Heninger (David); 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; a son Noel Gentillon; his wife Vesta Lee Hone; and his brother Albert Gentillon.
A graveside services will be held at 10 AM, Saturday, September 19 at Riverview Cemetery (on W River Rd) followed by a celebration of life at the Heninger residence. Condolences may be expressed at ZeyerFuneralChapel.com. 208-467-7300

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