Alan Ray Posey 84 of Jerome passed away peacefully in his home, as he wanted, with family on Friday, July 28, 2017.
Alan was born at home during a snow storm on February 16, 1933 to Byrum (Byron B.R.) Posey and Vada Rilla Harer Posey the third of four children. He was raised on their farm north east of Jerome. At about five or six Alan started acquiring bum lambs from the Jack Lane lambing sheds nearby and that started his lifelong interest in sheep. He went to school thru the eighth grade and was told if he was only going to school to play sports his time could be better spent helping on the farm. This is where he gained his love of livestock and riding his horse Dixie to visit the neighbors.
On June 18, 1950 he married Juanita "Nita" Mae Mead, to this union five children were born, one boy and four girls.
Alan farmed with his father for many years, raising Posey & Son Organic Potatoes and raised sheep. With Nita's urging he eventually stepped out into the world buying the Jack Lane property a quarter mile from where he was born. They also acquired other farm land and raised row crops and sheep. They bought and sold dairy heifers, going to live stock auction yards as far as Nampa four days a week and sold them as “springers” and guaranteed them. He convinced OJ Harris to start a special dairy sale on Fridays at the Shoshone Sale Yard. He was an active NFO member allowing the livestock marketing collection point to be located on his place where it was active for many years. Their son Darin stayed home and worked the farm during this time with B.R. After B.R. passed in 1973, that partnership with his father was dissolved but he still farmed the land. At one time he owned/farmed over 500 acres.
In the fall of 1972 Alan, Nita, BR Posey and their four oldest children received the chance of a lifetime when they all drew elk permits. It was a great family hunting trip, getting to hear elk bugle up close and personal, but the highlight was filling all seven tags, what a sight all that meat was and of course he shared!
Their son Darin farmed in partnership with them when Posey Organic Farm was formed. Their motto was “All People Working Together” a true family working together, they raised organic beans, wheat and corn that were bagged on the farm and shipped throughout the northwest. On August 14,1979 a hailstorm came through the area and completely destroyed the growing crops. It was a devastating time but a chance to change directions, his true calling had always been sheep. After several years of “dry lotting” them he had yearned to have range sheep. On the encouragement and advice of long time friend and neighbor, Lewis Oneida, and other sheepmen, he convinced Charles "Chuck" and Roma Kimball to partner with him and Nita. They enjoyed this several years before they each got big enough to go their separate ways. With the help of Wendell Johnson and Henry LeMoyne, they bought Jim and Lucille Campbell range rights and never looked back. Without their willingness to accept payments it would not have been possible. The sheep were trailed annually through the desert in late spring from Jerome to the Deer Creek and Warm Springs areas where they grazed through the summer and the lambs were shipped from and grazed back to Jerome in the fall. He was also a member of the Idaho Wool Growers Association.
A lifelong environmentalist himself as a farmer knowing if you don't take care of the land, it won't take care of you. One year on their anniversary, the whole family went up to Sheep Creek and planted willows to stop erosion of the creek bed and later beavers were also transplanted. In the Warm Springs area he also installed water troughs that the wildlife could use. He went up against John Marvel and Idaho Watersheds for Della Mountain and won!!!
Upon selling the sheep, due to a back injury, he had 20 minutes to get to the hospital for his scheduled surgery after the last ewe was loaded on the truck, because he knew it could not be done without him even if he just watched.
They became Campground hosts from 1998 to 2004 at various camps from SNRA, Boundary, Lola to Mosquito Flats then he had a heart attack and was air lifted off the mountain ending that adventure. He also drove sleigh for Sun Valley Co for ten winters and had the pleasure of working with his grandsons Justin and Dan a few of those winters.
He never met a stranger, and enjoyed visiting people from all over the country and all walks of life, making great friends along the way, many of whom we all came to love like family. There was always an open door, a full coffee pot and a warm plate of food for anyone who wanted or needed. A friend once said "If people brought back everything Alan had given them there wouldn't be enough places to keep it."
In the fall of 1975 he and Nita donated ground to the Jerome Highway District to make possible a new bridge on a well used and dangerous piece of road, to straighten the road and install a new bridge. He donated the land because he did not want any further deaths because of that dangerous old bridge. He was humble, honest, and a hard worker. He was one of the last gravity flow shovel irrigator's in the area and walked many miles from morning to late night often finishing up with a flashlight. He loved to fish, hunt big game, also history, especially Indian and was a Chief Joseph fan, visiting all of his battle fields and places of major interest.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Anice Posey Bullock; brother, Frank Posey; and in laws, Delbert "D.A." and Mabel Mead, and brother in law, William "Bill" Mead.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years Juanita "Nita"; son, Darin (Connie) Posey; four daughters, Doris (Steve) Chapman, Lora (Jeff) Ohlensehlen, Tama (Tito) Peran, and Nala Posey; and one grandson, Justin (Karma) Posey who they were instrumental in raising. Sister, Marian Posey Wilson; He is also survived by seven more grandsons, Eric Hallman, Dusti Hall, Byron Posey, Kris Ohlensehlen, Dan Ohlensehlen, KC Hall and Andrew Ohlensehlen; and one granddaughter, Arin (Jason)Lamm; nine great grandchildren, Christina Santos Posey, Austin Hall, Destin Hall, Arilynn Hall, Amelia Hall, Hunter Lamm, Mackenzie Posey, Wyatt Posey, Jasie Lamm, Oakley Ohlensehlen, Colton Ohlensehlen; sister in law, Della Mead; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family would like give special thanks to Dr. Kern and Dusty Votrubeck and Terri Miller for their expertise and loving care and support as well as their co workers, Nash, Dan, Erin, Edith, and all the others at Idaho Home Health and Hospice staff who have helped him these past few years.
He had an incredible life journey and we are all so happy to have shared a part of it with him. The family requests that instead of flowers share a memory with them...Take a kid fishing, plant a tree or visit with the elderly.
A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 pm, Sunday, August 6, 2017, at the Best Western Sawtooth Inn, 2653 S. Lincoln Ave, Jerome, Idaho 83338.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Alan's memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com.