"Do you have time for a short story?" was the favorite conversation starter of Arthur J. Imthurn, who was born Feb. 25, 1927, in Lewiston, to Arthur W. and Elda B. Imthurn. He passed away peacefully Saturday, June 28, 2014, at home in Lewiston at the age of 87 years.
At 6 in the morning on Easter Sunday, March 28, 1948, he married Melvena Wilkins, also of Lewiston. They started their life together on Normal Hill until December of 1955, when they finished building their current home overlooking the Clearwater River in the Hatwai area of Lewiston.
Art enlisted in the U.S. Navy in January 1945 at 17 years old in the middle of his senior year. He later received his diploma from Lewiston High School. Following World War II, he signed with the Navy Reserves and returned to active duty during the Korean conflict from 1951-1952. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Art worked as the parts and service manager of Dodge/Chrysler dealerships in Lewiston, Moscow and Pullman until 1969. He then worked for Chrysler Corp. until 1971 as a warranty service writer. His final 10 years of employment were spent at Blount (now ATK), where he configured and set up manufacturing machinery.
Art was part of the "greatest generation." His word was gold. He was Mr. Fix-It and could repair just about anything. He felt if it was worth doing, it was worth doing right, and he would not stop until the end result was met with his seal of approval. Art was blessed with an unbelievable internal GPS, was a local and regional historian, and especially loved railroads and their history. Whenever possible, he spent his time out in the mountains with friends and family exploring, camping, fishing and hunting. Art and Melvena loved travel and explored all 50 states as well as Canada, Switzerland and parts of Europe after he retired.
Arthur is survived by his wife of 66 years, Melvena Imthurn; daughters Nancy (Russ) Randall of Clarkston and Jeannie (Rick) Haag of Lewiston; son David (Frances) Imthurn; grandchildren Amber Randall of Seattle, Ryan Randall of Grand Coulee, Wash., Wesley Haag of Las Vegas, Kevin (Rachelle) Haag of Lewiston, Tony Imthurn of Moscow, and Kyle (Rachel) Imthurn of Lewiston; and one great-grandson, Cruz Arthur Imthurn. He is also survived by a sister, Louise (Walter) Stevens of Coeur d'Alene.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur W. and Elda B. Imthurn; and his brother, Elmer R. Imthurn.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Mountain View Funeral Home, Lewiston. Memorial donations may be given to Emmanuel Baptist Church, to any veterans organization, or a charity of choice.