Robert Boyer, 91, of Lewiston, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020.
Robert was born in a farmhouse a few miles southwest of Nezperce, Nov. 15, 1928, the eldest of three children born to Phillip Boyer and Wilma (Hill) Boyer. He was soon joined by brother Bill and later by sister Judy. His Irish ancestry showed through with his fiery red hair and freckles, which earned him the lifelong moniker of “Red.” He attended elementary school at Sunset schoolhouse, at first traveling to and from school on horseback with his father, then when old enough, riding solo. He graduated from Nezperce High School in 1946, where he excelled in all sports. He attended the University of Idaho, where he continued to pursue his athletic endeavors, playing on the local AAU basketball team, as well as mastering the world of Ping-Pong.
On June 14, 1951, he married Elizabeth Janette Johnson and started their family. Robert worked as hard as he played. He began farming with his father on the Boyer homestead on Central Ridge and pursued many other interests throughout his life. As a young adult, he traveled to California in the winters to work in the aviation factories, and later in life returned there to enjoy golfing and playing cards. He logged more than 3,000 hours as a licensed pilot, sometimes scouting for good hunting areas, and other times shuttling his crew between farms. He was a Class A trap shooter for most of his life, and winning trophies was not an unusual accomplishment. Always eager for a new challenge, he qualified for the 1976 Olympic trials in trapshooting, but was unable to attend the trials. Fishing and hunting were also pastimes that kept him busy throughout the years, as well as a means to keep the family fed, and he never let anyone in his group go home with an empty creel or unattached tag.
As a lifelong farmer, he added farm leases in the local area, eventually expanding to Walla Walla, Wash., and Pendleton, Ore., where he spent many years custom harvesting. During the winter months at home, he spent much of his time on the prairie as an avid snowmobiler. When the weather forced him indoors, he was always ready for a game of cards, be it gin, poker, pinochle or bridge. As the farm grew, so did the family. Together, Robert and Janette raised their eight children on the family farm south of Nezperce on the Johnson land until Janette passed away in 1983.
On June 19, 1986, he married Sandra Luke Albers and added an additional family to his own. The same year, Robert retired from farming and moved with his family to the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. He was a member of the Lewiston Country Club where his love of golf showed through by the hours spent on the course. He loved to compete with the boys from the prairie where they tried to get the best of each other on the course and at the gin rummy table. He enjoyed hosting the Farmboy Golf Tournament for several years.
In the valley, Robert found a renewed interest in bridge and joined the American Contract Bridge League. He became the director of the Valley Duplicate Bridge Club, which he ran for many years. Robert and Sandra took several cruises and later became snowbirds to the Palm Desert and Indio, Calif., area. They enjoyed the camaraderie and friendships they found among the residents in the Coachella Valley. In true form, Red enjoyed good times around the bridge table there.
Red will be remembered for his love of family, sense of humor, his chuckles and fierce spirit of competition.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, Phillip and Wilma; first wife Janette; brother William Boyer; sons Keith Boyer and Randy Boyer; son-in-law Ron Kuther; and daughter-in-law Nancy Calvin Boyer.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra; sister Judy Kale; sons Steve (Kim) Boyer, Larry Boyer and Stan (Janet) Boyer; daughters Peggy (Nick) Egland, Phyllis Kuther and Donna (Sherman) Hann; daughter-in-law Patty Mackin Barnett; 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; stepchildren Steven (Liz) Whipple, Kellee Whipple, Jeff (Carlotta) Whipple, Robin (Tali) Albers and Brooke (David) Klaveano.
A family graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Nezperce Community Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Nezperce Gun Club or a charity of your choice.
Malcom’s Brower-Wann Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.