In Loving Memory of Judd DeBoer
Judd William DeBoer
February 24, 1939 – April 6, 2020
Judd William DeBoer, 81, of Boise and McCall, peacefully passed away on April 6, 2020, in Boise.
Judd was born February 24, 1939 in Albert Lea, Minnesota to William (Bill) and Dorothy (Dottie) DeBoer. He grew up in Albert Lea, Rushford, and Waseca Minnesota with his two older sisters, Janylee and Joline, and his younger brother, Justin. He had fond memories of childhood including outdoor adventures with friends, scouting, and ski jumping on long boards. He was proud of his Dutch heritage and could trace ancestors in Holland going back to the 1600’s. He had close ties with extended family, including 49 first cousins.
Judd attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, earning a degree in Economics. It was at Willamette that he noticed the “cute little redhead” in the front row of the choir. Judd was “Joe College” and Diane knew she had to snag him. She eventually brought him to her hometown of McCall to visit, and the rest is history. He spent the summer living in a trailer arranged by Diane’s father, Warren, and worked on building the original A-frame ski lodge at Brundage Mountain. Judd and Diane were married in August 1962 with a beautiful reception in Jayne and Warren’s backyard on Payette Lake. This was the beginning of many wonderful memories on the lake in McCall.
Judd and Diane started their married life in Norfolk, Virginia where Judd served as a Communications Officer for the US Navy. Upon completion of his military service, he joined a San Francisco financial firm where he specialized in portfolio management and investment research. He valued and maintained several close connections with mentors and associates from this time through the rest of his career.
After moving his young family from San Francisco to San Rafael, Judd’s entrepreneurial spirit took hold when he founded his first business, Envirotherm, installing insulation for commercial and residential buildings throughout the Bay Area.
In 1980, Judd and Diane purchased Brown’s Industries, Inc., in McCall, Idaho, which included an interest in Brundage Mountain Ski Area, and relocated to Boise and McCall. Since that time, Judd made significant improvements to Brundage, including new chair lifts and skiable terrain, lodge and facility improvements, SnowCat skiing, and summer activities.
Judd’s business interests expanded as he led and developed several businesses in a variety of industries, including a hotel, sawmills, ranching, retail building supplies and hardware, real estate, and recreation. He was deeply proud of each business he built and the people who worked for him at Evan’s Building Center/Ace Hardware, Payette Lakes Lumber/Radio Shack, Salmon River Lumber, Snow Mountain Pine, Brundage Mountain Resort, Payette Lakes Commercial Center, Salmon Rapids Lodge, Brundage Mountain Adventures, and McCall River Ranch.
Judd respected tradition and history, but always had an eye toward the future, whether it was an interesting new building material or design, or an innovative business that he thought someone should pursue.
Judd was a loyal friend and advisor to many, and he especially valued his colleague and friend, Gary Blaylock, who worked alongside him at Brown’s Industries for almost 40 years. Throughout his life, Judd had a deep and abiding faith, which was also a cornerstone of many of his friendships.
Judd loved his country, his adopted state of Idaho, and was an active supporter of many communities including McCall, New Meadows, Riggins, Eagle, and Boise. He genuinely cared for others and was considered a mentor by many. Judd served six years on the Idaho Travel Council, with one year as Chairman. He was especially proud of what the Council and Department of Commerce accomplished, especially as it related to the growth of small tourism related businesses in rural areas throughout the state. In 2018, he was honored to receive the “Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Recreation and Tourism.”
Judd was a member of the McCall Rotary Club, supported several area Chambers of Commerce, and served on the boards of the Idaho Ski Areas Association and the Intermountain Ski Areas Association, from which he received the “Outstanding Contribution to the Sport of Skiing” award. In 2019, the Payette Lakes Ski Patrol presented Judd with the “National Ski Patrol Distinguished Service Award” for his work ensuring the best possible patrol services and highest safety standards. At the same time, they recognized Diane’s significant contributions and support by awarding her with the National Ski Patrol Angel Award.
Judd and Diane were the best of partners, supporting each other and loving each other through their 57 years together. They enjoyed taking picnics to explore backroads and spent time relaxing on the Salmon River. Judd often reminisced about their bike and barge trip in Holland and their safari experience in Africa. Above all, he treasured family gatherings skiing at Brundage and enjoying Payette Lake together. He was an active supporter of his grandchildren, although he never went easy on them in croquet. Judd was patient, kind, calm, and funny. He had a twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes and a giggle that would often bring him to tears laughing at his own jokes. He was generous, caring, and liked to cheer on everyone around him.
Judd loved being in the outdoors and was active through the end of his life – fishing, hunting, hiking, and, of course, skiing. To celebrate his 80th birthday he gathered his family for an epic CatSki trip at Brundage – complete with blue skies and 5” of fresh powder. Judd’s smile and joy from that day will not be forgotten.
Judd was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Dottie DeBoer, and by his brother and closest friend, Justin. He is survived by his wife Diane, his sisters Jan (John) Thornton, Joline (John) DeJong, and sister-in-law Carol DeBoer, his daughter Kristen DeBoer (Brian O’Morrow), his son Michael DeBoer (Tamara), and his daughter Jennifer Roark (Mark). Judd had four grandchildren, Emily O’Morrow, Daniel O’Morrow, Samantha Roark, and Gavin Roark. He had many nieces and nephews and their families who were such a meaningful part of his life.
The family knows Judd was loved and respected by many, and we are sorry that we cannot be together at this time. We appreciate all the outpouring of love and support we have received. Judd asked for a fabulous party to be held at Brundage Mountain, and so we look forward to gathering for a Celebration of Life to be held this summer.
Judd had an extraordinary team of doctors and the family wishes to sincerely thank them. We are also grateful to the doctors, nurses, and staff at St. Luke’s ICU who provided such excellent care.
The family suggests memorials to the newly established McCall Ski Heritage Foundation.