Darrell Alvord
Darrell Alvord

Obituary of Darrell Alvord

Darrell Friend "Duke" Alvord, 97, passed away on March 13, 2013 with family members close at his side. The sorrow of those left behind is exceeded only by the joy of those waiting to welcome him on the other side. Duke was born August 24, 1915 in Brigham City, Utah, to Friend LeRoy and Mattie Higley Alvord. Duke was born two months premature and his loving mother passed away just eleven days after Duke's birth. He married the love of his life, Cleo Yvonne Williams from Cedar City, Utah , 75 years ago on January 17, 1938 in Ogden, Utah. Their early years in Ogden reflected Duke's penchant for hard work, and he was promoted to depot passenger agent. After proving himself in Ogden, in 1950 he was offered a transfer to Boise and a promotion to passenger traffic agent. Duke and Cleo picked up their three small children, Darrell Fred, Sherry and Mel and moved to Idaho. Shortly after moving to Boise, a fourth child, Chet, was added to the family. Duke's career flourished and he progressed to General Traffic Agent for Treasure Valley and eastern Oregon. He served Union Pacific diligently until his retirement in 1975. Duke has always been active in civic and governmental affairs in Boise. He served as President of the Treasure Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Traffic Club, Toastmasters, and the Treasure Valley Railroad Club, receiving the "Spark Plug" award from the Boise Chamber of Commerce as the outstanding member of the year for 1972. In 1975, the Idaho Statesman recognized him with the "Portrait of a Distinguished Citizen". In addition, in 1974, it was revealed that he was Boise's mystery Santa Claus, for years dropping by houses of the less fortunate with small gifts for the children. Duke was an avid outdoorsman. While he enjoyed hunting birds and big game, he absolutely excelled as a fisherman. He has collected trophy fish everywhere from the Oregon coast to the waters of Southern California and all parts of Idaho and Utah. He was a very competitive golfer, playing at his best when there was a little money on the line. He was also known as a gin rummy shark, fleecing friends as well as his own grandchildren. One of his most endearing qualities was his ready smile. This trait, coupled with a giveaway twitchy lip identified him at once as a friend to all. In later years, he turned to gardening and cooking as a great source of entertainment. Perhaps the most famous was his home made jerky. Friends all over the west have been recipients of packages of jerky. Duke always overcame the odds. From his premature birth and loss of his mother, to heart bypass surgery, a stroke, a bout with cancer and diabetes, Duke really proved himself to be the ultimate survivor. . Duke is survived by Cleo Williams Alvord, his wife of 75 years, his daughter Sherry (Richard) Van Wagenen of Sundance, Utah and Newport Beach, California, son Mel (Asia) Alvord of Cedar Hills, Utah, Chet (Debi) Alvord of Boise and daughter-in-law, Susan Alvord of Boise. Also surviving are 19 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his oldest son Darrell Fred Alvord, a great granddaughter, a great grandson, his parents, and his sister Florence Alvord Mann. The family extends their deepest appreciation and gratitude to the caregivers and hospice staff who comforted and cared for Duke in his final days. Services will be held at 1:00 pm, Monday, March 18, 2013 at Summers Funeral Home, 1205 West Bannock, Boise. Interment will follow at Dry Creek Cemetery. The family invites all to join them in celebrating his life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Idaho Humane Society or your favorite charity.
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