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American Veteran 04


D. Wayne Edens

June 7, 1947 ~ January 20, 2019 (age 71)

Corvallis – Donald “Wayne” Edens passed away at home on January 20, 2019.

Wayne was born on June 7, 1947 to Jess and Frances Edens, delivered by Dr. Peterson in Hamilton, MT.  The family moved to Darby where Jess owned the Edens Lumber Yard later to be known as Intermountain Lumber.  They also had a cattle ranch west of town.  Wayne’s parents passed away too young.  At age 9, he and his younger siblings Steve and Sharon went to live with an Aunt and Uncle.  The lived up the French Basin, later they went to live in Corvallis with their oldest brother Gary.  At 17, Wayne moved to Cloverdale, California and shortly after joined the Navy.  He spent 3 years on active duty with 2 ½ of those years overseas in Vietnam.  Then he did 3 years of inactive service.  Wayne didn’t talk much about his time in Vietnam. 

Wayne met and later married Judy (Gilbert) on March 17, 1972; they had two children Dawn and Jesse.

For many years Wayne taught Hunter Safety in Victor to a lot of children and adults in the Bitterroot.  He also was a volunteer for the Victor Fire Department and Ambulance.  He worked for the Ravalli County Road Department.  He also managed the Bishop Catering, preparing many meals for firefighters traveling all over the US.  Wayne started his excavating business when he and his family moved to the ranch in Corvallis in 1989.  Watching him operate his machine seemed like it was an extension of himself.  He could spread butter with it!  He was also very proud to be a life time member of the NRA.  Wayne remained devoted to his country with his words, actions and patriotism.  Many years after his service, he still had a flag flying high on his 40 ft. flag pole at his home in Corvallis.

Wayne loved his family and friends dearly.  Any chance he would get, he was showing one of his grandkids the ins and outs of life and how to do things.  From teaching Samantha how to drive a stick, starting out in the fields, to the back roads, and then moving on to the highway.  To taking Jayden, Tristen and Dauson hunting or fishing, teaching them techniques, what to look for, the best spots, or just how to enjoy being in the hills or on the water.  He loved teaching Donivan and Eli how to use and operate the bobcat to feed the cows, plow the snow or did a hole.  Drilling into little Hope’s head which direction North, South, East and West are numerous times every day.  Always enjoying watching and interacting with baby Ethan, wondering where he hid the remote.  Wayne was always teaching his grandkids by example, actions and words.  He radiated pure unselfish love to anyone he know even to complete strangers.  He would always give anyone, anywhere the shirt off of his back and never ask for anything in return.

He will always live in our hearts and memories but will be missed greatly!

He was preceded in passing by his parents, Jess and Frances Edens; in-laws, Heber and Letha Gilbert; brothers, Gary and Jack Edens; grandson, Jayden Wayne Chavez.

Surviving include his wife Judy (Gilbert) Edens; children, Dawn Edens and Jesse (Hannah) Edens; grandchildren, Samantha Edens (Cody Jones), Tristin, Dauson, VeAyla Chavez, Donivan, Eli, Hope, Ethan, Tucker Edens; Great Grandchildren, Bailee, Chase Jones; sister, Sharon (Billy) Eddie; brothers, Mart (Teri) Edens, Steve (Janet) Edens and Many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life and potluck will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, February 3, 2019 at the Hamilton Grange Hall.

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