Neil Barrus

July 13, 1927 — August 17, 2015

Neil Barrus

Neil Hunter Barrus, 88, passed away on August 17, 2015, following a long struggle with Parkinson’s. Neil was born July 13, 1927, in Groveland, Idaho to Ruel Melvin Barrus and Zina Emeline Hale. He served a year in the US Navy at the end of WWII, then completed a 2 1/2 year mission to Samoa for the LDS Church. Following his mission Neil married Betty May Denney in the Idaho Falls LDS temple. Neil and Betty were well known for their phone calls serenading family and friends with “happy birthday” accompanied by Neil on his ukulele. Neil also played the saxophone and sang in the ward choir for many years. After his mission Neil graduated with his degree in Civil Engineering and began a 32-year career with the Idaho Department of Transportation. In 1962 the family moved to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho where they enjoyed all the outdoor pursuits of Northern Idaho including water skiing, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, firewood cutting, and huckleberry gathering. He smoked “blue back” (kokanee) salmon caught from Coeur d’ Alene lake and made his famous sour-dough huckleberry pancakes. Neil was active in the LDS church throughout his life, serving in the Stake Presidency, and twice as Bishop. After he retired from the State of Idaho in 1986 he and Betty served a mission to Samoa where they became each other’s “soa” (companion). They also served in the genealogy library in SLC, Utah. They served a second mission to Denver, CO. before moving to Nampa, Idaho where Neil pursued his love of woodworking, crafting numerous furnishings for their home. Neil and Betty served a third mission to Nauvoo, IL. and were temple workers for many years. They loved traveling and shared many memorable adventures together. They have spent the last 3 years living with their daughter Brenda Petersen in Grantsville. Neil was the youngest of nine children. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty (Denney) Barrus, a brother, Ruel Barrus, daughters; Pam (Rolf) Bitsch, Brenda (David) Petersen, and Shauna (Mark) Comstock, and sons; Ron (Tanis) Barrus and Denney (Allison) Barrus, 19 grandchildren and 49 great-grandchildren. Dad entertained many with his songs, games, puzzles, rope tricks and “hooey sticks”. His great love, kindness, wisdom, wit, and humor touched many lives. Funeral services will be held Friday, August 21, at 11:00 at the Grantsville 9th Ward Chapel, 415 W. Apple St, with a viewing an hour and a half prior. Interment at the Grantsville cemetery. Services by Didericksen Memorial (435) 277-0500.

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