Donald Dean Cantrell

January 8, 1933 ~ November 1, 2020 (age 87)


Donald Dean Cantrell

January 8, 1933 ~ November 1, 2020


It is with great sadness that the family of Donald “Dean” Cantrell announce his passing from COVID-19 on November 1, 2020 at a local care facility.

Dean Cantrell was born on January 8, 1933 in Bergman, Arkansas, to Allen John and Lena (Devore) Cantrell. He attended school through the 3rd grade, and then had to help his Dad on the farm. He came to Idaho when he was 18 and met the love of his life, Pauline, but wasn’t quite ready to settle down and went back to Arkansas. He came back to Idaho for his sweetheart several years later and they got married on April 5, 1957. He worked at various jobs throughout his lifetime, but most of his time was spent as a farmer and dairyman. He was employed by Bob and Carolyn Cornie for about 17 years. They became very good friends. He later was employed by Ted Cornie. He remained good friends with all the Cornie children throughout the years. He even got a Corgie, he named Misty, from Merlaine Cornie-Crites. He was crazy about his dog, Misty, and kept several of her pups.

He loved to garden and grew some of the best watermelons you ever tasted. He enjoyed working with cattle, goats, and hogs, as long as they did what he wanted. He was known to have a bit of a temper but enjoyed what he did. He had a very good work ethic, nobody ever worked harder than he did.

He loved to tell his family stories of when he was younger. He could remember names like no other. He would tell his family stories of how he, his brother, or some of his other friends would hop trains. That is how they would travel to different areas to find work. Everyone was always amazed at how many of the details he could remember. He loved to tease and cut up with the grandkids. He had nicknames for each one of his kids, some that should not be repeated.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Pauline; his children, Rebecca Frances of Edna, Texas; Ralph Carnahan of Kennewick, Washington; Linda (Scott) Hoffman, of Buhl; Judy (Keith) Cook, of  Filer; Beverly (Dewey) Nipper of Buhl; Sherry (Jim) Byrd of Shoshone; fourteen grandchildren; several great grandchildren; and great, great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John Allen “Tom” and Lena Cantrell; two brothers; four sisters; and two sons, Johnny Dean Cantrell and Wesley Bruce Cantrell.

The family takes great comfort in knowing that Dean (Dad) is now healed and in the presence of Jesus, with his family and friends who have gone on before him.

The family would like to say a special thank you to Ted and Tim Cornie, and Blair Combe. Dean’s health had started to decline about 12 years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer. He was in and out of the hospital a lot. These guys were always bringing over hay for Dean’s animals and never accepting payment of any kind. We were all impressed by your kindness.

Due to the pandemic the family will be having a private service. We will have a Celebration of Life for all his friends to attend sometime in the future.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Dean’s memorial webpage at


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