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John Phillip Lefebvre

September 28, 2022

John Phillip Lefebvre took his last trip down Westside Road on September 18, 2022, passing away from a suspected Aortic Aneurysm during ambulance transit to Boundary Community Hospital. A Celebration of Life will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, October 1, at the Mirror Lake Golf Course clubhouse.

Prior to the service, golfers are invited to join a nine-hole memorial tournament with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. Contact Bill Gutknecht by September 29 to sign-up, (214) 415-6058. Call the golf course, (208) 267-5314, to reserve a cart.

He was born in Spokane on July 9, 1946, the son of William and Lina (Ripatti) Lefebvre of Bonners Ferry. He grew up on his family’s farm on Ball Creek. The family didn’t have indoor plumbing nor electricity for the first years of his life.

“It got old pretty quickly sitting in the house reading by lantern, so we usually went to bed pretty soon after it got dark.”

He graduated from Bonners Ferry High School in 1964 and put himself through the University of Idaho by working in the woods, harvest, and construction of the Westside Road. After graduating in 1969, he served in the Navy on active duty. He returned home in 1970, married Kris Chubb, and in a span of only three and a half years they added four kids to the family, starting with John in 1973.

In 1969, he began a 38-year career with Weyerhaeuser Forest Products, starting out as a choker setter and by the end of his career was responsible for all the West Coast wood chip supply to Weyerhaeuser paper mills.

In addition, he continued to serve in the Naval Reserve as an intelligence officer, reaching the rank of captain. His Reserve duty took him to difficult duty stations such as Hawaii for annual two-week active-duty tours. The first couple were unaccompanied, but on some of the later trips he unloaded the kids on the Chubb grandparents and he wisely brought Kris with him.

His work took him and his family to North Bend, Enumclaw and Oroville, Washington, and Rainier, Oregon.

A dedicated father, he enjoyed coaching sports, taking the kids hiking in the woods, pulling knee-boarders on Lake Osoyoos and frequent trips back to Bonners Ferry to visit his and Kris’s families. As his children started their lives, John and Kris enjoyed visiting their children and grandchildren from Grangeville to Seattle to Texas to California.

John began his 25-plus year love/hate relationship with golf after his children left home. It would have been hard for him to imagine as a young 1950s boy on the Westside Road how much he would love travelling the world later in life; he and Kris enjoyed trips to Japan, Mexico, Europe, New Zealand and Scandinavia.

Upon retirement in 2007, he worked to turn a quiet corner of the family farm into a gathering place for the next generations of Lefebvres. They spent the next 15 years hosting kids, grandkids and friends at their cabin. He will be remembered for his egg and sausage "Ball Creek Scramble," making the grandkids sing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" before they could eat, and building a sign for each of the grandkids to place on their special place on the property, starting with "Camp Bucko" and "Miles’ Bridge."

He and Kris drank a lot of coffee on what came to be known as "The Deck of Diminished Expectations," on which they planned a lot of work each morning but had to adjust those plans as the day wore on.

Their idyllic retirement ended with Kris’s diagnosis of cancer in September, 2021, and John tirelessly dedicated himself to her care until her death in May, 2022. John’s last days were spent in the defense of his home from the fires, and he was profoundly grateful for the efforts of the Hall Mountain Volunteer Fire Department and several individuals from the Forest Service who helped protect the house and building fire trail around his property.

Days before his death he recounted to one of his children, “I’m not going to just sit here and watch our timber burn ... I’m 76 years old, so if it kills me, then so be it.”

John was preceded in death by his parent Bill and Lina and his wife, Kris. He is survived by son John (wife Nora and children William and Lina), daughter Amanda (husband Andy Freeman and children Jack, Kana, and Liv Freeman), son Mac (wife Holly and children Miles, Adalei, and Tyra), and son Dave (wife Jana and children Elena, Dale, and Martin). He is also survived by brother Bill Lefebvre, sister-in-law Sandi Chubb, nieces Carisa McAlister, Ketta Everhart, Melissa Riesen, Cara Guenther, and nephew Derek Chubb.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Hall Mountain VFD.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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