Bruce L. Baumgartner died Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at his home in Deary. He was 77. Bruce was born in 1945 in Manchester, England, to L.M. “Bill” Baumgartner and Enid Podmore Baumgartner. After emigrating to the United States with his mother and sister, Eniss, the family settled in Oregon and began farming on a small river island. When their home island was flooded as a result of post-war hydroelectric projects in the western United States, the family relocated to the Park community near Deary. Bruce attended the one-room school in Park through the fourth grade, then completed his education in Deary, graduating from Deary High School in 1963.
Shortly after finishing high school, Bruce was drafted into the U.S. Army and completed Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, N.C. After his military service, he returned to Deary, where he began dating Janice Johnson, and they married in November 1969. The couple had two daughters, Robin and Krista.
After driving logging truck for his father and uncle for several years, Bruce bought his first logging truck in 1973. This began a 47-year career that eventually grew into a fleet of 34 trucks. In 2001, Bruce purchased Alpine Log Trailers and formed Alpine Industrial, LLC, manufacturing log trailers and cab guards in his shop. Bruce and Janice also built and have operated Crossroads Convenience Store in Deary since 1997.
In addition to his business interests, Bruce was always involved in the larger community. An avid trapshooter, over the years he served in various capacities on the boards of directors of the Troy-Deary Gun Club, Idaho State Trapshooting Association and Hiyu Indians. He also served as the Idaho delegate to the Amateur Trapshooting Association. He was an active member of the Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho, and served 20 years on the Deary City Council. Bruce loved being with people and telling stories. Coffee with the guys downtown was his favorite way to start the day, and all who knew him will miss his wisdom, humor and friendship. He is survived by his wife, Janice, of Deary; sister, Eniss Smith, of Moscow; and daughters Robin Baumgartner, of Boise and Krista Baumgartner, of Deary.
Services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, March 16, at the Church of the Nazarene, E. Seventh St., Moscow, with a covered-dish lunch and reception to follow at the Latah County Fairgrounds Event Center. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Deary Fire and Ambulance fund, Troy-Deary Gun Club, or the nonprofit organization of your choice.
Short’s Funeral Chapel of Moscow is in charge of arrangements and condolences may be left at shortsfuneralchapel.com.