Virgil F. Lowder, 65

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Former Sandpoint resident, Virgil F. Lowder, passed away on April 5, 2004, after a courageous battle with leukemia.

Virgil was born on Feb. 23, 1939, in Ontario, Ore. He was raised in Sandpoint by Walt and Blanche Roos.

While attending high school in Sandpoint, he met Judith (Judy) Knauss and they were married on Nov. 28, 1958. He served in the U.S. Air Force for the next four years. During this time, his two sons, Don and Gene, were born.

In 1962, Virgil moved his family to Jackson, Wyo. He worked for the 4 Lazy F Ranch for the next seven years and his daughter, Lanette, was born. From 1969 to 1975, he was a very busy and determined man taking on many seasonal jobs including lift operator at Jackson Hole Ski Corp, fence builder, fishing guide, and hunting guide. He did whatever it took to live and raise a family in Jackson. During his spare time, he received his pilot's license.

In 1975, Virgil moved the family to the Walton Ranch, where he was the ranch foreman for the next 10 years. In 1985, he went to work for Jackson Hole Aviation and then helped start Satellite Aero at the airport. From 1996 to 2004, he worked for Rich Sugden at Teton Aviation Center in Driggs, Idaho.

Virgil put 120 percent into everything he did, be it work or play, family or friends. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, hunting and fishing. But his favorite pastimes were spending time with his wife, Judy, and flying his plane "Charlie."

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Judy of Jackson, Wyo.; two sons, Don (wife Sue and grandsons, Duncan and Will) of Truckee, Calif., and Gene (wife Paula and granddaughters, Jessie and Katelynn) of Polson, Mont.; a daughter, Lanette Lowder of Jackson, Wyo.; his mother, Blanche Roos of Sandpoint; a sister, Wanda Nordgaarden of Sandpoint; a brother, Carl Hammill of Sandpoint; and a brother, Chip Roos of Washington.

Memorials in his honor may be sent to Young Eagles Program Chapter 1049 c/o Teton Aviation Center, P.O. Box 869, Driggs, ID 83422. Please make checks payable to Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, memo: Young Eagles Program Chapter 1049 "Virgil."

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