clearwater Tribune, November 26, 2013

Arthur 'Art' Edward Kerzman, 95, Weippe

      Arthur 'Art' Edward Kerzman, longtime resident of Weippe, passed away peacefully in the arms of the Lord Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Lewiston, where he resided since May of this year.

      Art was born Oct. 1, 1918, to Andrew and Matilda Kerzman (Swanson), on a farm outside Roseglen, ND. He was the third of five children, Roy, Leo, Art, Elmer and Mae.

      As a youngster, Art went to school through the eighth grade, as was common in that day, and stayed home to work with his family on the farm, raising turkeys and helping his mother with her large garden. In his spare time, he rode his pony over the North Dakota prairies and became interested in trapping fur-bearing animals to earn extra money for the family.

      During the Depression in 1939, Art rode a freight train west as far as Coeur d'Alene to look for work, and thus began a lifelong love of the mountains and trees. A rancher in the area picked Art out of eight other men because he had the most calluses on his hands. Art proved to be a good worker for the rancher, but he returned to North Dakota in about a year because the work was not steady and he missed his family.

      In 1942, Art married Opal Margaret Ostby. They made their home in Minot, N.D., and their daughter, Sharron Mae Kerzman, was born in 1943. The couple divorced in a while, and Art retained custody of Sharron. Because Art had to work, he placed Sharron with his cousin, Marie House Fix, who had two daughters of her own.

      Art joined the U.S. Navy in 1945, and was honorably discharged in 1947. He was a gunner on the supply ship the USS George B. Porter, which served in the South Pacific area. He was very proud to care for and use the machine gun to protect the freedom of our country, though you never heard him brag about it.

      After the war, Art returned to North Dakota and his family. Marie, her parents and the three girls had to sell their farm so the Garrison Dam could be built. Art suggested they all move to Idaho, so in 1948 they loaded up, lock, stock and barrel in their old jalopy and settled in Orofino.

      Art began working in the logging industry and found his niche in life. He was everything from a pond monkey at the Potlatch Corp. mill in Lewiston to a log truck driver for Carl Nelson out of the Weippe/Pierce area. He loved his work.

      In 1950, Art met and fell in love with Dorothy Blyler Millward, a divorcee with two daughters. They were married in January 1951, and by 1958 two more girls had been added to the family.

      From 1954 to 1965, the family lived in the Upper Fords Creek area in Orofino. They bought some land high up on the hillside overlooking Orofino, and he began the daunting task of building a three-story house from scratch. It took 10 years, then sadly, due to an illness in the family, they had to sell it and move to Kamiah. The house still stands today and some lucky family is enjoying that beautiful view.

      Art loved being outdoors, not only for working, but for hunting and fishing. He got his elk 13 years in a row, and many deer, too. Going on fishing picnics was a favorite pastime of the entire family.

      In 1971, Art, Dorothy and their youngest daughter, Robin, moved to Weippe. Art continued working, fishing and hunting in the area. Orogrande Creek on the North Fork was his favorite fishing spot.

      Dorothy passed away in 1995 and Art continued living in Weippe, enjoying life in the small community he loved. Art and Robin were pool champions two years in a row in the late 1990s.

      Due to failing physical strength, Art moved to the Veterans Home in Lewiston six months ago, but his heart remained in his cabin in Weippe and he longed for those days again where he could sit at his table and tinker with some project he was working on and watch "Wheel of Fortune" and NASCAR racing.

      Art was preceded in death by his parents, all siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as his wife, Dorothy, and daughter Sharron Marcell (2012).

      He is survived by his daughters, Pat Rencehausen of Kamiah, Cathy Skiles of Lewiston, Rita Norton (Richard) of Missoula, MT, and Robin Allen of Cantwell, AK. He is survived by 14 grandchildren, Pete (Teri) Rencehausen of Phoenix, AZ, Kathy Palmer of Moscow, Tony Skiles of Pierce, Penni Azevado of Lewiston, Nikki Roeder of Orofino, Jakki Profitt of Otis Orchards, Wash., Shannon (Lonnie) Simpson of Orofino, Andy (Angela) Norton of Moscow, Richard (Kris) Norton, of Spokane Valley, WA, Charity Norton of Missoula, MT, Ben Norton of San Francisco, Marcie (Kelly) Teed of Bonney Lake, WA, Meagan (Phillip) McNich of Vancouver, WA, and Sam (Lisa) Allen of Twin Falls; 25 great-grandchildren; nine great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

      Art has chosen to be cremated. A memorial service and celebration of his independent spirit was held Friday at the IOOF Hall in Weippe.

Transcribed by Michal Berreth-Beck, 2014

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