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Tuesday, August 22, 2023
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Naomi Nelson Wilde, 108 years young, Idaho’s oldest living person passed away on Wednesday, August 16, 2023, in Pocatello, Idaho. She was born June 6, 1915, in Cleveland, Idaho to Hyrum Rasmus Nelson and Loretta Bevins Nelson. She was the oldest of six children. Her mother passed away during childbirth when she was 13. Not only was she the oldest sister but she became the mother of the house being instrumental in raising the younger children. She attended school in Thatcher through the 11th grade when she left to take care of the family. Her curiosity and desire to learn contributed to her embracing the many changes that occurred over her lifetime.
She married Merlin Wilde of Mink Creek in December 1941 in Evanston, Wyoming. They were later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. Naomi and Merlin were married for almost 66 years. Merlin died in 2007 at the age of 96.
The first five years of their married life were spent in the military living in Washington, California, and Missouri. Naomi worked as a telephone operator in Pocatello during the two years that Merlin served in various military divisions throughout Europe during World War II. After the war, they settled in Mink Creek outside of Preston where they farmed and ranched and raised their three sons. During their retirement years, they spent the winters in St. George, Utah and summers back on the family farm. At the age of 101, she left Mink Creek and moved to an assisted living facility in Pocatello. A highlight more recently was being able to spend a significant amount of time with her baby brother Edwin, who moved into the care facility. They enjoyed talking about the many escapades of their youth. Ed passed away in the spring and she missed him dearly.
Naomi is survived by her three sons: Ross (Laurel) Mink Creek, Van, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Dean (Michelle), Pocatello; grandchildren, Amy, Brandon, Brittany, Brian, and Jasmine and 16 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers; Gilbert, Douglas, Edwin, and Marvin, one sister Venna, and granddaughter Ann. She was a member of the LDS Church and served as the ward organist for many years.
She enjoyed gardening, always having a beautiful yard and flowers, playing the piano and organ, and socializing with her many friends and family. As a centenarian, she embraced change and was able to relate to people of all ages. She was as comfortable with the younger generation and their lives as people of her own generation. At the age of 101, she had a knee replacement which was thought to be the oldest person on record. Always looking for an adventure, she celebrated her post 100 birthdays by riding an elephant and camel, riding a motorcycle, flying in a helicopter, as well as frequent visits with her friends to the casinos of Ft. Hall. Her positive attitude and looking for the good in people was something we all admired.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 12:00 noon at the Mink Creek LDS Chapel, with Bishop Paul McKay presiding and Miles Erickson conducting. A viewing will be held from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the church prior to the funeral services. Interment will be in the Mink Creek Cemetery.
A special thanks to the wonderful staff at Grace Assisted Living as well as the staff at Enhabit Hospice for their wonderful care and friendship. She loved you all dearly. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at webbmortuary.com