Phyllis “Jean” Fletcher Trupp
Phyllis “Jean” Fletcher Trupp was born west of St. Anthony, Idaho on August 28, 1930.
She was the eldest daughter of Gilman Fletcher and Phyllis Fisher Fletcher. From the beginning, her life was full of family, fun and hard work. Jean and her sisters Dorothy Ann and Mary Janis spent their early years riding their Shetland pony, Mayday, and swimming at their favorite swimming hole with friends.
During World War II, while farm help was scarce, 13 year-old Jean and her 81 year-old grandfather worked as a team to care for her father’s potato fields, setting in motion a life-long passion for farming, and Jean’s belief that there was nothing a little hard work couldn’t accomplish.
Jean graduated from St. Anthony High School in 1948 and was active in the Thespians, Music, Pep and Home Economics Clubs.
Jean’s radiant smile and self-confidence drew the attention of many friends including a young man named Donald Trupp. Always a girl to do things for herself, Jean asked Don to the girl’s-choice Sadie Hawkins dance their senior year, and by July the couple was officially dating. Their connection continued through the mail when their collegiate pursuits put distance between the high school sweethearts, and Jean set off to attend Idaho State University.
Jean enjoyed her inaugural college years in Pocatello, playing her violin while tackling a full academic schedule. Still, there was something about Donald that pulled her home, and on September 3, 1950, they were married in St. Anthony, Idaho.
The two welcomed their first son, Donald “Craig” in 1953. Not long after, Donald sailed to Johnson Air Force Base in Japan. Jean and toddler son Craig boarded a US military boat and set out for Tokyo on their own. As she had done with her grandfather before, Jean stepped up in a time of need as homesick servicemen and women would flock to the Trupp residence for Jean’s famous home-cooking.
While stationed in Japan, Jean gave birth to a daughter, Terri. In 1955, with two children under the age of three, the family returned to the states with dreams of owning and operating their own farm.
The Trupps began raising cattle and working the land on their ranch along the canyon walls of Teton River northeast of Newdale in 1957. They raised their family, which came to include daughter, Karen, and son, Mark, on the ranch.
After the Teton Dam failed, Jean and her family found alternative farming solutions including the raising and breeding of pack llamas. Jean would work alongside Donald in the daily operations of The Trupp Llama Ranch. She was gifted with the animals and had a special bond with many of them. She even carried their photos in her wallet.
Jean’s raspberry patch, orchard, and vegetable garden were legendary. There was never a recipe too difficult or time consuming for Jean Trupp. She would use all her own pickles, jams and canned goods to serve epic meals. Her grandchildren were especially fond of her pickled apples and green pickles and because grandma would only allow one jar at dinner, they could often be heard arguing over who would choose their favorite treat.
Jean loved the great outdoors and travel. It didn’t matter if it was a hike with her llamas or a road trip with family, Jean was up for adventure. After their retirement in 1989, the couple spent two fondly remembered summers as Jean’s culinary skills allowed them to volunteer in the kitchen for the Forest Service on a remote island in Alaska. Between meals, the two enjoyed fishing, crabbing, and exploring the area.
Some of Jean’s most cherished memories included serving as a 4H leader, skiing at Bear Gulch where she, Donald and family were on the ski patrol, fishing on Island Park Reservoir with her family and taking her grandchildren on pack trips with the llamas.
She became accomplished at quilting and knitting and loved to create beautiful items for those she loved. She was active in the Community Presbyterian Church in St. Anthony and served as the handbell choir director for over 30 years. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Her smile and selfless, fun-loving nature blessed the lives of everyone around her.
Jean spent the last seven years of her life in Vancouver, Washington, where Donald passed away in 2014. She continued quilting and enjoyed playing cards and dice with friends and family.
She was able to visit the Panama Canal and spend time whale-watching on the Oregon Coast with her children.
She passed away just short of her 90th birthday on June 16, 2020.
She is proceeded in death by husband Donald (2014), sister Dorothy Fletcher Airhart (1972); granddaughters Kara and Tara Smith(1976).
She is survived by her sister Janis Tucker; children: Craig Trupp (Cheryl Brekke), Terri Smith (Mark), Karen Beilsmith (Richard), and Mark Trupp (Patti); grandchildren: Dara Smith Olson, Paige Smith, Ashley Trupp Mattson, Katie Trupp, Lucia, Ky Trupp, Weston Beilsmith; and eight great-grandkids.
A celebration of life will be held on Tuesday, July 7 at 11 a.m. at the Community Presbyterian Church at 47 W 3rd N St. Anthony, Idaho. Masks are encouraged. Graveside service will follow at the Wilford Cemetery, and those wishing to attend are asked to bring their own chairs.
Over the years Jean knitted hats and made over 50 Passing Prayer Quilts. Donations will be accepted for supplies for these projects to continue.
Arrangements are under the direction of Bert Flamm Mortuary. Condolences man be sent to the family online at www.flammfh.com