Kurt H. Aikele, 58, passed away peacefully at his home in Blackfoot, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. His loving family surrounded him as he departed this life, witnesses to his courageous battle with cancer, which he endured for four years with grace and patience.
Kurt was born Nov. 8, 1954, in Pocatello to Herman Aikele and Atha Pearl Murdock. He attended school in Arco and graduated from Butte County High School. He received degrees from Ricks College and Idaho State University in farm and health care management, respectively.
He served an LDS mission to Kansas and Missouri.
Kurt met his lifelong friend and sweetheart, Mary Denise Hjelm, on a blind date. They married on June 29, 1976 in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. They farmed in Arco and Oregon for 8 years, and then settled in Rockford, where they raised their five children.
Spurred by a friend’s invitation, Kurt volunteered as a fireman in Rockford. This led to his lifelong career as a firefighter and paramedic. He served for 21 years in the Blackfoot Fire Department, 12 of those years as captain. He loved to teach, and was a mentor to his fellow firefighters. He organized the first paramedic class at the department, and also taught first aid and CPR classes throughout his career with his wife at ISU.
Kurt served faithfully as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loved to teach the Gospel, and served in several leadership positions.
He loved his family. He especially loved spending time with his wife. He and Denise served together on the LDS Church auxiliary team that provided first aid at the LDS Conference Center.
Kurt had a tremendous work ethic. He was always anxiously engaged in a good cause. He enjoyed music, singing, reading, gardening and woodworking. He had a great talent for fixing things, a skill that will be sorely missed by children, particularly his sons-in-law. He and his family built the home that they now live in. Kurt was known for his integrity, patience, and kindness.
Kurt is survived by his wife, Denise of Blackfoot, and their children: Megan Denise (Trenton) Davies of Orem, Utah; Sara Jean (Daniel) Johnson of Rathdrum; Jason Kurt (Arwen) Aikele of Shelley; Joshua Dee (Tiffany) Aikele of Idaho Falls; Aaron Paul (Kassandra) Aikele of Blackfoot; foster son, Dee (Gerri) Luker of Salt Lake City, Utah; 12 grandchildren; mother, Atha Pearl Aikele of Arco; brother, Eric (Janet) Aikele of Moore; sister, Andra (James) Zane of St. George, Utah; sister, Carla (Randy) Bird of Layton, Utah; sister, Lin (John) Wolfe of Lewisburg, Penn.
He was preceded in death by his father, Herman Aikele, and his grandson, Nathaniel Trenton Davies.
A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at the Blackfoot West Stake Center with Bishop Bruce Reiche conducting. Family will meet with friends and relatives from 6 – 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 South Shilling, Blackfoot, and 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. prior to services at the Blackfoot West Stake Center. Interment will be at the Riverside-Thomas Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent online to the family at www.hawkerfuneralhome.com .