Rene Deschamps

October 8, 1924November 23, 2019 – (age 95)

Our Father, husband, grandfather and great grandfather Rene Deschamps passed away November 23, 2019. He was born October 8, 1924 the son of John Washington Deschamps and Elvira Jane Harrison. He was the youngest of twelve children. He grew up in St John in the family home, where he also raised his own family. When he was 3 ½ years old he was stricken with polio. Through the faith of his Mother and a Priesthood blessing he was spared.

He attended school in St John and Malad. He either walked or rode a horse until high school when he took the bus. In High School he recalled when he and some friends tried to blow the door off the school with some cotton and gunpowder. Someone opened the door but it didn’t blow up, just filling the school with smoke. As a teenager Dad worked as a derrick horse driver and running a Jackson Fork.

He met his future wife, Melba Ward in 1943. They had their first date on May 4, 1943 and three days later he asked her to marry him. They were married for time and eternity on November 23, 1943 in the Logan LDS Temple. They made their home in St John where they were blessed with 10 children.

Dad farmed and raised dairy cows until 1960, when he sold the farm. He worked at Thiokol and then for other farmers. He also worked at Pet Milk and the Garland Sugar Factory until it closed. He was Water Master for the St John Irrigation Company during the summers. He went to work for Malad City in 1974, working until he retired in 1987. In 2003 he went back to work part-time for the Oneida County Landfill. He enjoyed working at the Rest Area because he got to meet many different people from around the world.

He liked working with wood, making beautiful items for family and friends. He and Melba were always putting puzzles together. He loved to dance and was dance director for St John Ward for many years with his daughter Rosalie.

He was a member of the Rod and Gun club and served in the MIA for 34 years; 8 years as President. One of his special memories is when the MIA did a “This Is Your Life” program about him.

We can’t forget the walks he took with “Swede” Hansen and Betty Richards. One walk was from Malad to Downey. They were the three musketeers.

He liked to take trips to California and later to Kanab, Utah to spent time with his brother Nello. He also took a trip with Brenda and Don to the Black Hills to see Mount Rushmore.

He always felt his greatest accomplishment was raising 9 children.

Rene is survived by 8 of his children; Merlin (Pat) Deschamps, Ogden, Sue Ann (Richard) Robbins, Malad, Rosalie (Ned) Silvester, Riverside, Utah, Quin (Denise) Deschamps, Pocatello, Deborah (Jerry) Reisner, Garland, Utah, Brenda (Don) Daniels, Malad, Michael Deschamps, Pocatello, and Mark (LeeAnn) Malad, and daughter-in-law Janet Deschamps. He is also survived by 33 grandchildren,73 great-grandchildren, and 21 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Melba, sons Dennis and Tom, 2 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren and 11 siblings.

A Viewing will be held at the Malad Stake Center, 1250 North 1100 West, Malad, Idaho from 11:00am – 1:00pm on Saturday, November 30, 2019. No formal funeral will be held. Interment will be in the St John cemetery immediately following the viewing.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at

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