We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Blackmer Funeral Home
Loretta M Zehner finally got her wish. She passed away on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at Syringa Hospital in Grangeville, Idaho at age 98.
Loretta, also known as Rhetta Rad in her younger years, was born to Leo and Mary Rad, at home, outside of Cottonwood, Idaho on January 16, 1924. She was the 2nd child of five. Mom had many stories of growing up in the old house and building a new house when she was ten years old which had indoor plumbing. She also told stories about walking to school when the snow was deep enough to cover the fencing at nearby St. Gertrude’s Academy where she graduated in 1942. After high school she worked at the Creamery in Cottonwood and also enjoyed time in Oregon with her relatives.
In 1948 Loretta married Bob Zehner. They purchased their house on A Street in Grangeville and began working on improving that 100 year old house while starting a family that resulted in eight children. She enjoyed working in her huge garden and attending to her fruit trees. She never allowed any waste and could always be found at the kitchen sink peeling and chopping and getting the harvest preserved for the winter. She also enjoyed picking huckleberries, bridge parties and was on a bowling league for approximately 50 years. She was a lifelong member of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church and helped with the church and school for many years. She never moved from the family house on A Street, where it still sits full of childhood memories, adult memories and memories of the 4th of July picnics with mom’s fried chicken and legendary potato salad.
In 1964 Bob was killed in a plane crash outside of Cottonwood, near her childhood home. After Bob’s death, with eight children at home, mom purchased a farm, and with the help of her boys continued with farming. In 1967 she married Art Grabski, and even though they later divorced, they remained the best of friends until his passing in 2021.
Loretta is preceded in death by her husband Bob, Bob’s parents Tony and Gladys Zehner, her oldest son Bobby, her parents Leo and Mary Rad, her brothers Delmer (Ethel) and Albert and sisters Bertha (Jim Toennis) and Eileen (Ray Sager). Just 4 days after Loretta’s death, Eileen passed away on June 25, 2022.
Loretta is survived by 7 children: Elaine (Peter Bolz), Shirley (Jimmy Roswell), Jan (Jim Parkinson), Jon (Cheryl), Mike (Lisa), James, and Debbie (Kevin Tomlinson), her sister-in-law Clarice Rad, grandchildren, Doug, Bryan, Allison, Rob, Nick, Jon, Angie, Bobby, Lindsay, Alyssa and Kyle. She is also survived by 25 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
For those of us who were lucky enough to be in Loretta’s life knew of her unlimited unconditional love and kindness. Her children will miss her deeply, and we are truly the Lucky Ones to have known her.
A memorial service will be held Monday, July 18, 2022, at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church. The rosary will begin at 10:30 am with a funeral Mass at 11:00am. Burial will follow at Prairie View Cemetery. A luncheon will follow back at the SPPS Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made in Loretta’s name to St. Peter & Paul School in Grangeville.
Arrangements are under the direction of Blackmer Funeral Home. You may submit condolences to the family at blackmerfuneralhome.com.