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John A Fennell

January 18, 1933 ~ October 29, 2020 (age 87)


John Allen Fennell passed away peacefully, on October 29, 2020 in Rupert, Idaho, surrounded by family. John was born January 18, 1933, the second son of Ira Earl Fennell and Martha Evelyn ‘Mattie’ Campbell, in Coin, Arkansas. At ten years of age, his family moved to Rupert, where he began attending Pershing Elementary. Two years later, upon entering Rupert Jr. High, John began to develop his love of sports, which continued to be an influence in his life, as well as the lives of his children and grandchildren.

As John’s athletic abilities were honed through his high school years, his outstanding skills were appreciated by his classmates, as well as one particular girl from Minidoka, Gwen Mackintosh. Though she always said he never noticed her outside of Algebra, where she became his personal tutor, he obviously had more than math in mind. They were ultimately married in 1952, after a year of courtship.

Over the next eleven years John and Gwen added 3 sons and two daughters to their family. All of their children were born and raised in Rupert.

For the majority of his life, John was employed by the Bureau of Reclamation working at the Minidoka Dam, a job he loved, and a place where he made life-long friends.

Through the years, John thoroughly loved his role as coach, where he taught much more than just the basics, but more importantly, how to show good sportsmanship, win or lose. He also assumed the role of loyal spectator through his loving support to all his posterity in their many, varied interests. For his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, they knew no greater fan!

To know John was to love him. His gentle, kind ways endeared him to many. To those who are blessed to survive him, our great desire is to make those traits become a part of us.

John is survived by his wife, Gwen of 68 years; their children in order: John (Terry) Fennell of Rupert; Cheri (Jerry) Emerick of Spanish Fork, Utah; Ron (Cheryl) Fennell of Ogden, Utah; Sherma (Rick) Poteet of Rupert; and Rick (Cathy) Fennell of Ogden, Utah, 28 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren…and growing

John was preceded in death by his parents, older brother, Les, sister-in-law, Rosa Fennell, and granddaughter, Angela Fennell.

Due to the current pandemic, there will be a private family graveside service on Tuesday, November 3rd, 1:00 p.m. at the Rupert Cemetery, under the direction of Joel Heward’s Hansen Mortuary. All attending are requested to wear masks and practice social distancing.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the charity of your choice.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John A Fennell, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program


Private Graveside Service
November 3, 2020

1:00 PM
Rupert Cemetery
450 North Meridian
Rupert, ID 83350

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