Clayton C. Onstott

| January 14, 2021 1:00 AM

Clayton C. Onstott passed away in the late afternoon, Dec. 28, 2020, at the Schneidmiller House in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  

Dad was born Dec. 30, 1938, to Eldridge Arthur “Shorty” and Elsa Dorthea (Albers) Onstott, in Hazen, North Dakota. He joined three sisters and one brother, and one more sister came one year later.

His family moved many times. They lived in Hazen, Butte, Mont., Kellogg, Idaho, Hayden Lake, Idaho, a lumber camp on Asotin Creek in Washington, Julietta, Idaho, Kendrick, Idaho, Bonners Ferry, Idaho and Durango, Colo.

Dad was raised in the generation that "walked barefoot both ways uphill to school,” and shared many stories about his life at home with his sisters and brother, commenting many times that he didn't know how his mom managed. His mother passed away in 1955 when he was 17.

He joined the National Guard in 1956 and was honorably discharged in 1959. He was finished with high school in 1957, and worked with Don Spalding and his family until he moved to Durango with his dad. He and Don remained close friends until Don’s passing in August 2020.

He met his future wife, Melba Hudspeth in 1960 while she was walking with a friend who wanted to ride in Dad’s car. Four years later they were married on Sept. 21, 1964. 

Their first child, a girl, was born a year later and three boys followed over the next seven years.

He moved his family to Bonners Ferry in 1971. He worked in the woods until 1979 when he went to work as a mechanic for Anderson Logging. He made many lasting friends in the 25 years he was there and missed not seeing them as often.

He acquired his pilot's license and bought a small airplane. He and Mom spent many hours flying out and meeting friends for coffee or lunch at different little airports.

After leaving Anderson Logging he found retirement was hard and returned to work part time at Bonners Ferry Quik Lube.

As his children started bringing home spouses and grandchildren, his notoriety as a grouch started to soften. He spent many hours with his grandchildren and helping all his children with home remodels, truck work, yard work and many other projects. In his retirement he built and flew RC airplanes and rebuilt Honda mini motorbikes.

He enjoyed his time at the "coffee shop." And missed those who had gone before him.

He is survived by: his wife Melba, of 56 years, daughter Darla and husband Craig Amoth of Bonners Ferry; sons Brad Onstott of Peyton, Colo., Scott and wife Ann (DesRoches) Onstott of Bonners Ferry, and Brett Onstott of Bonners Ferry; his grandchildren, Tim Onstott, Thomas and wife Kirsty (Myers) Amoth, Tony and wife Zaonna (Seely) Onstott, Jacob Onstott, Katie Onstott, Lauren Onstott and Lindsey Onstott; a brother, Eldridge (Sonny) and wife Anne (Holt) Onstott of Post Falls, Idaho; and a sister Carol and husband Gerald “Bucky” Bennett; sisters-in-law Edna and Michael Demos of Durango, and Ramona Sowa of Lafayette, Colo.; and a brother-in-law Orrin and wife Liz of Chaparral, N.M.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Those preceding him were his parents; and three sisters, Yavonne Niles of Clifton, Colo., Beverly Coster of Clifton, and Valmere Osborne of Post Falls, Idaho.

There will be no funeral service.