Wesley Jerome Hudman

Wesley Jerome Hudman, 91, of Shelley Idaho, passed away Tuesday November 24, 2020, at the Gables in Idaho Falls, surrounded by several of his children. Wes was born on February 14, 1929, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Jerome and Bernice Hudman. He was always known as Grandma’s little Valentine. Wes is well-known for his business in Shelley, Idaho, OK Trailer Sales.

As a young boy, he was always doing some kind of odd job. Growing up on J Street by the baseball park he was able to help in the construction of the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. There he donated his time in hauling water to the bricklayers. His grandpa, Jarvis Dowd, was a bricklayer and Wes enjoyed working with him as often as he could. During his freshman year of high school, he lived in Sioux City, Iowa, with his dad. There he worked in a bowling alley where he would set up the bowling pins.

Being the oldest boy in a family of 10 kids, he was always sharing his earnings with his family. When Wes was 17, he met a beautiful young lady, (Elenore) Delores Eckersley, at a stake dance. She was the love of his life and on her 18th birthday in 1947, they married in Idaho Falls. From that marriage they had five children, Wesley Jerome Hudman Jr. (now deceased) wife Kathy; Robert (Bob) LaRoy Hudman, wife Sandra; Teresa Dell Bowman, husband Stan; Cathy Hamilton, husband Bruce; and Sheri Russell, husband Richard; and left a legacy of many grandchildren.

Wes and Delores first lived in Rexburg, Idaho, where he learned how to roof. Later they moved to 2nd Street in Idaho Falls where he worked making cheese and hauling milk for Yellowstone Dairy.

In 1955, his best friend, Jerry Cotterell, wanted him to join his band. He and Wes went to Chesbro Music and bought a bass. Grandpa had never had a music lesson, but was soon plucking the bass in the country western band, Range Riders. Their band played up and down the valley at dances, chuck wagon BBQs, and all sorts of events. They were the house band at Phillip’s Lodge in Island Park and developed a love of the area while camping at Island Park Reservoir. An offer from Nashville to further their music career left Wes at a crossroads, and he chose his family and small-town living over a music deal and quit the band. He sold his bass and never looked back.

His next job was working for Fred’s OK Tire in Idaho Falls where he learned all about the tire business. After working there for seven years, he decided to open his own business. He bought the old Conoco gas station in Shelley and in 1959, opened OK Tire, where he sold fuel and tires. He and Delores made their home and raised their five children in Shelley, while serving the members of the community with their tire store. Wes often helped those in need by giving them credit. A handshake and a man’s word were all he needed to help a community member. He struggled for many years to make ends meet at the business because many people owed him money, but he was always willing to carry them to help someone in need.

Around 1970, when a neighbor moved in with a fancy new Hi-Lo camp trailer, a spark was lit and Wes first became interested in trailers. His new neighbor, Swally Swanson, was a trailer manufacturing rep. Wes began selling the Hi-Lo trailers at his tire shop and sales took off. He soon built a new tire shop on the North end of Shelley, and had a mixed business with OK Tire and OK Trailers. He built a new Trailer Sales building next door. He eventually rented out the tire business and focused his efforts on trailer sales, and for a while sold mobile homes through his side-venture, Hudco Homes. He spent some time selling and installing satellite dishes as well. With the help of his hard working wife, OK Trailer Sales was a successful and prominent Shelley business for many years, but that didn’t stop Wes from looking for new ventures. He was flipping houses before there was even a term for it.

In 1960, Wes purchased a waterfront lot in Island Park on I.P. Bills island. This is where Wes and some of his friends built their own cabins by hand, and spent many wonderful years hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, boating, and spending time with family.

When it was time for Wes to retire, he and Delores spent many warm winters traveling, golfing, and spending time with friends down South; mainly Arizona, California, and Utah. Each year, he had the newest 5th wheel. They also spent a lot of time during the summer in Island Park, at their cabin.

He was known for always working on either his fireplace or his beloved lawn mower. He kept an immaculate lawn. He is remembered by his grandchildren for always taking them to get pop and donuts.

He was preceded in death by his wife Delores and son Wesley Jr. He lived a full and happy life, passing on his happy attitude by always joking with his many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. He was always telling them that, “their good looks had come from grandpa Wes.”

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hands of Hope Hospice Idaho Falls. Thank you to Kathy and Audra and all who cared for him at The Gables. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, private graveside services were held on Saturday, November 28th at 10:00 a.m. at the Taylor Cemetery.

Condolences may be sent to the family online at http://www.woodfuneralhome.com

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