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A funeral service was April 7at the Riverside Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chattaroy, with his son, Bishop Bryon Wiltse conducting, for longtime Deer Park area resident Lyle L. Wiltse, who passed away on April 2, 2012 on the family farm.
Born in Hunters on April 15, 1938, his family moved to Deer Park when he was in the seventh grade. He graduated from Deer Park High School in 1957.
Following school he went to work for the Great Northern Railroad's communications department working on its telegraph pole line. He married his high school sweetheart, Sheila M. VanSlyke, on Jan. 18, 1958.
His railroad career took the couple to their first home in Eureka, Mont. They followed the railroad around the country through parts of Idaho, Montana and Washington. Eventually, he left the railroad to follow his dream of farming. He bought a home with 17 acres near Clayton.
He and his wife continued to grow their farm with additional land purchases adjacent to their own. He supported his family by working multiple jobs. He worked at Deer Park Pine Industries, drove school bus for the Deer Park School District and worked for Deer Park Auto Freight on Saturdays while also working with his family to clear timber from his farm.
Mr. Wiltse finally gave up his last side job as a sanitation contractor for the city of Deer Park, and devoted himself to full-time farming in the early 1980s.
After being diagnosed with Stage 4 Multiple Myeloma and given a four-month prognosis, he lost his nearly four-year battle with the disease last week.
With his wife by his side he made it to places like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and the Everglades. He enjoyed grandchildren's graduations, church missions, weddings, and welcomed a few great-grandchildren into the world.
He is survived by his wife, Sheila Wiltse; seven children, Lyle (Judy) Wiltse of Noxon, Mont., Loren (Madonna) Wiltse of Cheney, Robin (Wiltse) of Spokane, Bryon (Paula) Wiltse of Clayton, Leanne Wiltse of Salt Lake City, Utah, Christine (Wiltse) of Conrad, Mont.; two sisters, Ellen Lewis of Deer Park, and Darlene Stach of Ferndale, Wash.; two brothers, William Wiltse, of Gaston, Ore., and Richard Wiltse of Mead; 21 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Interment followed the service at Woodland Cemetery in Deer Park with Lauer Funeral Home, Deer Park, in charge of arrangements.
The Wiltse family suggests memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Spokane, P.O. Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210-2215.