Delbert Von Rawlins, age 79, passed away peacefully at home on Sept 7th, 2018, surrounded in the love and presence of family. Del fought a good fight, but finally his weakened and tired out body succumbed to the Leukemia that ravished him.
Del was born April 13th, 1939 to Lawrence and Edith Rawlins in Pocatello, Idaho. He was the first born of what would become a happy and busy family of 7. Del never grew tired of talking about his happy childhood. Holidays spent with beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were among his most repeated. Sometimes there were stories of mischief with school chums, or about hunting trips, boxing matches or his love for skiing, but his favorite had to be going to the Indian reservation where he would get on saddle bronc’s or the bulls, which ultimately led him to riding rodeos. He was always up for an adrenaline rush!
His siblings who he loved very much, but were forced at times to put up with his teasing nature or even were the recipients of his antics are; his lifelong friend and sister Carolyn Winn (Richard) of Boise, his younger brother Larry (Patricia) of Pocatello, who unfortunately had to occasionally bear the burden of his older brothers past shenanigans, but who Del always referred to as “the one who did it the right way”, and his sisters JeDeane Thomas of Pocatello and Michelle Lott (Brent) of Idaho Falls, with so many years between their ages, and they being so young when he left home, how grateful he was for the sweet closeness that grew through the years as they shared in each other’s lives, family fun, and events that made them great friends as well as siblings. He was always so grateful for the good people he was blessed to call his family.
Del graduated with honors from the San Francisco school of Mortuary Science, and was even asked to stay on and teach there, which is hard to believe if you look at his high school transcripts. Probably he did so well because he loved anatomy. His intentions upon going to mortuary school were to learn a profession that would benefit him in the career he really wanted to pursue, that being, to become a doctor. But after being away to school, then serving out his internship back in Pocatello at Mannings Funeral home, and working the long and unpredictable hours of a mortician, and seeing the effects of the sacrifice on his wife Marjorie (Forrest, also of Pocatello who he had married in 1959), was being asked to endure, he thought it unfair to her and their now little growing family. For over this time 2 beautiful daughters had been born and stolen his heart. Cheryl in 1960, (Hale, preceded in death) and Kelli in 1962, (Christian Nelson of Utah) had been born. So Del let his dream slip silently away. He did indeed however become a very talented mortician and for approximately 17 years served the communities of Pocatello and Burley Idaho as well as Ogden, Utah. It was at this time Del decided to take a leap of faith and left the mortuary business to become an insurance agent, which he continued to do until his retiring from American National in 2013.
During his years as a mortician his marriage to Margorie ended in divorce and he then married Linda Adkins, also of Pocatello. During the subsequent years Del’s family grew substantially. Linda bringing to the marriage James, born in 1960,who Del adopted and loved as his own, Camille Rawlins 1966, (of Boise), Lori born 1968 (Darin Williams of Delaware), Jason Rawlins born 1972 (of Oregon) and Sheree born 1976 (Brandon Chaffin of Boise). During the years they lived in the previously mentioned locations as well as Olympia Washington. He spoke often of his time there and the many people who befriended his family and the love he had for them. Eventually he would resettle his family again to Boise. Del loved hunting and the outdoors and he had soon made many like minded friends and together they found many opportunities to go hunting. Whether it was going horse back into the Sawtooths to archery hunt each year for elk and deer, or to rifle hunt and bait for bear or get his once in a life time moose, it was an adventure that thrilled him to the core. The friends he shared those experiences with remained friends long after the hunting years were over.
In 1988 Del married TJ Bulson of Boise and again his heart willingly grew to include in that love, her 5 children who at the time were; Krista age 14 (Carl Baird of Nebraska), Michael age 12 (Lindsey McLean of Utah), Garry age10 (of Washington), Spencer age 9 (Leah McLean of Boise) and Joe age 7 (amber McLean of Boise). Now with the number of children at an even dozen with 6 boys and 6 girls, it didn’t take long and he had 36 grand children and 15 great grand children to love and with more still coming!
To this marriage Del brought his love of horses, hunting, camping and his genuine love for people, but most importantly, he brought his love for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and served throughout his adult life in many different capacities within church. Among them; scout master, Bishopric Counselor, High Councilman (many times,) Public Affairs director for the area, as a Temple worker for 8 years, Stake Mission Pres, but his all time favorite calling had to be President of the Town Square Branch singles ward. He loved those young people and they knew it. The fun they had, the spiritual experiences they shared, the weddings and the lasting friendships that emerged he valued more than they will ever know.
Family, friends, clients, people, were what mattered most to Del. It’s why his business succeeded and why he has so many amazing friends. From his neighbors, to his family home evening friends, to those he always felt privileged to serve in the church with, Del appreciated them and was quick to tell them so.
When Del retired from the world of insurance in 2013 he was urged by a new found friend to re sit for the test to get his licensing back to be a funeral director and embalmer. Well after more than 30+ years out of the business, he passed! He immediately began working for that new found friend; Sean Moorhouse and Mike Madson at Bella Vida Mortuary. Del loved being involved in the mortuary work again, serving and helping people. Sadly however, it wasn’t long before his health issues began. The next 5 years were difficult ones, but Del tried to be an asset to the mortuary, desiring to do his best for the men he had grown to love so much and appreciate far beyond the work place, including his apprentice Ben Madsen. Eventually in late 2017 his Leukemia became acute and he could no longer work, but the bonds of pure love and friendship he had made there never wavered.
Del leaves his legacy of a life well spent in the hearts of those he touched with his genuine love, concern and appreciation for who they were. TJ’S family came to love Del as a brother, a part of the family as if he’d been there from the beginning. His wit, enthusiasm and because he wasn’t about judging others, just loving them, he was easy to love and pull into your heart. His passing has left a huge hole in so many hearts that will be impossible to ever fill.
The family wishes to express our deepest appreciation to the Moorhouse Family and Bella Vida mortuary for their kindness, compassion and professionalism. We also want to thank ACHS Hospice for all the excellent care, concern and friendship you have rendered these past 4 months, especially “our Amy” who won our hearts and took such good care of our Del. And to our Bitteroot Ward Family… thank –you for the love and compassionate service you have rendered so consistently to del throughout these hard times, your amazing people and we love you.
A viewing will be held Tues Sept 11th from 7 to 8:30 pm at Bella Vida Mortuary 9661 W. Chinden Blvd. and again before the Services on Wednesday Sept 12th from 9am to 9:45, at the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1111 S. Cole Rd, with the services commencing at 10 am.
We lost our most beloved Uncle Del. I fell in deep love with this man, the moment I met him 16 years ago. He was crazy about his gorgeous wife, he was funny as hell, and the man just LOVED people for exactly who they were. His obituary captures him so brilliantly. He helped us afford insurance as newlyweds, walked us through a house fire, and did private consultation for us when we lost Jesse. Our hearts are broken. Aunt Jody has lost her true love. The light he brought to our lives will never be as bright, but we carry him with us. He understood midwifery and life because of his role in honoring dying and death. And if you’ve ever wondered where Patrick’s handsome dimples come from, take a look at Uncle Del’s baby picture. We get a glimpse of Del every time we see Patrick. Rest in peace, free from pain. You know how much we loved you – we know how much you loved us.
My sincere condolences to the family and friends, so sorry for your loss. Please find comfort in knowing that Jehovah God will soon resurrect our dear loved ones (John 5:28-29). Oh how we long for the time when pain, suffering and death will be no more, these former things will have passed away (Revelation 21::3-5).