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Thomas Orson Bingham died on August 15, 2023 in Gooding Idaho. He was 75 years old. He was just two months short of his 76th birthday. He passed away peacefully at his home with his wife and family by his side.
Thomas was born October 16,1947 to Victor Lester Bingham and Marjorie Olsen in Vernal, Utah. He was raised on the family farm and dairy with his five siblings - Coleen Bingham Snow (Claude), Roland Bingham (Sharon), Nina Rae Bingham Anderson, (Soren), Margene Bingham Bushman (Blaine), and Ilene Bingham Bingham (Robert).
He attended Vernal, Utah schools and wrestled during his Junior High and Uintah High School years. He was a part of the High school State Wrestling Champions several years in a row. His senior year his parents moved the family to Orem, Utah. He again was instrumental in helping them secure the State Wrestling Championship his senior year. He loved wrestling! He attended and wrestled for Ricks College for two years where he earned his picture in the Hall of Fame. Then he spent a year at Utah State University with his childhood best friend, Phil Hardy.
In 1967 he enlisted in the National Guard. His unit was in the Combat Engineer Division. He had served for 6 years.
On October 4, 1968 his mother was killed in an automobile accident. He felt a great responsibility to help his father on the family farm and help with two younger sisters still at home. A year later, his father, Victor, remarried to Doris Garcia who brought two more children into the family - Daniel Kearney and Marjorie Joyce. After a fun filled adventure of being, “just good friends”, while living in the same house, Thomas and Marjorie fell in love and got married on December 19,1969 in Twin Falls, Idaho. Five years later to the date, they were sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple. They have been married 53 years.
They were blessed with seven amazing children - Toby Orson (Melanie), Brett Vincent (Julie), Jason Victor (Mandy), Trista Lynn Whittle (James Robert), Joseph Maurice (Jennifer), Suzanne Walker (Nathan), Thomas “Helaman” (Candice). He has 31 grandchildren who have been the pride and joy of his life.
He followed the long heritage of a “family run farm and dairy industry” where he learned to work hard with his hands, value integrity, and to give his very best. He took great pride in a beautiful herd of cows where, when he was young, could name each one along with its sire, health history and current milk production. He always had a high producing herd of cows. He gained the respect of other dairymen even though he had only a small herd of 70 in the beginning of his career and grew to 500+. He worked 18-hour days for many years. He couldn’t have accomplished what he did without good, good men beside him, that was Van Nebeker and Dave Smith. They were more than hired men or friends; they were a tight knit part of the family. The only thing that took him away from the farm and dairy was his love of wrestling.
When his oldest boys, Toby and Brett were old enough to start to compete, other than the matches on the living room carpet, Thomas, along with his friend Van Nebeker decided to start a young Wresting club. That was in 1979. He then coached Junior and High school totaling 43 years as a wrestling coach. These were the special times of his life, to watch how this sport molded boys into great men as they learned valuable lessons that served them into adulthood. He cherished those boys’ friendship; long after the last whistle blew.
After retiring as a wrestling coach, Thomas was asked to run for a County Commissioner position. He served for three years and really grew to love the people that he worked with and were so willing to share their time and talents to better the community. He later served again on the Planning and Zoning Committee for Gooding County and again grew to love and appreciate those that worked to support the growth of our area. He found lasting friendships there, which for years, has blessed his life.
Thomas was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints. He held many callings but those that gave him the biggest challenges and helped him grow and discover his gifts were that of a Bishops Councilor, a Bishop, a Stake 70’s President and finally a Missionary. He didn’t have the opportunity in his youth, so with his wife they served two missions. The first in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Mission (2005-2007), and later in West Africa Ghana Mission (2015-2017). He has adopted grandchildren in both of these countries. Even one that was named, “Bingham”.
Thomas served in the Twin Falls Temple for many years starting shortly after the temple was open and between each mission until his health would no longer allow him to. It was a very sad day for him. It was an accumulation of 15 years. To be in the Lord’s house on a weekly basis was more than a blessing. It’s where he found peace, a refuge from the world, personal revelation. It was his way of showing the Lord how very much he loved Him. And his “Temple Family” meant the world to him.
He didn’t share his testimony often, but when he did, you knew, that he knew of a loving Father in Heaven, that Jesus Christ was his Savior and Redeemer. He spent his life trying to become like them. Not perfect but close enough!
He was preceded in death by his mother – Marjorie; his father – Victor; and his sister, Coleen Snow.
A viewing will be held on Monday, August 21, 2023 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Demaray Funeral Service – Gooding Chapel.
A funeral service will be conducted on Tuesday, August 22. 2023 at 10:00 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Gooding. A viewing will be held from 9:00 to 9:45 am at the Church.
Burial will follow at the Elmwood Cemetery in Gooding.