A celebration of life will be held on a later date.
William “Bill” Sweet, 92, passed away on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at his home on the Camas Prairie.
Bill was born in Boise, Idaho on September 13, 1927 to William Newland and Lena Elizabeth Sweet. His childhood years were spent between Boise and on the farms in both Wendell and Fairfield, where many enjoyable hours were spent with his sister, Barbara, his cousins and close family friends. In Bill’s teenage years, he spent his summers working on the farms for his uncle, Robert Edman.
Most of Bill’s early schooling was in the Boise Valley, except for the two years that his mother taught in the one room schoolhouse at Ryegrass, north of Glenn's Ferry. Every morning it was Bill's job to make sure the stove in the school house was started and the water hauled from the spring before the students arrived.
In 1945, Bill graduated from Meridian High School. During those four years, he played football, baseball and basketball, lettering in all three sports. He also participated in pep band, orchestra and FFA.
In the fall of 1945, Bill attended the University of Idaho where he studied Agriculture Science and Education. During his years at the university, he played both football and baseball for the Vandals, and he belonged to I Club. Bill was also a member of several honorary clubs, including: Intercollegiate Knights, Blue Key, Silver Lance, Scabbard and Blade and Alpha Zeta. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, serving as President his senior year. In 1950, Bill graduated with a BS in Agriculture Science and a commission of 2nd Lieutenant of the US Army Reserves. Over the years, Bill was often heard to say, “Those were some of the best years of my life.”
On February 10, 1951, Bill married Bonnie Brackenbury whom he had met through mutual friends. Bill and Bonnie discovered they both shared a love for sports, and throughout their 69 years of marriage, it would be safe to say, they could probably be found at one sporting event or another, cheering on children, grandchildren or great grandchildren.
In July of 1951, Bill was called to active military duty. He served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Korean War and was Company Commander of Company C of the 165th Infantry Regiment. He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic achievement and was honorably discharged in April of 1953, just in time to arrive home for his daughter’s first birthday. After Bill returned from Korea, he started farming with his uncle, Robert Edman, in Wendell and on the Camas Prairie. Upon the death of his uncle, Bill and Bonnie continued to farm for 30 more years. It was during these years that they raised their 3 children, Sunnie, Shane, and Laren. In 1963 they adopted their other son, Brian.
During the farming years, in 1957, Bill started his second career as an elementary principal and teacher. When he retired in 1989, he was persuaded to take on the job of Athletic Director and Track Coach. Bill had a fine eye for detail, both on and off the field. He was truly a sport’s analyst and could detect problems that may be hindering an athlete’s performance. It would be easy to say that Bill had a positive influence on many students/athletes throughout his 50 years of teaching and coaching. He was also recognized by his peers, who named him ‘Coach of The Year’ for both the Northside Conference and the 4th District for 3 consecutive years.
In the combined words of his grandsons: “We lost a great man today, He was our hero, our role model, our go-to, and our safe haven. He was patient, kind, thoughtful and hard working. He taught us how to keep our heads held high when life threw us curveballs, how to overcome failure and how to keep a steady drive when reaching for our goals. He was a man of integrity, an all-around great person. We will miss his Sunday morning calls, beaming smiles and steady resolve, but he has left us with a wonderful legacy of a life well lived. We love you, Grandpa!”
Bill was a member of the Fairfield Community Church and the American Legion Post #19.
Bill is lovingly survived by his wife - Bonnie; daughter - Sunnie (Ed) Smith; son - Shane Sweet; son - Brian (Rosa) Sweet; and daughter - Laren (Randy) Erkins. He will forever be remembered by grandson, Dustin (Alisan) Sweet, grandson, Trapper (Cody) Sweet, grandson, Ryan (Tina) Smith, grandson, Dallas (Candice) Smith, grandson, Nicholas (Amaya) Smith, grandson, Cade Erkins, grandson, Chase (Erin) Erkins, grandson, Cole Erkins, grandson, Matthew (Samantha) Sweet, granddaughter, Tasha (Jarrod) Lott, grandson, Jason (Sabrina) Sweet, granddaughter, Ashely Sweet and 21 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Barbara Fitch, his brother-n-law Larry Brackenbury, brother-n-law Phil (Margaret) Brackenbury, sister-n-law Lana (Tim) Parker, 13 nieces and nephews and their families.
He is predeceased by his son - Layne Sweet; father - William Sweet; mother - Lena Sweet; sister - Marian Hallquist; father-n-law - Theo Brackenbury; mother-n-law - Olive Brackenbury; sister-n-law - Wynona Brackenbury; and brother-n-law - Jay Fitch.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date this summer.
Cremation arrangements are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service – Gooding Chapel.
The family would like to thank North Valley Medical Center and Home Health/Hospice for their kind and caring professionalism.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Camas County High School Athletic Department, 610 Soldier Road, PO Box 370, Fairfield, Idaho 83327.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William "Bill" Edman Sweet, please visit our floral store.