Anita McAffee

Obituary of Anita McAffee

Anita Annette Gornick McAffee, in the company of family and angels, passed gently and peacefully into eternity on Friday evening, October 6, 2017, just short of a century in this life. Anita was born to her parents Joseph and Mary Gornick on August 21, 1918 in the Boise Basin near Pioneerville. Her parents had immigrated to America from Austria in 1904, passing through Ellis Island. Anita spent her youth near her place of birth and attended Grimes Creek School as a youngster before enrolling at St. Teresa's in Boise. She graduated from high school in Garden Valley with her brother Joe (Josey) in 1934 at the age of 15. She quickly moved on and spent two years in college in Pocatello at the southern campus of the University of Idaho, eventually graduating from the Albion Normal School where she studied education and teaching. Ever fearless and in seek of adventure, in the summer of 1936 17-year-old Anita accompanied the Dean of Women to teach school in the Lost River Valley. She oversaw the one-room Pass Creek School, and taught middle grades in Mackey the following year. In 1937, Anita met her soulmate Clyde McAffee and they spent their first date touring the newly constructed Sun Valley Resort and the Casino Club in Ketchum. They fell in love and were married on June 6, 1939. They began their married life on Clyde's ranch east of Darlington and she soon gave birth to their only child, daughter Deena Marie on August 28, 1940. Anita and Clyde loved their properties in the heart of the namesake valley below the Lost River mountain range. Never one to stay idle, Anita worked alongside Clyde tending cattle, sheep, and horses along with the ranch hands. She loved horses since she was a child, and continued to ride with Clyde and with her infant child, Deena. She fed the stock with her husband and Deena, often in the winter snow from a horse-drawn sleigh or wagon. No one has ever loved and respected animals more than Anita McAffee. In 1950, the ranch was sold and the family moved closer to Darlington and built a new home on one of their growing number of properties, leaving the Hereford cattle, sheep, and other animals behind. At this time the McAffee's entered the registered Angus cattle and quarter horse business, and acquired land throughout the state. These ventures proved to be very successful and both Clyde and Anita made names in the cattle business. She was the Idaho state president of the Cowbelles in 1976 and was named Idaho Cattlewoman of the Year during the 1990's. She was active in many organizations including the Idaho Youth Ranch. In 1966 Anita and Clyde sold their home and moved to Boise, but soon tired of the city life. They relocated to a farm in Gooding, Idaho, but eventually felt the call to move back to the land they loved. In 1970 they built a beautiful new home just north of Arco, where they often hosted their three granddaughters during summers, incorporating them into the Angus and quarter horse operation, keeping them working hard and entertained. The girls loved the summers they spent in the Lost River Valley. Sadly, Clyde passed away July 24,1988. Anita continued to operate the ranch for time, but eventually sold out. In 2001 she moved to Nampa, Idaho to assist her granddaughter Shaun who was raising her children Shane and Lena Friesen alone. Recalling the good times in the Wood River Valley, they moved to Hailey in 2001 and Anita became a surrogate parent for 12 years. In 2013 and now in her 90's, Anita moved into independent living in Twin Falls. At the time of her death, she was residing at Chardonnay Assisted Living. Anita was a force her entire life, always with a twinkle in her eye and seeking the good in everyone. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, leaving an example that her great-grandson described thusly: "If the world followed your example and the pure goodness present in your every single day, there's no doubt in my mind that this world would be a better place." Grandma Nini (as she was known throughout the Wood River Valley) did not constrain her affections to her family, and was beloved by many. Raised and baptized in the Roman Catholic Church while in the Boise Basin, Anita later converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after marrying Clyde. She spoke often of her faith and trust in God. Anita is survived by her daughter Deena, of Twin Falls; three granddaughters, Sharee (Jay) Waldron of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Stephanie (Dana) Lommen, of Forest Grove, Oregon; and Shaun (Todd) Schwarz, of Twin Falls and Hailey, Idaho; two step-grandsons, Bo and Todd Yates of Oregon; her great-grandchildren, Nathan, Dustin, and Jenna Waldron of Portland, Oregon; Peter and Audrey Lommen, attending Cal Tech and Cal Poly in California; Shane and Lena Friesen, attending Boise State University, and step-great-grandson Caleb Schwarz, residing in Twin Falls. Anita will be interred beside Clyde at the Arco Cemetery on Friday, October 13, 2017 at 1:00 P.M. All who knew her are invited to attend a graveside ceremony there and celebrate this life well lived.

Share Your Memory of