Kidder is 2012 Fair Grand Marshal
Idaho County Free Press
“Well, some people don’t recognize me right off,” smiled LaRoy Kidder. “I’ve lost 70 or so pounds in the last year or so.”
LaRoy was born in Idaho County and spent much of his life in Kamiah. He and his first wife, Dorothy, raised three children on five acres.
“I spent more than 30 or so years working at the fair and as a 4-H leader,” LaRoy said. He was one of the first to camp out at the fair and serve as a night watchman. As a 4-H leader, he worked with sheep, hogs and beef.
“I started doing it for my kids, Jim, George and Julie,” he said. “And I got to know a lot of the area kids and their parents really well.”
LaRoy worked at local sawmills, for 44 years all together. He also drove school bus for a decade and raised and sold lambs for 15 years. He served as a school board member, was a commander with the American Legion and has run many legion dances throughout the years.
Dorothy died after the couple had been married for 56 years.
LaRoy gives credit to Kamiah Presbyterian Church friends Vernon and Kitty Agee for inviting him to a dance where he met Joan Fields of Harpster. She attended the Kooskia Presbyterian Church and was widowed when her husband, Jack, died. She has one daughter in Grangeville, Roz Banta. A son died at age 7.
In 2010, the couple began meeting at Cloninger’s each week and driving to Lewiston to dance, aside from the Kooskia and Kamiah dances.
“We definitely had that in common — we love to dance,” Joan said.
LaRoy smiled, “it took some convincing because I’m eight years older than she is,” but the two decided to marry in April 2011.
And that’s part of the reason the weight came off.
“We want to be healthy and have time together,” he said.
In 1972, Joan had read about Turtle Island in an LA Times article.
“It was a dream, but my stepfather helped it come true and we were able to travel to Fiji and Turtle Island for our honeymoon,” Joan said.
Both said they feel love is a lot different the second time around.
“You tend to appreciate it more and not take it for granted,” Joan said. “We both feel fortunate to have had good marriages the first time and now to be able to love again.”
The couple now makes their home in Lewiston but said they are excited to be in Cottonwood for the fair.
“We’ll take our motor home and camp out there,” LaRoy said. “It will be good to see old friends and make some new ones.”