Thayer: George Eli
Feb. 25, 1924 – March 12, 2019
It is with deep regret that we report the death of George Eli Thayer.
He is survived by the love of his life, Audrey Loretta (McCabe), with whom he shared 76 years of marriage.
He leaves legacies through his daughter Tina Thayer-Canning and his son Art R. Thayer, 7 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and 10 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Tina Thayer-Canning, his brother Arthur Roy Thayer, and his parents.
A longtime resident and farmer of Rathdrum, Idaho, George was born to Osie and Annie Thayer in Excel, Alberta and shortly after he and his family moved to the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area. He attended West Valley High School before entering the Navy in 1943 during WWII. His naval career began at Farragut Naval Station in Bayview, Idaho, followed by training in Norman, Oklahoma, where he was an Aviation Mechanic US Navy. He continued his career at Patuxent River Naval Base in Maryland. After his discharge at the war’s end in 1945, he returned to the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area. Shortly after, he began his engineering career at Grinnell Company in Spokane where he quickly rose to department engineer in Seattle, Washington and returned to Spokane in 1964. Starting in 1949 George began acquiring land on the Rathdrum Prairie and added to it until his retirement from Grinnell in 1966 when he began farming fulltime.
The farm, originally known as Thayer Seed and Service, raised Kentucky bluegrass seed along with wheat, barley, and oats. After becoming one of the first farms in the area to raise turf, the company became Thayer Seed and Sod, as it remains to this day. Throughout his countless business interactions over the years, the only contract George needed was a handshake.
George’s kindness, sense of humor, and intellect will be sorely missed by anyone who knew him.
Services: Riplinger Funeral Home, Spokane, March 30 at 1 p.m. Interment followed.
Editor’s Note: George is also survived by his sister Florence ?. George’s father Osie was a brother to Elsie (wife of Ezekiel, mother to Lawrence, Ron, Verna, Lamar, Gordon. Bea, Wes and Floyd Anderson) and Frank Thayer (father to Stan and grandfather to Tom Thayer of Oyen).