Henry L. Teats, 55, Kooskia

Thursday, April 17, 2008

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Henry Lee Teats, lifelong resident of the Kooskia area, passed away Saturday, April 12, 2008, at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, after a long battle with kidney failure.

Henry was born to Carrie Baker Teats and Leo Philip Teats at the home ranch east of Lewiston on Feb. 13, 1953, the seventh of nine children.

The family later moved in 1956 to their ranch on Clear Creek near Kooskia, where their mother raised the children and worked hard to see that they were educated and well fed from her huge gardens, fruit trees and milk cows.

Henry attended the Kooskia schools and Clearwater Valley High School. He worked around the Kooskia, Kamiah and Grangeville area and did sawmill work and was a millwright at the Juliaetta mill. He also worked construction, running heavy equipment and was an iron worker in Indiana. He later bought a portable sawmill and then afterwards went into woodwork - making furniture. Many people have one or more of his pieces of furniture. If they couldn't afford it, he would give the furniture as a gift. "Fritz" had a big heart and loved to give - he would give you the "shirt off his back."

He had no children, but loved and teased and always had candy or coins for every kid who came along. He truly loved life.

Henry was preceded in death by his father, Leo Teats, when he was very young, and later his mother, Carrie, and sisters Diana Chase and Eva Mae Schwab.

He is survived by his brothers, Adrian Teats of Orofino, Burt Teats of Lewiston, Kenneth Teats of Kooskia, Melvin Teats of Kooskia; sisters, Gloria Cuthbert of Plummer, Idaho, and Florence Jackson of Kooskia; and most important, Henry's love, Debbie Johnson, the wonderful woman who was his helper, his "wife," his supporter and strength through his long and arduous trial with his health. Henry and Debbie worked hard at a happy and normal life, even though he had many days and months in and out of the hospitals. After the loss of his kidneys, he was one of the longest-living persons to work the perio-dialysis program for over 17 years. Debbie was always there for Henry. Wherever he was, she was there for his help and comfort.

A memorial for family and neighbors was held at the Kooskia home place and burial was also at the Kooskia ranch.

Also there will be a celebration of his life at the family picnic - annually held the first Saturday in August (Aug. 2, 2008) at the Lewiston ranch of Burt Teats. If any of his many friends want to come in remembrance of Henry Teats, please do.

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