Wyoming Arts Council

Bill Studebaker, Idaho poet who often toured Wyoming, dies in kayaking accident

Some of you may remember talented Idaho poet Bill Studebaker from his Tumblewords tours of Wyoming in the 1990s. This sad news about Bill comes from today’s Idaho Statesman newspaper:

Family and friends of the late Idaho poet and kayaker Bill Studebaker, who died while kayaking on the Salmon River last Friday, will hold a public memorial service for him from 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rick Allen Community Room at the Herrett Center for Arts and Science on the College of Southern Idaho campus in Twin Falls.

Studebaker retired several years ago after spending about 30 years as an instructor in CSI’s English Department and director of the school’s Outdoor Program. The 61-year-old was also a well-known Idaho poet, essayist and outdoor photographer.

Presentations at the service will be from family members, Gino Sky of Boise, author of Appaloosa Rising, Idaho Humanities Council Director Rick Ardinger, Herrett Center Director and long time friend and colleague, Jim Woods, and one of Bill’s closest friends, Rod Burks.

Friends and family say Studebaker loved rocks and brought at least one home from each of his outdoor adventures. Instead of flowers or other mementos, the family invites memorial attendees to bring a rock of their own, if they wish, to honor him.

Herrett Director Jim Woods said the rocks will be added to the rock landscaping at the Herrett Center.

The Herrett Center for Arts and Science is at the College of Southern Idaho campus, 315 Falls Ave.

UPDATE (July 9): From Rick Ardinger, director of the Idaho Humanities Council:

The family is putting together a memorial “service” for Bill at the College of Southern Idaho Herrett Center in Twin Falls on Saturday, July 12, 2.p.m., followed by an outdoor gathering at Rock Creek Park in Twin Falls from 3:30 to 7:30 or so, depending on when the formal service ends.

Bill’s daughter Tona is asking that those attending the Rock Creek Park gathering bring their own lawn chairs, food, and beverage of choice (beer’s OK in the park). She is renting a PA system and those who wish to say a few words about Bill or read something are welcome to participate.

Meanwhile, Bill’s friend Bruce Reichert of Idaho Public Television has put together a nice remembrance of Bill on the IPTV website with links to television clips of Bill from “Outdoor Idaho” episodes. Go to http://idahoptv.org/outdoors/oi_stories.cfm

Cards can be sent to Bill’s wife Judy Studebaker at 2616 East 4000 North, Twin Falls, ID 83330.

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