McCollum, Ben Donald

January 13, 2019

Ben McCollum Donald McCollum Ben McCollum, age 98, passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Terraces of Boise on January 8, 2019. He was the youngest of the eleven children of Isaac Newton and Daisy Pascal McCollum of Emerson, Arkansas. Ben grew up on his family’s farm in southwestern Arkansas. He attended the University of Arkansas, graduating with a B.S. degree in Agronomy in 1943. He completed Officer Candidate school and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. While commander of an infantry company in Germany during World War II he was seriously wounded in action and received the Purple Heart. After two years in hospitals and rehabilitation he returned to the University of Arkansas to teach and while working at the University Agricultural Experiment Station in Marianna, Arkansas he met and married Ruth Summerford who would be his wife for 60 years. In 1948 Ben and Ruth moved west to join the J. R. Simplot Company, first in Twin Falls, then in Klamath Falls, Oregon and finally in 1953 to Pocatello, Idaho. Ben retired from Simplot in 1985 as Senior Vice President and President of the Minerals & Chemicals Division. He was a member and Deacon of the First Southern Baptist Church in Pocatello. Following retirement, they relocated to Sun City West, Arizona where they were to live for nearly 30 years. Ben was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth, in 2008 and their son, Mark, in 2015. He is survived by sons Lee (Mary Kay) and Don, daughter-in-law Becky McCollum and grandchildren Chris, Andrew, Michael, Matthew, Jessica, Rachel and Adam and 12 great-grandchildren. Services will be held at the Downard Funeral Home, 241 North Garfield, Pocatello on Tuesday January 15th with a viewing beginning at 11:00am followed by a Service of Remembrance at 12:00 noon and then burial at the Mountainview Cemetery. In his memory, the Family suggests a donation to your favorite charitable organization.

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