Jeffry Donald Cantamessa, 62
Beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, Jeff Cantamessa, 62, of Wallace, Idaho, passed away June 29, 2017 at the family home in Wallace. He was born July 20, 1954 in Wallace, Idaho; Jeff was the son of Fred and Judy (Markel) Cantamessa.
Jeff was born and raised in Wallace. He graduated from the Wallace High School in 1972. While in high school, Jeff went to Boys State, he was a member of the Key Club and participated in football, basketball, wrestling, and track. After graduating Jeff went on to attend college at the University of Montana where he graduated with a degree in Marketing and Management. After college, Jeff returned to the Silver Valley and continued working at his family’s grocery store in Wallace; then known as Food Center Thrift, now known as Harvest Foods. In 1976 he became Vice President and co-owner of the family business, co-owned and operated the grocery store from 1976 until 2017.
Jeff was united in marriage to Joanne Welsh on August 2, 1975. Together they had four children. They later divorced.
Jeff was a member of the Wallace Elks for 42 years and served many years as secretary. He also played the bass drum in the Wallace Elks’ Drum and Bugle Corps. He served as a president, vice president and secretary for the Wallace Gyro Club, overseeing state and national conventions. He was active in the Chamber of Commerce, volunteering his time to help construct the stage at the Sixth Street Melodrama and build the Wallace gazebo. He was also a member of the Wallace Men’s Culture Club where he performed during Slippery Gulch Celebrations as a woodsman, and later a swan, in their rendition of Swan Lake. He also danced as a Can Can “girl” for these performances. In addition to performing, Jeff was also an integral part in helping coordinate the Slippery Gulch celebrations throughout the years.
Jeff enjoyed football in all forms, cheering on the Seattle Seahawks since their first snap. He enjoyed all sports especially watching golf on weekends. In his spare time he enjoyed taking drives, hiking, watching wildlife with his binoculars, reading, barbecuing, and cooking spaghetti sauce, but most of all he enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Jeff was always proud of being from Wallace, and he was one of the town’s greatest cheerleaders. He knew town history from the minor to the major events, and he took pride in passing it on to anyone he could.
Jeff is survived by his four children Erika (Ben) Friederichs of Billings, Montana, Joshua (Ginger) Cantamessa of Post Falls, Idaho, Erin (Ryan) Ault of Post Falls, Idaho and Jeremy (Heather) Cantamessa of Spokane, Washington; eleven grandchildren Olivia, Veronica, Zachary, Madisyn, Abigail, Tyler, Jonathan, Robert, Julian, Lily Anne, and Laurali. He is also survived by his siblings Jon (Iris) Cantamessa, Jone Krulitz and Julie (Bill) Ohno and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother-in-law Kirby and nephew Bryce.
A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday July 20, 2017 at 3:00P.M. at the Wallace Elks with Pastor Alice Officiating.
One may sign Jeff’s online guest book at www.shoshonefuneralservice.com
SHOSHONE FUNERAL SERVICES & CREMATORY KELLOGG, IDAHO is entrusted with funeral arrangements.