Obituary of Dalton James Surmeier
Dalton James “John” Surmeier, Sr., 89, of Fruitland, passed away peacefully on October 3, 2018 in Ontario, Oregon, after a battle with dementia. He was born on March 2, 1929 in Grinnell, Kansas to George and Eleanor Hoeffer Surmeier. He was the fifth child of ten siblings.
John married Donna Jean Martin on June 24, 1950 in Covina, California; they celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary this year. He began his working career as an auto transmission mechanic for a large Chrysler dealership in Alhambra, California. In 1968, he bought a farm and moved his family to Fruitland, Idaho to build a fruit orchard business. Over the years, he grew the farm to several hundred acres, including several cold storage warehouses and rental properties. John loved fixing things, going to auctions and buying old parts and various pieces of equipment that could be repaired and repurposed on the farm. He could fix anything; he always had a project to work on, and that usually included Donna by his side.
John also loved the Idaho mountains, buying a cabin on the lake in Donnelly, Idaho, and remodeling it over the years. He spent many years enjoying time at his cabin, mowing the yard and working to make it comfortable for his family to use.
John is survived by his wife, Donna, and his five children, Dalton James “Jim” Surmeier, Jr. (Kate) of Chicago, Illinois; Cindy Limbaugh (Mark) of Fairfax, Virginia; Dan Surmeier (Judy) of Fruitland; Rick Surmeier (Connie) of Fruitland; and Terri Fritz of Reno, Nevada. He is also survived by his grandchildren Jennifer Krasselt, Melissa Schledewitz, Amanda Cody, Spencer Cody, Allison Limbaugh, Sadie Calhoun, Kelsey Little, Lauren Echanis, Lawrence Limbaugh, Drew Surmeier, Andrea Surmeier, Greyson Fritz, Clay Surmeier, Carson Surmeier, Reid Surmeier, and 15 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father George, mother Eleanor, his brothers Verne, Ivan, and Lyle, and his sisters Erma and Lela.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Ontario, Oregon, on behalf of John. Arrangements and cremation are under the direction of Lienkaemper Funeral Chapel, Ontario. The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at St. Al’s Regional Medical Center in Boise, Ashley Manor in Ontario and Signature Hospice for their compassionate care of John during his last weeks.