On a quiet Sunday walk on February 21st, 2021, along the Salmon River near Lucile, ID, John Patrick “Johnny” Wren passed away in the arms of his beloved wife Pam from a pulmonary embolism.
John was an Idaho native born on August 10th, 1953, in Grangeville, ID, to Robert Wren and Joan (Hauger) Wren. He graduated from Borah High School in Boise, ID. Johnny was an outstanding athlete and state record-holder in track and field. He married Pam (Schmautz) Wren in Grangeville, ID, on January 18th, 1975. They made their home in Boise, ID, where he worked for Idaho Power Company for 38 years. John and Pam raised their three beautiful “darlins,” Addie, Megan, and Kallie in Boise and had recently moved full time to their river ranch in Lucile, ID to build their family home after they had recently retired from their respective careers.
Besides leaping hurdles in record times as a young man, Johnny grew to master even tougher hurdles that sprang up in front of him throughout his life. He quietly helped others in big ways and small ways, such as his 40 years of regular blood donation to help persons unknown. He valued the love of a good dog and left his grand-dog retriever Millie, who anxiously awaits at the door each day for his return. Johnny also leaves five young grandsons who loved their “Pappy” dearly and will miss him and his laughter and shenanigans that endeared him to all who knew him. His family and friends were the beneficiaries of his time and wisdom, and many learned about life and joy through his example. He knew how to have a good time and was a committed keeper of the spirit of Christmas and family holiday celebrations that are legend.
Johnny sought out everything beautiful and majestic in Idaho outdoors. He was a master oarsman and rafter, fly fisherman, wood-cutter and dutch oven chef. Family and friends discovered the river through his enthusiasm and coaching, everyone hooked! He loved the artistry of fly-tying, a starry night, the smell of campfire smoke and bacon frying, popping open a cold can of Keystone Light or Guinness on a hot summer day (any day!), and the Dodge diesel fumes from his trusted pickup truck loaded with firewood. He was happy with the simple things in life, some that only he could love, such as a cold leftover-spaghetti frittata. He was tough when he needed to be and often said to set the urgency of certain tasks by saying, “kick ass and take names,” which meant that he was all-in to meet the demand or complete the job. Johnny was a mover and shaker on the dance floor without inhibitions and a notorious classic rock fan; and a loyal Idaho Vandals booster. He lived a life without fear and took chances and risks that fueled his zest of squeezing all the marrow from the bone. He was not perfect – no man is – but those that loved him … never noticed his imperfections because such faults were so completely overshadowed by his goodness and forgotten in receipt of one of his countless bear hugs.
And so it is, John lives on in his beloved Pam, Addie, Megan and Kallie; and his “little buddies” grandsons and in his sons-in-law through his love and the memories they share in which he was such an integral part of their lives. He will continue his influence with the “Johnny” he planted with each of them, and through Pam’s love that will reflect Johnny in many ways and remind us every day.
Johnny is survived by his wife of 46 amazing years, Pam; his daughter Addie and her husband Eli Perry, and their two sons Parker and Paxton; his daughter Megan and her son Krew; and Kallie and her husband Curtis Crandall, and their twin sons Charlie and Carter; and his mother, Joan. Johnny was preceded in death by his father, Robert Wren, and his sister Kathy Wren.
Our family is deeply appreciative for the outpouring of love, prayers and support in many heart-felt forms from too many people to name individually, thank you!
A celebration of life will be held river-side in Lucile, ID, on Saturday, July 17th, 2021. For further details please visit his face book page (John Wren) or contact his daughter Kallie Crandall, 208-830-1407 or kallie1028@gmail, or ask anyone in Lucile, they’re all his friends, and they will all be there to raise their glasses of Old Crow and fine scotch in the salutation of his friendship as Johnny would have done for each one of them. Farewell, our Johnny; we see our Jaxson and Lilly Crandall in your big, loving arms and y’all save some fish for the rest of us up there on heaven’s best whitewater! We will love you forever! Arrangements are under the direction of the Blackmer Funeral Home, Grangeville. Send condolences to the family to blackmerfuneralhome.com