Cover photo for Forrest Hymas's Obituary
Forrest Hymas Profile Photo
1934 Forrest 2016

Forrest Hymas

July 29, 1934 — October 17, 2016

Life Story for Forrest Pace Hymas

Forrest Hymas passed on in peace surrounded by his loving family in his home on October 17, 2016. He was 82. Affectionately known as “Papa” he was our patriarch and the leader of our tribe; a true Renaissance man crossed with an iconic cowboy. Papa was also a football player, boxer, skier, cattleman, horseman, rancher, farmer, western memorabilia collector, pilot, painter, potter, sculptor, and creator of beautiful Native American beadwork. He had an incomparable and insatiable work ethic in all of his endeavors. An innovator, a life coach and above all else a friend to all he met and a beacon for all to follow.

He was born in Burley, Idaho to Orval and Lapriel Hymas and is survived by all his siblings: Phyllis Eriksen, Idell Weeks, Gail Hymas and Sharon Price.

As a youngster, he delivered milk in Jerome, Idaho. He was proficient at this as his hands were so large that he could carry five milk bottles in each hand. Forrest met his wife, Cheryl Heiss when he delivered milk to her family home when she was just nine years old and he was twelve. Much later unaware that she had married the blue eyed boy she told him on their honeymoon that his only competition had been the milk man who could wiggle his ears and make her laugh. He then said, "Like this?" and wiggled his ears. She giggled and they remained married for 58 years.

Cheryl’s grandfather was Ernest Brass. It was his ranch, The Brass Ranch that was sold to Union Pacific Railroad in 1932 and became the land which Sun Valley sits upon today. Forrest and Cheryl’s history will remain a legacy in our Valley and in Idaho. Forrest lived in the Wood River Valley for 14 years. And, for decades prior he could be seen ski dancing with his wife down Bald Mountain on the last run or dancing in the old Sun Valley Lodge. He danced through life with similar unparalleled passion and optimism every moment of every day.

After attending college at Idaho State where he was a football player and a boxer. One winter he worked at the Sun Valley Sports Desk in 1956 so he could perfect his mastery of Bald Mountain as he realized the importance of learning to ski to impress his future bride. When he wasn't making new friends at the sports desk and skiing during the day. Nights were spent at the Heiss cabin, with Cheryl and their literary friends, toasting and exchanging stories with Ernest Hemingway around the fire.

After college Forrest and Cheryl moved briefly to Salt Lake then on to Boise. This is where he became a pilot, buying his first plane with his lifelong friends. He enjoyed an incident free flying career for more than 25 years and loved taking his family flying around the U.S and Mexico, including the backcountry of Idaho. Forrest was on the Jerome Airport board for 19 years. During one of his last drives with his daughter Nicole, she asked what he would like to see and he replied, "I would like to see more of it all...there is so much beauty everywhere." In Boise he started Action Collection Service (still in business today), Credit Protection Company, and Financial Management, and worked for TransAmerica Company, selling computer collection services in 6 western states and three provinces in Canada at the time when computers were the size of a garage. It was in Boise that his daughters, Michelle and Nicole were born.

In 1970, after Clark Heiss had died and his mother- in- law, Majorie Brass Heiss, needed help with the farms and ranch. He left his business and moved his young family to Jerome to take over Heiss Charolais Ranch. He grew the ranch to unprecedented heights, including breeding 5 National Champions. Forrest reorganized Heiss Charolais Ranch finding an outstanding calf in Wendell, he naming him Expectation. Expectation turned the Charolais industry on it’s horns, winning every time he was shown from one year old on, to become the 1980 National Champion. This polled bull (meaning having no horns) passed this attribute on to his offspring, a boon for calves as dehorning sets them back. This bull was huge, yet his calves were born small enough not to harm the birth mother, growing three pounds a day to become like their sire having more steaks with less waste. The bull and his offsprings both male and female were large and lean, setting a new standard that can be seen in all cattle today, thirty five years later. His offsprings were national champions and for the first time in history their sons and daughters were too. Forrest, the idea man, for the first time with cattle, syndicated the ownership of cattle semen in the United States and Canada. Along the way was the drama of novels. The night before the National Championships a cowboy walked out of the shadows and offered any amount of money for all of Expectations semen. Forrest turned it down. He prayed Expectation would win the next day and he did. In another big show later, a nail was found hammered into Expectations hoof, cripplingly him so that he could not be shown at that time. Then the drama of the lineage ensued when Expectation Junior who was also the National Champion was sold, then tragically killed in a barn fire with a windfall of an insurance claim to the owner of this bull.

Cheryl’s grandfather, W.A. Heiss, and father Clark Heiss were adament supporters of Jerome. Forrest lived in Jerome for 40 years and continued the Heiss tradition with the development of Jerome. He was the cofounder and chairman of the Jerome Economic Development Task force for 17 years. They met once a week and developed the Jerome Industrial Park by all personally putting up the money to buy the land and then selling it for what they paid to manufacturers like Tupperware and Moore Business Forms. Jerome continues to benefit from the large industrial park.

Forrest was always doing what he could to benefit farmers and ranchers. When his own farming irrigation development with existing water permits were challenged by Idaho Power, he became the spokesperson for the Idaho Water Rights Defend Group. Forrest gave testimony in every house and senate hearing for seven years. This enabled senate bill 1180 to be passed allowing farmers the ability to complete partially completed projects. He tried to inform the public that Idaho Power was taking ownership of Idaho’s waters. He gave speeches at civic clubs around the state and giving testimony about Idaho Power’s Swan Falls agreement that they were violating. He worked hard to insure that Idaho owned its own water, yet that is not the case. He helped with Cowbells (The women’s cattlemen club) and the Future Farmers of America, he has been awarded and recognized for his contributions. Forrest was also the cofounder to establish Idaho Farm and Ranch Museum on I84 and US93 known as IFARM. He got the state to exchange land for its prime location. The family also raised Peruvian Paso horses, introducng this new breed to Idaho. He rode Peruvian horses they raised in 45 Wagon Days Parades, with his champagne glass held high.

He sold the ranch in 1984 and started a consulting company helping farmers with loan negotiation packages and preparing financial information for attorneys working in bankruptcy. This prepared him to be appointed as Trustee for farmers reorganization of Chapter 12 by the US Department of Justice. He retired this August after 33 years of helping Idaho's farming families stay in business. He was recognized as a top Trustee in the U.S. with his win-win philosophy and his expert skill as a moderator. The Idaho Bar Association gave him the Professionalism award even though he was not an attorney. He has received acolades from the judges and colleagues. One judge stated "he continually expressed the highest regard for the people he tutored, marshaled and sometimes schooled, with not only the law, but more importantly, humanity."

He was the owner of Smiley Creek Lodge for 10 years, with his daughters and son-in-laws as partners. This venture combined his love of being a true host and his culinary dream of owning a restaurant. He has passed on to his daughters and grandchildren the rule of creating ambiance at every meal, store bought containers are verboten at the table as his hand made pottery is much preferred, the motto that, "Presentation is 99% of every meal," and his mother's wise words, 'We can eat, or we can dine. Let's dine."

Galena Summit and Smiley Creek became significant symbols in the life of Forrest. As a boy, his family drove over the dirt road to the summit to source wood, and then it became a sign that he was 'home' as he flew his plane to the family cabin he built in Smiley Creek. Forrest would describe cresting the Summit in his Bonanza, chasing the last light of a setting sun as he would drop in on a thermal to Smiley Creek Airport, as heaven. An early snow sugared the mountains on his last day, Galena Summit was his last vista.

He served on numerous boards and was awarded multiple honors during the course of his life. A brief sampling is: Executive Director of the Idaho Horse Expo, Chairman of the Idaho Cattlemens Association, Chairman of the Idaho Beef Council, Idaho Representative to the National Livestock and Meat Board, Executive Director Western Charolais Association, and National Beef Cook-off at Sun Valley. He also gave speeches throughout the U.S and Canada on managing, marketing and attitude.

More important than awards were the tracks of a life well-lived. He inspired countless people as he danced through life and always found the beauty in life’s lessons as a reason to write poetry. His huge hands were imbued with both tenderness and strength and he greeted friend and stranger with a handshake, bear hug, and a twinkle in his eye that made you feel as if you were the most important person in the world. He was a man of impeccable manners, chivalry, generosity and ideas.

Even in the end, his thoughts were only of others. His last days were spent as if by design; near the fire listening to piano music, surrounded by his artwork. He greeted an endless stream of friends and family whom he had inspired with a toast, and told stories in a deeply textured voice that made it seem as if everyone were around a campfire of enlightenment under the stars, encircled by a million square miles of imagination.

He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Hymas. And his legacy lives on through his limitless group of friends and his daughters, Nicole Brass and Michelle Pabarcius, his son-in-law Algis Pabarcius, grandsons, Alex and Lucas Pabarcius, Colton and Dakota Chambers, and step-grandchildren, Skyler Chambers, Megan Chambers and Erika Sparrow.

"Papa, your legacy is lasting. And it will ride on for generations in the hearts of all you have touched as we now look to the sky to see you, our shining star, and feel your embrace in every warm breeze."

Please join us to laugh and celebrate Forrest's life on December 20th at 1:30 pm at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum. Donations can be made to the Idaho Farm and Ranch Museum that he began, P.O Box 50, Jerome, ID 83338, payable to: IFARM. Or to the Idaho Horse Board, PO Box 140466 Garden City, ID 83714
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Forrest Hymas, please visit our flower store.


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