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Rev. Carl Pershall

| November 22, 2005 11:00 PM

Rev. Carl F. Pershall, 89, a longtime Eureka pastor, died Tuesday evening at a Whitefish hospital.

Pershall came to the Tobacco Valley in 1958 where he had been pastor of the First Baptist Church for many years until his retirement in 1982; since that time, he had served as interim pastor at several places in the American Baptist Church including a return interim engagement at his former church in Eureka.

Always active in community affairs, Pershall was honored with the Citizen of the Year award by the Tobacco Valley Improvement Association. During an interview for a recent article about him in The Tobacco Valley News, he said, "Maybe my gift has been to treat people like people and not as prospects for the church."

He was born at Arco, Idaho, on Dec. 11, 1915 to Avery Pershall and Bertha Faye Hohn Pershall, he was raised and educated at Arco. Carl married Mary Lafferty on Nov. 9, 1938 at Arco. He attended Northwest Nazarene College and later, Lindfield College at McMinville, Ore., and the Berkley Baptist School where he was among the first students in a program for ministerial training for small, rural churches.

He had served American Baptist churches at Riddle, Ore., and in the small Idaho communities of Mud Lake, Dubois and Roberts before coming to Eureka. He also had served as president of the northwest region of American Baptist Churches and as area minister for southern Idaho, Utah and Nevada. Carl had also served as director of the Montana Junior Citizens Camp, a local Boy Scout leader and on the board of Mountain View Manor.

He enjoyed ranching and had been an expert horseman for most of his life; an avid outdoorsman and hunter, he is remembered by many for hunting trips deep into the mountains by horseback.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary, at the family home in Eureka; his sons, Carl Dean Pershall and Glenn Pershall, both of Eureka; and Allen Pershall of Kalispell; 9 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, Kenneth Pershall in 1986.

Services will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church with interment services following at Tobacco Valley Cemetery. Visitation will be from 1-8 p.m. Friday at the church. Arrangements are under the care of Nelson and Vial Funeral Home in Eureka. Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church or to a charity of the donor's choice.