Cover photo for Cleon Driggs's Obituary
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1919 Cleon 2011

Cleon Driggs

August 7, 1919 — March 11, 2011

Funeral services for Cleon "Kelly" Driggs, 91, who died peacefully in his sleep March 11 at his home in Driggs, will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Driggs LDS Stake Center. Friends may call from 11:30 a.m. until the time of services. He was born in Driggs Aug. 7, 1919, the second son of Ruth and Byron Driggs. His grandparents, Benjamin W. Jr. and Emily Elizabeth Driggs were among the pioneering families in Teton Valley.

He died of causes incident to age. Her children wish to thank their mom for her tender care of him for the past few months. He grew up in Teton Valley and never left the area, fully enjoying the wildlife, fishing and outdoor opportunities until ill health forced him to stay indoors. He was feared by trout from Jackson Lake to Henry's Lake and in all the streams in between, but especially in the Teton River. Through the years he has earned a reputation as a great angler. A couple of years ago he loaned the mounted 28-pound lake trout he pulled from the ice at Jackson Lake in the 1950s to the Teton Valley Museum.

A World War II Army veteran, he served in the South and in Nevada, California and the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.

After his return from war, he worked briefly in the Anaconda,Mont., smelters before he had a chance to buy a business in Driggs. He and his brother-in-law, Ron White, operated Elk Billiards and Sports Shop in downtown Driggs for decades. He married DeEtta Floyd, in 1946, in Driggs.

As a shopkeeper, he was always happy to offer advice on fishing local streams. He seldom turned down any offer to go fishing. And he always was happy to take family and friends fishing in his river boat or lake boat. He loved to water ski on Palisades Reservoir if the fish weren't biting.

He loved to tell stories and could keep grandchildren and great-grandchildren spellbound with his long tales about his early days and innumerable fishing trips. After he retired he also enjoyed showing off his tomato crop and his flowers. He took up biking after suffering a heart attack and into his 80s he liked riding his mountain bike to the Teton River. He was a familiar sight riding around Driggs and on the bike path to Victor until a biking accident ended his cycling career.

He is survived by his wife of Driggs; children, Joyce (Lee) Edlefsen of St. Anthony, Allan Floyd (Cheryl)Driggs of Spring, Texas, and Joanne (Randy) Raichart of Washingtonville, N.Y.; brothers, Jack Driggs of Driggs and Max Driggs of Soda Springs; sister, Grayce White of Fort Collins, Colo., 11 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother, Earl Driggs, and a brother-in-law, Ron White.

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