Botts Honored at this Year’s PBD Parade

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A St. Maries couple that has been active in the community was chosen as this year’s grand marshals for the Paul Bunyan Days Labor Day Parade.

Jack and Lorna Botts will lead the Labor Day parade down Main Avenue at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 1. Registration starts at 8 a.m. at Ken’s Custom Body Shop.

Dale Hill, of the Paul Bunyan Days committee, said the couple was selected because they have been very active in the community. Mr. Hill also noted the fact that Mr. Botts spearheaded the Benewah County Veterans Memorial project.

“They were selected for all of the volunteering they’ve done. And another main reason is that Jack spearheaded the veterans memorial project and he got people behind that,” Mr. Hill said. “They are just an awesome couple.”

Born and raised in St. Maries, Mr. Botts graduated from St. Maries High School in 1955. Following graduation, he attended Idaho State College of Pharmacy where he met his wife.

Mrs. Botts, a Pocatello native, was studying education at Idaho State College. The two met each other through various social events on campus. They married in 1958. In 1960, Mr. Botts received his degree in pharmacy and Mrs. Botts pursued her masters.

For two years, they lived in Germany where Mr. Botts served as a pharmacy officer at Landstuhl Medical Center as part of ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps), which is a college-based program for training commissioned officers of the United States Armed Forces.

The couple returned to St. Maries in 1963. Mr. Botts returned to work for Mike’s Drug, the business for which he had worked during his high school and college years.

“I’d been offered a job when I got out and that’s why we came back to St. Maries,” Mr. Botts said. “It was a good offer.”

Mrs. Botts taught junior high in St. Maries and after raising their children, she returned to teaching. She taught physical education to high school girls.

During their time in St. Maries, the couple was active in Jaycees and Jay-C-Ettes. The couple worked through these groups to revive the Paul Bunyan Days celebration as well as to bring the Junior Miss program to St. Maries.

“Lorna was extremely active and in the organization for many years and she was one of the ones that helped bring the Junior Miss program to St. Maries,” Mr. Botts said.

The couple received many outstanding service rewards for their community involvement.

In 1979, the couple opened Jack’s Pharmacy and Gifts. Mr. Botts managed the pharmacy while his wife managed the store. They operated the store until their retirement in 1998.

Mrs. Botts said during their time they operated the pharmacy they enjoyed their customers and the people they got to know. She said that is one of the things the couple loves about St. Maries: the people in the community.

For the past few years, the couple’s main focus has been the completion of the Benewah County Veterans Memorial in Woodlawn Cemetery. Mr. Botts led the project, which received tremendous support from the community.

Lorna and Jack Botts are this year's grand marshal for the Paul Bunyan Days Parade. They were selected for their many years of community service.

Lorna and Jack Botts are this year’s grand marshal for the Paul Bunyan Days Parade. They were selected for their many years of community service.

“I felt there was a need for veterans to be recognized in the community,” Mr. Botts said. “There was a lack of recognition for veterans in the area and I thought we should really recognize all those who have served.”

Mr. Botts said he hopes visitors to the area this weekend will have a chance to view the memorial.

“It will be the first Paul Bunyan Days it has been up,” he said.

Mr. Botts said he and Lorna enjoy the fireworks show and the parade. He said it is always “nice to see the activity in town.”

The couple said they learned they were chosen as the grand marshal for the parade a couple of months ago.

“We were thrilled and naturally very honored,” Mr. Botts said.

The couple has two children: David Botts, who lives in Minnesota, and their daughter, Lori Fautc, who lives in Nevada. They also have eight grandchildren and are looking forward to great-grandchildren in the future.

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