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Obituary of Blake Pharris
Russell “Blake” Pharris, 41 of Boise, Idaho, passed away on January 27, 2023, after a three-plus year battle with ALS, more commonly recognized as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Diagnosed at 38, Blake was determined to battle this disease head on, promising to “be here for a long, damn time”. An ALS diagnosis is sobering, but Blake’s resolve delivered on his promise, fighting courageously every day, doubling his doctor’s prognosis. For that bravery and commitment, his family is forever grateful.
Blake was born to Russell and Tessie Pharris in Twin Falls, ID, on December 1, 1981. He was the first of three kids for the young family living in Hazelton, Idaho, home to both the Pharris and Brutke families. His early years were in Sun Valley, Idaho, spending his days going to work with Tessie as she managed the office for her family’s business, Brutke Construction. Blake really liked going for rides in the family Jeep, up trails and 4x4ing on forest service roads in the valley. His love for Jeeps was only just beginning!
Growing up in a Marine Corps family, Blake moved all over the United States with his family, through to his Senior year in high school, and his family was a tight unit because of this. His infectious laughter charmed everyone he met, and friends followed quickly given his kind nature and quick wit. Being the new kid is never easy, but Blake handled it well, involving himself in karate and Boy Scouts as a child and high school football as a teenager. He attended Valley High School in Hazelton for a portion of his Freshman year, then completed the remaining year through his Junior year at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, CA. He forged incredible friendships there and didn’t want to leave. Thankful for the bonds of brotherhood, he was never too far from those friendships he most valued, the closest of which becoming life-long. Soon thereafter, he attended Belleville East High school in Illinois for his Senior year, graduating in 2000.
After high school, he moved back to Idaho to work in the Brutke family business, Snake River Metal. Time with his extended family was invaluable, and he began new friendships and relationships that filled his life with excitement as he ventured into adulthood. Blake began his career with Glanbia in 2003 for six years, then again in 2015 until he was medically retired in 2020. He welcomed the birth of his son in 2003, Braeden W. Pharris, toward whom he put all his effort. They enjoyed so much of this life together, and Blake loved him immensely. Whether it was in the outdoors or attending Boise State football games, rooting on the Kansas City Chiefs or playing the Xbox together into the wee hours, even sharing his love of golf and the Jeep to end all Jeeps, Rook, which they named together, they made sure to get as much time together as possible as Braeden grew up.
Blake is survived by his mother and father, his two younger sisters, Jessica Pharris and Jennifer Weiss (Ryan), and his son. He was preceded in death by both sets of grandparents and his Aunt Lori, all of whom we know welcomed him with loving arms, anxious to be in his light and love again.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Relyea Funeral Chapel in Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday, March 21st, at 1:00 pm. The Pharris family encourages donations be made to The ALS Association Evergreen Chapter, as contributions directly impact Persons living with ALS (PALS) and Caregivers of ALS (CALS) within the Pacific Northwest. Donations for the advancement of ALS research can be made to The ALS Association.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Blake Pharris, please visit Tribute Store