HAYDEN LAKE — Gerry House's past was the reason he tended to Hayden Lake's future.
House, who served 27 years on the Hayden Lake Water and Sewer District, including 20 as chairman, and also served on the Hayden and Kootenai County planning commissions and other community boards, died Saturday after a six-year battle with multiple myeloma.
He was a fourth-generation Hayden Lake resident whose great-grandparents on both sides of his family were among the first settlers of the area. He was the first Eagle Scout in Hayden Lake and one of the founders of Hayden's sewer board.
"He could see the development around Hayden Lake was inevitable because of its beauty," said Ken Windram, the sewer board's administrator. "But his training and life experience told him that development would destroy Hayden Lake.
"Gerry's long service on the board was always with the goal of protecting the lake and doing what was best for the users."
House, who also served on the Hayden Historical Society and the Eagle Scout Review Board, was a recent recipient of the Hayden Chamber of Commerce's Distinguished Community Service Award.
He was a 37-year employee of the U.S. Forest Service. He retired in 1994 after serving 17 years as planner for the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. He was responsible for the sale of more than one-half billion board feet of timber on four national forests and five ranger districts.
House's friends are invited to a gathering at the Avondale Golf Club in Hayden from 4-6:30 p.m. on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Hospice House, Hospice of North Idaho, 9493 N. Government Way, Hayden, 83835.