ECHL Mourns Loss Of Idaho Owner Simplot

PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL and its member teams mourn the loss and express their condolences to the family and friends of J.R. Simplot, who was a member of the Idaho Steelheads ownership group.

A public memorial service will be held at Qwest Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Simplot died suddenly at his home in Boise, Idaho on May 25. He was 99 years old.

A Declo, Idaho farm boy who never attended high school, Simplot built a personal fortune recently estimated at $3.6 billion. He and the company he founded created the first successful frozen french fries and partnered with McDonald’s to sell them across the globe. The private company he began became one of the largest agribusiness conglomerates in the world.

Simplot played an integral role in building the 5,006-seat arena in downtown Boise that is home to the Steelheads, the Boise Burn of af2 and the Idaho Stampede of the NBDL. In addition to helping bankroll the startup costs for Micron Technology, he donated millions to colleges and universities and gave so much to charities that no one was able to track it all.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to either the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy, the Ronald McDonald House Charities or the charity of your choice.

Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy
516 S. 9th St.
Boise, ID 83702

Ronald McDonald House Charities
101 Warm Springs Ave.
Boise, ID 83712