Jess Aguirre


(July 8, 1933 - March 6, 2011)

Jesse “Jess” James Aguirre, 77, of Idaho Falls, died March 6, 2011, while hospitalized in Idaho Falls.

He was born July 8, 1933 to Maria Salazar Aguirre and Martin Aguirre in Deaver.

Jess graduated from Powell High School and married Carlene Ward in May 1953; they had two children. They were later divorced. He married Nancy Rife in May 1978. Nancy preceded him in death.

Jess served in the U.S. Army National Guard for four years. He continued his education and received degrees in Electrical Engineering and Nuclear Engineering.  He worked for Martin Marietta Corp. in the national missile defense program prior to moving to Idaho Falls in 1963. He went to work for the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory until he retired in 1996. He established the Aguirre Sharpening Service after retiring.

Jess enjoyed skiing, fishing, camping, traveling, cooking and riding off-road motorcycles.  He was a member of the Idaho Falls International Toastmasters, Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce, the Idaho Falls Ski Club, and the American Society for Quality Control. He was past president of the Idaho Falls Ski Club, and held other offices as well through the years. 

He was a lifetime member of the Fraternal Order of the Elks Club No. 1087.

Jess is survived by his son, Martin R. Aguirre (Zenaida) of Riverside, Calif.; daughter, Mashelle Pappin-Gilbert (Brad) of Idaho Falls; sister, Elsie Napper (Dave) of Idaho Falls; and half-brother, Joseph Valles of Paramount, Calif.  He has four grandchildren, Martin W. Aguirre of Las Vegas, Nev.; Christina Aguirre of Riverside, CA; Leonard McNeal (wife Melissa) of Idaho Falls; and Alicia McNeal of Houston, Texas. He has two great-grandchildren, Gabrielle and Alex McNeal of Idaho Falls.

Jess was preceded in death by his parents; wife Nancy; and 8 siblings.

Memorial services will be announced and held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Wood Funeral Home, 273 N. Ridge Ave., Idaho Falls.

Condolences may be sent to the family online at