JOHN FERY: Remembering a Member of Our Y Family and an Idaho Legend

A Special Message from our CEO, David Duro​:

Our Treasure Valley Community and the entire State of Idaho community lost a philanthropic legend this past weekend – John Fery. In the wake of his passing, I reflected on the impact John has had on our YMCA. There were so many important changes and milestones that happened in our Y’s history because of John . . . enough to fill many pages in a book. But today I will share a few that I believe are the most impactful.

The Treasure Valley Family YMCA’s Child Development program serves hundreds of youth every year through our life-changing programs that pave the path for successful, bright futures. This program would not exist, as we know it, without John. Under his leadership, Boise Cascade made a large, generous gift which allowed the Y to begin a preschool and afterschool Latchkey child care program in Boise in 1980. John was a champion for early education and youth development before it was popular. That program has grown from a single site to more than 20 centers throughout the valley, making the Y the largest private child care provider in the state Idaho.

John and his wife Dee supported every one of our YMCA capital campaign in the past few decades, including the campaign to build our state-of-the-art Y Camp at Horsethief Reservoir. Again, this would not exist without John Fery. His tireless efforts and absolute commitment to kids and families resulted in the best YMCA camp in the country. We were so thrilled John was able to see that project to completion when he attended our Grand Opening of the Triple J Lodge (aptly named for its key founders – J.R. Simplot, Jim Everett, and John Fery) in 2013. Generations will be impacted by his work.

In 2010, the Y presented John with the Y’s Golden Book of Distinguished Service. This award is the highest honor our YMCA bestows upon volunteer leaders. It has been awarded only seven times in the 125- year history of this YMCA.

There is no way to quantify the many gifts John leaves behind, and please feel free to share your accounts of his generosity in comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

We were truly blessed to have such a thoughtful, caring, and giving man in our Y family. He will be missed. Please join me in keeping the entire Fery family in your thoughts and prayers.

Click here to see photos of John Fery »