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Ketchum Postmaster Honored as a Hometown Hero
Wednesday, August 24, 2022


Ketchum Postmaster John Herbert McDonald will be among the 2022 medal recipients at the 10th annual  Idaho’s hometown Hero Awards Ceremony Sept. 10 in Pocatello.

Honorees this year were nominated by community members based on the theme “Resilience in Uncertain Times.”

McDonald served as crew chief of an HU-1Huey Helicopter for Mayor Gen. Fred C. Wayand,’s 25th division in Cu Chi, Vietnam. A native of the Magic Valley, he returned to Idaho following his stint in Vietnam. He joined the U.S. Postal Service in 1967 and six years later in 1973 became the Ketchum postmaster.

McDonald also has been active in civic affairs, serving with the Sun Valley/Ketchum Rotary Club, as founder of the North American Moose Foundation and as a lifetime member of the Safari Club International.

He served on the Blaine County Planning and Zoning Committee for more than a decade, was chairman of the Ketchum Cemetery Board and served on the board of the Swiftsure Therapeutic Riding Center.

He is a lifetime member of the American Legion, Ketchum Post 115, serving as its commander several times. Though, 80, he continues to run cows south of Kimberly.

Other 2022 honorees include Cherie Buckner-Webb, the first Black person elected to the Idaho legislature, where she served 12 years until her retirement in 2020.

Others include Karl Pettit, who founded the First Baptist Food Pantry and Valley Mission in Pocatello, and Lejla Becirovic, an immigrant from war-torn Bosnia who works at Idaho Home Health and Hospice and advocates for refugees.

Others include Rick Phillips, a Rotarian who has built water wells and libraries for disadvantaged children in Central America, South America ad Africa and has brought student-athletes to Pocatello for the Simplot Games; David Rhuter, a swift water technician and high-angle rope technician with the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue; Jamar Brown, chair of the Human Relation Advisory Committee for the City of Pocatello, and Chris Osborne, a Native American gay man and tribal member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, who organizes LGBTQ2S events for such causes as diabetes, suicide, bullying and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

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