Reynolds Funeral Chapel

2466 Addison Ave East, Twin Falls, ID


John Allen Rosholt

December 21, 1937November 5, 2019
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John Allen Rosholt died in peace at his home in Twin Falls, Idaho on November 5, 2019. He was 81. John was born on December 21, 1937 (Lewiston, Idaho) to parents Allen Ernest and Dorothy Berger Rosholt. He attended St. Stanislaus Catholic School and graduated from Lewiston High School in 1955.

John attended the University of Idaho where he was a proud member and president of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. John participated in the ROTC program, graduating as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army with a degree in Political Science in 1959. After two years of service, he returned to the university earning a Bachelor's of Law and admission to the Idaho State Bar in 1964. After meeting at the University of Idaho, John married the love of his life, Karen Rae Fisher (Port Angeles, WA) in July 1966 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Potlatch, Idaho.

Although a true North Idaho man who worked long summers with his father in the Clearwater National Forest, John ventured to southern Idaho, the state’s epicenter of agriculture for his law practice. He started with the firm of Parry, Robertson, Daly & Larson (1964-1979), later forming Nelson, Rosholt, Robertson, Tolman & Tucker (1979-1990), Rosholt, Robertson & Tucker (1990-2001), and ultimately Barker, Rosholt & Simpson (2001-2019). John’s collaboration with his partners and mentorship of new attorneys was unparalleled.

John and Karen built their amazing life together in Twin Falls, where they volunteered, supported the community, and raised their children. The Twin Falls Rotary recognized John as a Paul Harris Fellow. The Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce recognized John with a Lifetime Achievement Award. John served and held leadership positions on countless boards of directors, making Twin Falls and the State of Idaho a better place. Apart from his civic life, the Rosholts were famous hosts. An invitation to their home was admission to an unforgettable night filled with laughter, great food, drinks, and hours of conversation. John and Karen built an incredible network of friends and colleagues spanning generations, creating life-long memories.

John loved everything golf. Working early mornings at the Lewiston Country Club, John was able to start playing at age 11, quickly becoming a scratch golfer by age 14. After high school he lettered for the University of Idaho, leading the team to a conference title and berth in the NCAA championship in 1959.

After college, John enjoyed a successful amateur career playing in tournaments across the state. He found his favorite course at the Blue Lakes Country Club, where he won several club championships and served as the club’s president and ambassador. A member for over 50 years, John spent countless days perfecting his craft on its incomparable fairways and greens. John was the club’s living historian, always ready to regale in past stories of a particular shot, round, or party. He relished this unique property and its natural beauty, never taking it for granted.

John was a lawyer’s lawyer. He received national and statewide recognition for his achievements, including the Idaho State Bar’s prestigious Distinguished Lawyer Award in 2004. John was a close confident to several state and national dignitaries, notably the late Senator James A. McClure, who he worked closely with for decades. John was known as Idaho’s premiere expert on water law. He successfully guided clients and policy makers through complex issues all over the state. From the Upper Snake River Basin to Hells Canyon, John provided invaluable advice and representation to the irrigation community. His fingerprints can be found on every major water issue and legislation from the Snake River Basin Adjudication to conjunctive water right administration. John represented his clients with the utmost integrity and compassion. Anyone lucky enough to be represented by John quickly recognized that he was more than a lawyer, he was your true friend.

Always a Vandal, the University of Idaho inducted John into both the Alumni Hall of Fame (2013) and the Athletic Hall of Fame (2016). John supported the university throughout his career, establishing the John A. Rosholt Roundtable for Visiting Professionals and serving on the Advisory Council for the College of Law, as well as the Advisory Council for the College of Letters & Social Sciences. John and Karen are long-time ambassadors and loyal supporters of the university and have been recognized with numerous other awards. The Rosholts valued their Vandal family as their own.

In addition to his distinguished career, John’s sharp mind, quick wit, generous ways, and unique ability to stay connected with family, friends and colleagues will define his lasting legacy. He cherished all of the relationships that he built and thoughtfully maintained across the country. His extended network of colleagues and friends was never more evident than what has been shown to the family this week. John lived a full life. His love for his family and friends will endure throughout time.

John is survived by his wife of 53 years, Karen, and their three children Bekki Ann Madron (Brett) in Lewiston, ID, Kirsten Rae Lehman (Brad Govreau) in Meridian, ID and John Patrick Rosholt in Seattle, WA. John was the oldest of six children, and is survived by Sister Mary Allen Rosholt in Lewiston, ID, Betty Riebe (Gary) in Lewiston, ID, Jan Stout (Richard) in Richland, WA, Bill Rosholt (Sondra) in La Grande, OR, and Dick Rosholt (Teresa) in Lewiston, ID, and their families. Grandchildren: Brittaney Madron O’Leary (Michael), Morgan Lehman, Max Lehman, Brady Govreau and Matt Govreau and great grandson Liam Patrick O’Leary.

A rosary prayer service will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, November 14th at Reynolds Funeral Chapel 2466 Addison Ave E. in Twin Falls. A memorial mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 15th at St. Edward’s Catholic Church, 161 6th Avenue East, Twin Falls, Idaho. A reception will be held immediately following the service. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Reynolds Funeral Chapel in Twin Falls.

In John’s memory, please consider a donation to the “John and Karen Rosholt Elementary Education Scholarship” at the following mailing address: University of Idaho Foundation, Inc. 875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3143, Moscow, Idaho 83844-3143.

For those who would like to post a message, story, photo or special memory of John for all his friends and family to read, please visit the Tributes.com website, search for John’s name and select the “Memory Book” tab. You may also leave a condolence at www.reynoldschapel.com


15 November

Memorial Mass

11:00 am

St Edward the Confessor Catholic Church

161 6th Ave East
Twin Falls, Idaho


  • Rosary Prayer Service Thursday, November 14, 2019


John Allen Rosholt

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carol Bearup

November 14, 2019

I remember when John said I had another relative joining the Vandals. When he told me it was Colton Richardson, I told him that Colton was a half-brother to two of my grandchildren. Therefore, I guess he is somewhat a relative. Also, my granddaughter married Braden Griffith this summer and Bekki Rosholt became an aunt to my granddaughter. I have loved Karen & John for years and he will be sadly missed. I was lucky enough to be a teacher to their 2 beautiful daughters. Sadly, I can't attend the rosary tonight because of another appointment, but I will be at the service tomorrow. Blessings, Carol Bearup

Michael Gaffney

November 14, 2019

Condolences to the Rosholt Family. John hired me as second year law clerk in 1985 while at UI where I did research for he and Tom Nelson. John was the consummate lawyer and it was a pleasure working for him that summer. Idaho has lost a truly legendary lawyer.

Jim& Janet Olson

November 13, 2019

Janet & I are sadden to see the passing of John. Our paths have crossed a number of times through the years and we have always enjoyed the conversations we have had with John. The State and the Vandels have lost a Great individual. May he rest in peace.

Theron and Darlene Nelsen

November 12, 2019

John was my hero he will be greatly missed. John and I were both Delts at the university of Idaho together and shared a lot of good times. He was a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Johns family.

Marge Holley

November 12, 2019

John and Karen, A beautiful couple and great friends. My condolences to the family

Caroline Nilsson Troy

November 11, 2019

I've saved all the notes John has sent over the years - while working at the University of Idaho, and as a state legislator. Each was warmly supportive and full of his dry humor. The most recent are always pegged to the bulletin board next to my desk. The current note is dated 8/27/18 "Caroline.... Deal is... You get rid of the State Board of Education in 2019 or you send the money back.... Regards - John." The task was a little more difficult than I expected, so plan to keep the note and the donation. He was a wonderful man, and will be truly missed. Karen and family, you are in our hearts and prayers. Go Vandals!

Dick Riggs

November 10, 2019

Karen and family, we are so very, very saddened by the passing of your beloved John. He was a wonderful man, LHS Bengal, Idaho Vandal, golfer and much much more. I will miss hearing from him. You are in our thought and prayers. Love and go, Vandals. Dick and Barbara Riggs, Lewiston.

Joe and Kathy Cooper

November 10, 2019

We are so sorry to hear of John's passing. We met him through the North Side Canal and Pump Co. Joe dealt with issues John helped with several times. He was always friendly and fun to be around. He and Joe were always going 'round and 'round about Boise State and U of I. Always good natured fun. John had such an impact on so many lives. He will be missed.
We regret we won't be able to attend the service but our Prayers and Thoughts are with the family.
God Bless you all.

Bonnie Patterson-Skoy

November 10, 2019

I first met John through a mutual friend, Zoe Ann Warberg Schaub, in 1965. I was a fledgling social worker at Health and Welfare and he an up-coming lawyer with expertise and great interest in water law. He loved Idaho and thought the highlight of any week was attending a canal company water meeting. So happy to see that his life was devoted to the things he loved most, family, water law and his fellow man. He truly gave back for all he'd been given

Bruce Smith

November 10, 2019

Karen— Wanted you to know I am thinking about you and the family. John was one of a kind- always thoughtful and kind . Regards Bruce Smith