|Year Born: 1932
Year Died: 2014
Mickey was born June 25, 1932, in Boise, to Lawrence and Elsie Rhodes Hewitt. He spent his early years in downtown Boise. During middle school the family moved to Fruitland, Idaho, where Mickey attended high school. This is where Mickey met Jeanie, the love of his life and wife of 61 years up until her death in July 2013.
Mickey attended high school in Fruitland and was captain of his football team. They won the high school state championship his senior year. He continued to be a leader of men from that point forward until his last days.
Mickey and Jeanie were married July 15, 1950, in Winnemucca, Nev. They soon started their family in Boise, where Mickey worked as a warehouse man and delivery driver for Booth Fisheries. Mickey was also a professional boxer, boxing under the name Mickey Rhodes and earning the title of Pacific Northwest Champion for both middleweight and welterweight division. In 1952, Mickey traveled to New York City, where he fought in Madison Square Garden, but missed his family so much that he only stayed four months. In February 2002, Mickey Rhodes was inducted into the Northwest Boxing Hall of Fame along with his longtime buddy, Jimmy Grow of Lewiston. They traveled together in the boxing circuit and trained together in Boise.
Between matches, Mickey went to work in the construction business as an operating engineer. The family moved with him to many places where he could find work on a dam or a road project. Mickey settled his family in Lewiston in 1964. He continued in the construction business, eventually starting his own company.
During the 1970s Mickey and his son Jim became very active in thoroughbred race horses. Jim was a nationally ranked jockey and trained race horses for Mickey. Mickey owned several race horses and traveled around the Pacific Northwest and Northern California to watch them run.
In 1980, Mickey moved to Venezuela, South America, with his wife Jeanie to work for his longtime friend Ron Maxwell who represented Nello Teer, a large international construction firm from North Carolina. He was the project manager for building one of the world’s largest dams on the Orinoco River.
Upon his return from South America, Mickey and Jeanie moved to Maui, Hawaii, where Mickey worked for Goodfellow Bros. Construction Co. as an island manager for the next 19 years. Mickey was very active in charity work for his local community of Kihei. This is where they built their dream home and lived during those years. The governor of Hawaii gave Mickey the honor of nominating him as Hawaii’s Citizen of the Year in the early 1990s. Mickey is very well-known and loved by the people of Maui.
While on Maui he also owned a sporting clays shooting range. He loved to shoot sporting clays and trap to the end. In 1996, Mickey won the Sporting Clays National Championship in his class that was held in San Antonio. Right up to the end, Mickey loved shooting targets. He attended a shoot just three weeks prior to being hospitalized.
In 2001, Mickey retired from Goodfellow Brothers and moved back to Idaho so they could spend time with their kids and grandkids. Mickey felt fortunate to have come from a place like Idaho. As a board member Mickey was active in the Lewiston Gun Club and fought very hard to retain the now-closed club.
Mickey was preceded in death by his parents and his loving wife of 61 years, Jeanie. Mickey is survived by Jeanie’s brother, Alan Ray Blackburn of Bangkok, Thailand. Mickey is also survived by his four children, James Merrill (Tammy) Hewitt, Cindy Marie (Gale) Wilson, Judi D. Tierney and Charles Lawrence (Jessa) Hewitt. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Mickey was very close with his children and grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.
Surviving Mickey at the family home is his companion, Jo Bills. Jo and dad were like teenagers again, both being the same age and being united after all these years as they knew each other as children. Dad loved Jo deeply and she loved him as well; it was evident when you saw these two together. Jo made dad young and vibrant again. We thank Jo so much for what she gave our beloved father this past year. Thank you Jo, we are so sorry that you have to share in our loss, as we know how much you loved our dad.
Mickey traveled the world, met many movie stars, politicians, recording stars, high-powered business owners and the ordinary man. With his sense of humor he made it easy to love him and he never met a stranger. He helped so many people financially along the way.
Mickey had countless friends, who all meant so much to him. He was truly one of a kind. There will never be another man like Mickey Simpson Hewitt. He will be missed by all who had the opportunity to know him.