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Sonny Hairston

The NAGA Board and staff were very sad to hear of the passing of Marvin Dewey “Sonny” Hairston, 72, on Saturday, August 17, 2019.

Sonny was a long-time member, board member, and past president of the North American Gamebird Association. He grew up in the Mississippi Delta and married his high school sweetheart, Andrea Burnett, to whom he was married for 54 years. Sonny moved his young family to Idaho in 1970. He often said, “I wasn’t born in Idaho, but I got here as quick as I could.”

Sonny was an avid sportsman and loved hunting and the outdoors. He led an active and full life. Sonny was raised Southern Baptist and saw God in the great outdoors. He began doing taxidermy in high school and continued to his dying day. Sonny was the owner and proprietor of Little Canyon Shooting for the past 24 years. He became a landed immigrant and big game hunting outfitter in Canada in the late 80s and early 90s. He was also a private pilot and self-employed farmer.

Sonny was an amazing husband, son, brother, father, grandfather, great-grandpa and friend. He was loved and treasured by many, including his survivors. Sonny is survived by his mother, Grace Lehr; his wife, Andrea Hairston; his brother, Bill (Emily) Lehr; his sister, Tommie Jean Jack; his son, Andy (Diane) Hairston; his twin daughters, Mimi Millage and Mona (Gene) Jack; his grandchildren, Tara (Lars) Nelson, Troy Ahlers, Brandt Hairston, Cali Ahlers, Wade Ahlers, Kyle Hairston, Lexi Ahlers and Elia Jack and his great-grandson, Radley Nelson.

“Sonny was a great friend and ambassador for the gamebird industry,” said NAGA President Tim Zindl” When he was our president, Sonny was always so approachable and friendly to everyone he met. He will definitely be missed.”

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Best Western Lodge at River’s Edge (615 Main St. Orofino, ID) on Sunday, August 25 at 2:00pm. A potluck dinner is to follow at the Peck Community Center. A memorial fund has been set up at any Banner Bank as “Sonny Hairston Memorial.”

Please join us in offering our sympathies to the Hairston family, including Sonny’s son Andy who currently serves on the NAGA Board of Directors.

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