By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer
A group of friends gathered Monday evening to mourn the loss of a prominent Portales couple who died Monday in a car accident in West Texas, according to Texas officials.
Douglas and Deborah Idsinga, both 49, were traveling eastbound on U.S. 84, west of Sudan, Texas, when they lost control of their vehicle. Their truck hit a wet spot on the road, veered into a ditch and struck a telephone pole, according to Texas Department of Public Safety officials.
The accident was reported around 2 p.m. (CDT). The couple died at the scene.
About 50 people gathered in the couple’s newly built home atop a hill in Portales upon hearing news of their death; a line of cars trailed down the street, said friends, who described the couple as a staple in the dairy community.
“Doug was one of those guys. … He was full of good jokes. When you left Doug, you were always upbeat. He loved to live,” said Art Schaap, a fellow Portales dairyman who befriended Idsinga more than 20 years ago.
“I got so many memories. I can’t …,” said Schaap, his sentence unfinished.
“They were the sweetest, kindest couple you’d ever meet. You always felt like you were right at home if they were in your presence,” said Michelle Heavyside, president of the United Dairy Women and a neighbor of the Idsingas.
“He’d give you a big, old bear hug when he’d see you, and Debbie was the same way,” she said.
The Portales mother and father left behind four children, the oldest in his mid-20s.
Idsinga was the owner of Crosswinds Dairy in Roosevelt County. He and his brother, Jim, were entrepreneurs who broke into the dairy industry as partners, according to Schaap.
“Their businesses started to grow and expand,” Schaap said.
Though successful, Crosswinds remained a family business, and all four of the Idsingas’ children were employed there, Schaap said.
“I cannot express how much (the Idsingas) will be missed,” Heavyside said.
Funeral arrangements are pending by Wheeler Mortuary of Portales.