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Sugar City couple honored as this year’s Grand Marshals for the Rexburg Independence Day parade

BYU-Idaho Radio · Local couple honored as grand marshalls for Rexburg's Independence Day parade
The city of Rexburg has crowned its Grand Marshals for this year’s Independence Day parade. A couple who’ve been together almost 65 years now: Brent and Donna Jean Kinghorn.  

Living in Sugar City, the couple has been a part of the Madison County area their entire lives. Both graduated from Sugar-Salem High School, and both attended Ricks College. After Ricks College, and graduating from the University of Utah, the two returned to Madison County, where Donna Jean was a schoolteacher with the Sugar-Salem School District, and Brent worked at varying levels at Ricks College for 23 years. 

Through it all, they maintained a healthy, supportive marriage.  

“Brent has just always included me as a partner, and it’s just been natural to work together,” Donna Jean said. “We work together with our children. We work together in our home and yard … Our goals were set together. I just think that was a natural part of marriage for us.” 

The two have also maintained a steady presence in the community. Brent was on the Madison Memorial Hospital Board for 10 years, part of the Rexburg Rotary Club for 30, and together with Donna Jean, served as the first temple presidency for the Rexburg Temple, from 2007-2010. For the Rexburg centennial, their family was hugely involved in the community’s celebration.  

“All nine of our children were in this production with us,” Donna Jean said. “It was a delightful experience and paid a lot of homage to the founders and other men who truly made a difference in this community.” 

As part of another celebration – for Ricks College’s transition to BYU-Idaho – Brent dressed up as Thomas E. Ricks to give a speech to help facilitate the change. This was given a layer of authenticity by the fact that Donna Jean is a great-granddaughter of Thomas E. Ricks. 

When Brent and Donna Jean were approached by the city of Rexburg to be Grand Marshalls, the two were shocked, saying so many were far more deserving of the title.  

“We have so many people that give so much to their community through volunteer work,” Brent said. “They’re either on boards, or they’re on committees, or they’re in groups that serve and give all the time. We pay tribute to those people and hope that we can represent them in some small way because, boy, there’s a lot that we could think of way ahead of us.”  

While the Independence Day parade isn’t until July, the two are excited about the opportunity to represent their community on such a beautiful day.  

“It’s time to bring a lot of people into the area,” Brent said. “And you don’t often see sad people on a day like that.”  

Given how early in the season it is, there hasn’t been much to prepare for just yet.  

“I’ll try and work on my…” Brent started when asked. “Parade wave,” Donna Jean suggested. "No, I was going to say my right-arm pitch,” Brent clarified. “See if I can throw a piece of candy all the way across the street.”