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Independent Obituaries: September 1, 2021

The following obituaries appeared in the September 1, 2021 edition of the Star Valley Independent.

For more area obituaries, please visit Schwab Mortuary.

For more resources including headstones, please visit the Star Valley Historical Society.

Carol Elliott

Carol Anne Hansen Clark Elliott, born December 31,1935, returned to her Heavenly Father Thursday August 19, 2021 (85) while living in her home in St. George, Utah, surrounded by family.

Carol was born in Pocatello, Idaho to Hans William Hansen and Dorothy Leah Hansen Greco. She loved being the big sister to Jean (James Ostler – St. George, Utah) and Fay (Marvin Christensen – Malad, Idaho). The sisters remained close and loved visiting about each other’s families and activities of their children and grandchildren.

Carol attended and graduated from Pocatello High School in 1954. During these school years she met her future husband. Following high school, Carol married Albert Hugh Clark August 13, 1954 (45 years). Following Al’s death Carol found love again when she met and married Gerald Elliott (St. George Utah) June 1, 2000 (21 years). Mom loved the addition of the new family.

Mom felt that one of her greatest achievements was raising six children. Three girls and three boys.

Mom was talented in several areas. She really loved painting and shopping. She made sure that every grandchild received a painting or a afghan for their wedding and an afghan and crocheted receiving blanket. She made a lot of crocheted gifts for friends and family. With children grown, mom found enjoyment working as an office manager for a local soft water service company.

Carol was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and very much enjoyed serving in several callings including Stake and Ward Primary Presidencies, Teacher and Temple worker.

Mom had an unusual ability to remember family history which came to her naturally by way of her parents. Her mom and dad both had great memory recall especially when it came to family memories and photos. Mom recalled relationships, marriages, names of spouses and dates. It was especially fun to sit alongside her as she would tell you the names of each individual in photo album. She identified the location of where the picture was taken and stories of the individuals in the pictures.

Carol is survived by her husband, her two sisters, and her brother and sisters’ in-law. She is survived by her children: Catherine Aileene (Dean) Tyler of Wailua, Hawaii, Kendall Wayne (Vera Nelson) Clark of Brighton, Colorado, Abbalie Jane (Jon) Lamb of Pocatello Idaho, Jeffery Dean (Venus Baird) of Blackfoot, Idaho, Michael Darren (Lynda Simmons) Clark of Plainfield, Illinois, and Wendy Sue (Dave) Parish of Lihue, Hawaii. Her Clark posterity includes twenty-two (22) grandchildren, fifty-seven (57) great-grandchildren. Her Elliott family includes Lynn Spencer of Salt Lake City, Utah, Kathy Elliott (Stan) Hong of West Valley City, Utah, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Carol was predeceased in death by her parents, Hans William Hansen (1983) and Dorothy Leah Greco Hansen (1992), her husband, Albert Hugh Clark (1999) and her triplet grandsons, Brandon Michael Clark, Joshua Albert Clark and Nicholas Edward Clark (1981).
Services were held at Colonial Chapel in Pocatello, Idaho on Saturday August 28, 2021.

Elizabeth “Liz” Merrill was a beautiful wife, a loving mother, and a fun grandma. She went up to heaven on June 26, 2021, after having a “wonderful life”. Born Elizabeth Jane Pickens, she arrived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on September 19, 1929. She was the seventh of nine children born to Albert and Mary Pickens. At the age of five she moved to Delta, Colorado and thus started the beginning of many moves to come throughout her life. Most of her middle school and high school years were spent in Logan, Utah.

During high school she taught swimming and took up ice skating. She was quite good at this and performed with her younger sister, Mary, in the Utah Centennial Ice Follies. At the age of 17 she met her future husband, Joe Merrill, at the public ice-skating rink. At the end of their first date Joe told her he loved her. She laughed at him, and he said he would prove it. On January 2, 1948, she became the wife of Joseph W. Merrill. They were married for 74 and a half years.

The first nine months of their marriage were spent in Thomas, Idaho as Joe tried his hand at farming, and Liz learned how to cook and keep a house. They soon realized that farming wasn’t for them, so they moved to Logan for Joe to get his civil engineering degree. In 1951, their son Greg was born, and they moved soon thereafter to Burbank, California for Joe’s first engineering job. Not but a few months later they would move again to Palisades, Idaho so Joe could work on the dam. In 1953, they welcomed their second son, Royce. Eventually they moved to American Falls, Idaho, which was one of Liz’s favorite places to live. Liz and Joe started playing golf, bowling, square dancing, and bridge. Liz also worked as a room mother for Greg’s class and as a delivery nurse in the hospital.

In 1958, they welcomed their third and final son, Keith. Liz said her greatest achievement and rewards in life had been her three sons and the years they had together.

They bought their first home shortly after in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It was in Idaho falls that as a family they were all baptized in the Presbyterian Church. Liz had a very social life being a den mother, bowling league, bridge club, camping, skiing, and golfing. After 6 years in Idaho Falls, they moved to Hawaii. Joe was gone for work about six months of the year. Liz was left with the three boys, which was great as she got to know them better than ever before. As the boys became teenagers, Liz had lots of action at her house on Saturday nights, along with lots of goodies. Once again it was time to move and four years later, they moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. Here Liz worked with American Tour and Travel and many hotels. They returned to Hawaii for another six years and then back to Vegas for a year before Joe retired and they started to settle down a bit.

To start off retirement they decided to build a home in Star Valley Ranch, Wy. Liz loved being in Wyoming and being so close to nature. She made many friends and enjoyed golf, hosting parties, dances, ladies’ luncheons, bridge, and choir. She hosted the family many times for Christmas’ and family reunions at their home on the Ranch. Her and Joe took the eight grandkids on a two-week camping trip no one will ever forget. They made many memories on that trip, particularly one of Grandma going down a slide. After living on the ranch for 25 years they moved to Mesquite, Nevada. There Liz was able to see the kids and grandkids even more and enjoy time with family. In 2020 Liz and Joe moved to St. George. Liz made quick friends in St. George. Even though she wasn’t feeling well at times, she had a good joke and some sassiness, always ready to share. Her quick wit and laughter are very missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

“My life has been so full, rich, and filled with so much love from so many, that there is nothing more to ask for or want.” -Elizabeth Merrill
Liz is preceded in death by her two loving sons.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at 11 a.m. at the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 611 North 2450 East, St. George, Utah.

Val Astle

Val Elwood Astle was born Oct 25,1954 to Ken & LaDeen Astle at the SV Hospital in Afton. Val was born with a natural desire to have fun and make people laugh. He said “all I want out of life is to be like my Dad and make people laugh. With his infectious laugh, all he had to do was talk and if he laughed, others laughed.

Val deeply loved his parents and siblings. Kenna was six years older and Ryck was six years younger, and in Val’s mind they were the perfect family. No matter what Ken was doing, Val could always be found near by learning from his Dad and practicing being just like him.

Val played some high school sports, a little football and some basketball, but his true love was always hunting and riding horses on the south end of the valley in Spring Creek and Water Canyon. As a boy he rode with his Dad and best friend Vance Bagley. As he got older it was with his Dad, wife and boys and later his Grandsons and grand daughter-in-law. He never tired of being on a good horse.

Val worked for Nolan Taylor Construction during High School and for a little time after graduation as a laborer. From there he got work with Ted and Blair Harmon installing Boise Cascade Homes. It was a very big business in Star Valley and surrounding areas for several years. While employed with the company, Blair won a trip to Spain. Blair and Esther invited Val to go along and it was truly a highlight in his life to travel around Spain and Africa with a guy he met on the flight over. Val always wanted to be a truck driver so after leaving the Harmon Brothers he worked for Warner Enterprises for a couple of years. It was during that time that he started dating Helen Lancaster Brown. She was a widow with two little boys and he had a soft spot in his heart for her kids.

After dating for about 18 months they got married in 1979. Val felt it a wise decision to be more accessible to his new instant family and there was an opening as a tanker driver for Caribou Four Corners so he applied and was hired. It was owned by Ruel Call and Val and Ruel had a great working relationship. That started Val’s career as a semi tanker driver. Caribou Four Corners became Maverik, and Val was the driver who hauled all the gas to the stores in Idaho and Wyoming, and sometimes a few in Montana and Utah. He was always a very social guy and he made hundreds of friends through his work at Maverik. He worked for Maverik 38 years and had a great love and respect for his employers and fellow workers, especially the dispatch,other drivers, and “gals’ in the office who helped him out.

Val was a member of the Afton Volunteer Fire Dept. for over 20 years and very much enjoyed the service and friendships he developed there.

Val’s parents and siblings welcomed Helen, Eric and Scott as an immediate part of their family and treated them as lovingly and fairly as if they were their own blood. Val and Helen were later blessed with two more boys, Kenneth Cole and Van. There were never 4 boys who were any closer than these four boys have always been. Val and Helen were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on Helen’s birthday in 2004.

Val knew the value of hard work and loved to con anyone he could into picking rocks while he shouted orders. The Circle 7 Ranch was his pride and his love. After the work was finished he loved to go for a break with the boys and shake dice at the coffee shop and have a treat or a burger.. His family was his joy, and he spent the last year after his retirement before the dementia disability took his balance, riding Trip, his half draft, in his favorite Water canyon with his dogs and grand kids. He was also invited by a couple of good guys Richard Hoopes and Lane Allred to ride for range cattle that fall and that was a great highlight to him.

Val leaves a legacy of his Mother, LaDeen, his wife Helen, four sons, three daughters-in-law 13 grandchildren, a sister, and brother and eight nieces and nephews along with their kiddos.

If he could say anything to all of his friends and family it would be “Happy Trails to you until we meet again, I’m going to get on my favorite horse Scooby with my best dog Wrinkles and ride away.”

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