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Elva Marie Jenks
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Obituary for Elva Marie Jenks

On May 3, 2018, our beloved mother, grandmother, sister Elva Marie Ricks Jenks, 91, slipped peacefully into the arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ. What a joyful reunion she's having with her sweetheart, Leon, who's been gone for 32 years, her daughter Marcia and so many other loved ones who have passed on before.

Elva was born on the John Ricks Family homestead on November 27, 1926, in Sugar City, Idaho to Archie LeRoy Ricks and Lila Bunderson. The family later moved to Lewisville, Idaho. Mom loved life on the farm and as the first of five children, was given many responsibilities helping her dad, who always made the work fun. Elva felt she lived most idyllic life growing up on the farm with her family. She learned to love gardening, and would later grow large beautiful gardens of produce, not only for her family, but for neighbors and friends as well. Her grandchildren loved her rows of raspberries and strawberries the most. Even at her small senior apartment she loved growing things on her deck and sharing her surplus.

Elva loved school and graduated with honors from Midway High School. While in high school, she wrote and directed a school play. It was so successful, the students went from place to place performing. Mom was class secretary, loved journaling and worked on the school newspaper. Her nick name at school was "Slim". She also attended Idaho State University. She was voted Queen of the Gold and Green Ball.

Elva met her sweetheart, Leon, at church. He was home on leave from the Army and came to church with his cousin, Aileen. When he walked in, Elva was speaking, and it was love at first sight for him. That evening Elva was invited to go to a fireside with them. After a few dates, Elva and Leon both knew they were meant for each other.

After he went back to basic training, Leon sent a telegram and asked Elva to come to Mississippi to marry him before he shipped out for Europe to serve in General Patton's 3rd army artillery. On Nov 2, 1944, at the tender age of 17, Elva and her future father in law, Rulon B. Jenks, hopped on a bus, went to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she and Leon were married. Leon shipped out the next morning. Their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on August 28, 1945 after Leon's discharge from the Army.

They moved to Oceanside, California where many of Leon's brothers and mother lived. There they lived and worked on an avocado farm. They realized they both missed Idaho and soon moved to Lewisville, Idaho where they started their family. Not long after, they moved to Pocatello, where they raised their family. Through the years Elva and Leon brought many into their home to nourish and love, including 5 foster daughters to be raised with their own 6 children.

Elva was known for being a superb cook, baker and homemaker. She delighted and took pride in cooking delicious meals for her family and others. She has created many cherished family traditions.

Her fun family reunions were legendary, especially at the Big Piney Lodge, where so many priceless memories were made, raising grandpa's service flag, talent shows, fishing, hikes, piñatas, bushel baskets of yummy caramel popcorn balls, scavenger hunts, delicious food, and testimony meetings on the Sundays we were there. She always invited others to join in the family fun. Christmas Eves are fondly remembered with caroling and delivering gift baskets of goodies to widows, single people etc. before the family festivities began.

Elva has always been a wonderful example of true generosity, love and respect for those around her. Even in her Property Management business, families who rented from her became like part of her family. We noticed her bedding, dishes, pots and pans were dwindling, and realized those who were down on their luck were the recipients. She couldn't see another in need and not help.

Elva was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has served in women auxiliaries of the church, including ward and stake Relief Society Presidencies. Among her favorite memories was going to Salt Lake to learn from the general RS board. She personified the word "ministering". In a meeting with Sister Belle Spafford, the General RS President, she suggested regular interviews for the presidencies with visiting teachers to verify how the sisters were doing and see if their needs were being met. She enjoyed each calling she had. She loved teaching and was a talented teacher. She exemplified her Savior, Jesus Christ by her loving actions and testimony of Him, throughout her life. She was an extraordinary missionary, helping others find the gospel, even in the last weeks of her life. Missionary work was a way of life for her.

A highlight in her life was serving as an ordinance worker in the Idaho Falls Temple for 12 1/2 years, leaving her home in Moreland between 2:30 AM to drive to the temple. During this time she realized that her home and acreage in Moreland was too much for her to care for alone and moved to Idaho Falls to be nearer the temple and her children. In 2010 she moved to Salt Lake, City, Utah to be near her daughters.

Through Elva's life she showed undeniable courage and unwavering independence from the time she was very young....almost to the very the day she passed. She overcame almost every challenge which came her way. She showed everyone unconditional love and respect to all.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Rulon Leon Jenks and daughter Marcia Anderson (Neil). She is survived by one son and 4 daughters: Rod Jenks (Linda), Cheryl Lewis (Vern), Marae O'Brien (Russ deceased), Michelle Cameron Davis (Steve), Teri Jones, and brother Larry Ricks (Alice). She has been blessed with 27 living grandchildren, 75 great grandchildren, and 5 great, great grandchildren. She also has 12 step grandchildren and 41 step great grandchildren, making 159 descendents in total.

Services will be Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 11:00 am at 10885 Pampas Dr. Sandy Utah. A viewing will be from 9:45 - 10:45 am. Under direction of Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary. Interment will be in Restlawn Memorial Gardens, 1520 S. 5th Ave. Pocatello, Idaho at abt. 4:00PM.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Elva Marie Jenks, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
Crescent View 6th Ward

10885 S. Pampas Drive
Sandy, UT 84094





11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Crescent View 6th Ward

10885 S. Pampas Drive
Sandy, UT 84094

Cemetery Details


Restlawn Memorial Gardens

1520 S. 5th Ave
Poctello, ID 83204


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