Cover photo for John Alvan Elmer's Obituary

John Alvan Elmer

December 24, 1944 — July 14, 2023

Malad City, Idaho

John Alvan Elmer

Our dad, grandfather, great grandfather, John Alvan Elmer, age 78, passed away Friday, July 14, 2023, surrounded by family and tender love at home, with his daughter Rebecca and family in Malad City, Idaho. The calm and peace that filled our home as he passed was a special gift from the lord. He was Born December 24, 1944, in Mesa Arizona, the youngest son, to George Andrew Elmer and Bessie Clark Elmer. He was one of nine children and learned from an early age about the simple things in life meaning so much. His childhood was not without struggle, yet the lessons learned were carried on throughout his life. At the tender age of 12, he suffered his 1st heart attack that left lifelong effects on his heart. In his teen years he became adept at farming. He worked on church and family farms, harvesting melons, cotton, and, later in life, honey.

His early adult years were spent as a diesel mechanic. He sustained an on-the-job injury which required surgery. This would end his heavy mechanics career; however, he kept that knowledge base alive by working as a car mechanic. To make ends meet, he also worked many odd jobs from selling honey to cleaning pools. He had the honor of cleaning the pool of Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and (reportedly), the king himself, Elvis Presley! Many of his children would accompany him while he was harvesting honey and cleaning pools, but none of the children reportedly had contact with these celebrities. He also delivered pizza for a short time in Indio, California. Everything he did, he did in the name of service for his family. He also put many hours into working at the church warehouse. He was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and lived through many challenges of all life and spiritual aspects.

He married Carolyn J. Davis on August 18, 1968, and divorced March 21, 1976, after enduring the pain of our brother, Timothy Wayne Elmer, who was born sleeping. After some time and thought, they remarried June 17, 1977, and later divorced again on August 10, 1984. He gained a bonus child, had 6 children together, and fathered 3 additional siblings that are blessings and loved very dearly by all of us.

Through the many years of being single, John enjoyed his life in Blythe, California, living in a trailer right on the Colorado River. He visited friends and family often, fished any time he chose, which was his favorite activity besides talking on the CB radio, and drinking his coffee at the coffee shop. There was no such thing as a stranger with our dad, he was everyone’s friend. He was a walker - he loved walking everywhere, traveling, and just being on the move. The longest place he ever lived was in Mesquite, Nevada.

We were all surprised when he showed up one day to introduce Diane to us, especially after being single for so long. He and Diane Bauer married on November 24, 1996, in Henderson, Nevada. They came to Vegas and were going to elope on the strip somewhere, but it was expensive, and they didn’t really want to pay. Instead of eloping, they went to Evan and Sharon Tobler’s house (Bill’s parents). He came over to my mom and dad’s house. Caught us all off guard, we didn’t know what was going on and my mom called us and said, “Can you come over? John’s here and he’s going to get married!” I couldn’t believe it. It all happened really fast. Our Bishop was a family friend, so he was able to come over at a drop of a hat and gave them a little wedding ceremony and had them sign the marriage certificate. Reid White is a great Bishop.

Dad and Diane remained married for almost 25 years (8 months shy). He was a very devoted husband and caregiver and loved his “Dine” so much that living without her these 3 years have been hard. He lovingly cared for Diane and loved her beyond words can express and desired to be with her since her passing March 31, 2020. They can now dance together again.

Survived by his children: Bill (Jewel) Tobler of Henderson, Nevada, Daniel Canady of Ottawa, Kansas, Michelle Chambers of Cornelius, Oregon, Troy (Joy) Elmer of Haleyville, Alabama, Sharon Allen of Rupert, Idaho, Deanna (Ted) Dayley of Burley, Idaho, James (Sarah) Elmer of Salt Lake City, Utah, Rebecca (Rudy) Smith of Malad, Idaho, Tommy (Crystal) McGraw of Amarillo, Texas, 38 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren, sisters, Wanda (Dave) Terrell of Michigan, Mary Ester of Murray, Utah,  Martha Atkinson of Utah, stepchildren, Kirsten Larson, Cedar City, Utah, Heidi (Neil) Buckley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Amy (Toby) Skelton, Tremonton, Utah, Julie Munn, Ogden, Utah, Camie Larson, 19 step-grandchildren, 3 step-great-grandchild;

Preceded in death by his father, George Andrew Elmer, mother, Bessie Clark Elmer, ex-wife, Carolyn J Elmer, baby boy born sleeping, Timothy Wayne Elmer, wife, Diane Bauer, brothers, Ivan Elmer, Norman Elmer, Richard Elmer, Evan Elmer, Norman Elmer, stepson, Kurt (Camie) Larson, Eagle Mountain, Utah.

The first visitation will be held on Friday, July 28, 2023, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm, at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 South Bluff Street, St. George, Utah.

The second visitation will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2023, from 9:00 - 10:30 am, followed by the funeral services at 11:00 am, also at Spilsbury Mortuary.

The interment will take place at the St. George City Cemetery, 650 East Tabernacle St, St. George, Utah, following the services.

Family and friends that are unable to attend the services in person are welcome to attend virtually by clicking on the link below:

Video on Demand

Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George, Utah, (435) 673-2454.

Friends and family are invited to sign John’s online guest book at www.spilsburymortuary.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Alvan Elmer, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, July 28, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

Spilsbury Mortuary - St George

110 S Bluff St, St. George, UT 84770

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Saturday, July 29, 2023

9:00 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

Spilsbury Mortuary - St George

110 S Bluff St, St. George, UT 84770

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, July 29, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Spilsbury Mortuary - St George

110 S Bluff St, St. George, UT 84770

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Saturday, July 29, 2023

12:15 - 1:15 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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