Gar Thayne Elison

Born: 22 Jul 1940

Died: 8 Jul 2022

At the age of: 81

Spouse: Marilyn Durfee

Parents: Lois Pauline Zollinger and Lano Adams Elison

FamilySearch Page: KWHK-35Z

Our beloved Gar Thayne Elison passed away on July 8, 2022, at his home in Caldwell, Idaho. He was born July 22, 1940, in the small southern Idaho community of Sublett, first child of Lois Pauline Zollinger and Lano Adams Elison. During the first two years of Gar’s life, his father worked on a road construction crew, and the family lived in several towns throughout Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. They settled in Malta, Idaho.

The summer Gar turned 12 years old, he spent four months in bed with rheumatic fever. During that time, he read all four standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gained a deep testimony of them. That was the beginning of his great interest in studying religious topics and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Gar attended Malta Elementary and Raft River High School, where he played basketball and football, learned multiple band instruments, and served as class president all four years, graduating in 1958. As a college freshman and sophomore, Gar attended Utah State University and was active in student government as well as ROTC. He accepted a call from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve in the South German Mission from October 1960 to May 1963.

Upon his return, Gar transferred to Brigham Young University, studied public administration, and received his Bachelor of Science degree. He married Marilyn Durfee in the Logan Temple in 1964.

In 1965, Gar attended the University of Oklahoma, where he earned a Master of Library Science degree. He was employed at Idaho State University, University of New Mexico, and Arthur Young & Co. before eventually working for the Utah Departments of Health of Social Services.

Gar served one term as mayor of Kaysville, Utah from 1978-1981. He worked with the city council to handle growth and ensure adequate utilities for future residents. The family lived in Kaysville for over 20 years.

In addition to his career, Gar served many years on health and insurance boards, in particular as the chairman for the National Center for Frontier Communities. He was the founding member of the Utah Local Governments Insurance Trust and chaired that Board for 13 years, serving as a board member for over 25 years. He helped create the Utah Medical Education Council before his retirement.

After retirement Gar and Marilyn served a mission for the Church in Birmingham, England. Upon their return, they lived in Provo, Utah until 2020, when the couple moved to Caldwell, Idaho. Gar held many positions of leadership in the Church and community and was an emigrant trails enthusiast, serving as president of the Oregon California Trails Association twice.

Gar loved to travel and never took the same road twice if he could help it. He visited all 50 states and at least 28 foreign countries. He enjoyed photographing Earth’s natural features.

Gar is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marilyn Durfee Elison; children Lezlie (Neil) Thorne, Brook (Michelle) Elison, Shawn (Janamarie) Elison, Clint (Amy) Elison, Megan (Peter) Vandre, and Holly (Michael) Stewart; siblings Clair (Jan) Elison, Allie (Kent) Heber, Paula (Elvis) Dean, Doyle (Glenda) Elison, Marla (Steve) Deakins, and Emily Engar; 19 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will take place at the LDS Chapel in Malta, Idaho (Fourth St N) on July 25, 2022, at noon. There will be a viewing at Zeyer Funeral Chapel in Nampa, Idaho (83 N Midland Blvd) on July 15 from 6 to 8 p.m.

A ZOOM link has been provided for family and friends who are unable to attend the services.


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