Elsie Calton Wilson, 99, of Rupert, was reunited with her eternal companion after a 31-year separation on June 7, 2021, just three weeks short of turning 100.
Elsie Calton was born on June 29, 1921 in Cedar Fort, Utah, to Joseph and Mary Calton. She was one of 11 children, including a twin sister Eliza. She attended school in Lehi, Utah and graduated from Lehi High School in 1939. She received several scholarships and attended Henager Business College in Salt Lake City. She married Rex E. Wilson, the love of her life, on January 12, 1942, in Champaign, Illinois. They were later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on June 6, 1946. Rex was an active member of the Air Force, which allowed them to live in numerous places, including Illinois, North Carolina, Mississippi, Kansas, and California. Together Rex and Elsie had five children, Butch, Fred, Louise, Tony, and Patty. When Rex retired from the military, they settled in Rupert, Idaho. Elsie lived in the same homestead they originally moved to in 1962 until she moved to a care center at the young age of 95. Elsie was a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served as the ward organist for many decades while also fulfilling numerous other church callings. In 1995 she was called to serve a Family History Mission in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Elsie absolutely loved playing the piano and organ. She taught herself to play the piano as a child and continued to play throughout her life. She frequently said, “I wish I had learned to play the piano.” Anyone that heard her play would not believe that she was self-taught. She played for musical numbers, choirs, weddings, funerals, and church meetings her entire life. Music brought her so much joy, and this legacy lives on in many of her children and grandchildren.
Quilting was a passion and talent that Elsie had. She pieced quilts for her children and grandchildren, and hand quilted most of them. You could find random thimbles throughout her house at any given time. Up until her late 80’s, she could still independently quilt, even thread the needle herself. You would hear an occasional “doggone it” and sometimes see blood as she worked on a quilt that took up her entire living room. Elsie was a wonderful cook and has given her family fond memories of her chicken noodle soup, cream puffs, bread, and scones. She also loved sports and could often be found in the stands at her children’s and grandchildren’s ballgames. Elsie loved watching baseball on TV and would yell at the umpires. She may not have been as vocal as Rex, but she was a close second.
Elsie never really saw her true skills in the things that she did. We seldom had a meal without her saying, “it’s not my best.” We always wondered what the best would taste like since everything she made was delicious. She was hardworking, talented, loving, and kind. Members of the church or community knew that they could rely on her to help whenever she was asked. While we are so sad to see her go, and she will be greatly missed, we are excited that she is now reunited with so many of her family.
Elsie is preceded in death by her parents, her 10 siblings, and her husband Rex Wilson.
Elsie is fortunate enough to be survived by her five children, Butch (Karen), Fred (Louise), Louise (Paul), Tony, and Patty (Merrill). 17 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
A viewing will be held Thursday, June 10, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., at Hansen Mortuary in Rupert. A second viewing will be held prior to the Funeral Services from 10 - 10:45 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - Day Saints, Rupert 1st ward building. The Funeral Service will be held Friday, June 11 at 11:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Rupert 1st Ward Building, 806 G Street, Rupert. Interment will take place at the Rupert Cemetery.
The family would like to thank the team at Countryside Care Center, who have been so kind and wonderful in taking care of Elsie for the last three years. They will forever hold a special place in our hearts. Services are under the direction of Joel Heward Hansen Mortuary.
To view the livestream of the funeral service, click here.
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