Elwood Grant Olenslager "Woody", age 88 passed away in the early morning hours on May 28, 2020 in Layton, Utah with his two daughters by his side. He was born November 27, 1931 to Alvin Olsen Olenslager and Veda Kate Nichols in Rupert, ID.
Elwood's parents divorced when he was young, and he spent his early years in Carson City with his mother and two brothers. Elwood's mother worked long hours leaving him and his two brothers to get into a lot of trouble so at the age of eight his mom put Elwood and his two brothers on a bus to Rupert, ID to live with relatives. Elwood was raised by his Uncle Bill and Aunt Eva Nichols on their farm. This is where he learned many skills and learned to work hard that he took into adulthood. Elwood graduated from Rupert High School in 1951 where he lettered in and played on the high school basketball team.
Elwood married his high school sweetheart, Fern Rytting, on January 28, 1951 and into this union were born four children Mike, Grant, Denice and Nancy. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls Temple.
Elwood was a jack of all trades - there wasn't anything he couldn't do. He had many jobs throughout his life including working for Parker's Laundry, which he later purchased, Triple C Concrete, Larsen Chevrolet, and the Bureau of Land Management when he was forced into early retirement due to an accident on the job. Elwood spent many hours, days and weeks during the summers fighting fires for the BLM. He was their best CAT driver and cut many fire lines.
Elwood was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gave many years of service in many callings. He was instrumental in overseeing many remodels of the churches in the area including being over the construction of the Heyburn church. Elwood was also active in the community helping to restore the Historic Wilson Theater. He also was very active in planning his many high school reunions which he was currently doing when he started to show signs of dementia six years ago.
Elwood was very proud of his children and grandchildren and supported them in all they did. He spent many Valentine's Days and Mother's Days delivering flowers and running parts for the car wash. He went to baseball games, volleyball games and spent many hours babysitting the grand kids. The grand kids always said if it was broke, Grandpa could fix it.
Elwood is survived by his children: Mike (Carolyn) Olenslager of Enoch, Utah, LaRetta Olenslager (daughter in law of Panguitch, Utah, Denice (Stan)Buckley of Jackson, Idaho and Nancy (Dean)Woolsey of Burley. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren,48 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild. One brother, Les Olenslager of St. George, Utah and a half-sister Sherry Olenslager Clarke of Oregon.
Elwood is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Fern Olenslager, a son Grant Olenslager, two brothers Alvin Olsen Olenslager Jr. (died as a young child) and Holt Olenslager and a half-sister Renee Olenslager.
Grave side service will held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at the Rupert Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Joel Heward Hansen Mortuary.
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