Elwin Smith, 88, of Pocatello returned to his Heavenly Father May 25, 2019. He was born to David LaMont Smith and Martha May Lusk on March 8, 1931. The oldest of five children, he was raised in Sugar City, Idaho and graduated from Sugar-Salem High in 1950. Elwin attended Ricks Academy in Rexburg, Idaho before serving a mission to the Central States. When he returned, he became a member of Lamba Delta Sigma at the LDS Institute on the Idaho State University Campus and served as the president. Elwin served in the Army from 1954-1956 as a member of the 313th Communication Reconnaissance Battalion.
At the LDS Institute, Elwin met a pretty brunette named Nelda Dahlke and they became good friends. They became engaged when Nelda asked to try on his fraternity pin one day and never took it off. Everyone started congratulating them on their engagement and neither one denied it. Nelda waited patiently for him to return from the service and to pursue his interest in dry farming, before they were finally married Dec. 2, 1960.
Elwin spent the next few years operating a dry farm with his uncles: Delos, Rupert, and Jesse in Burley, Idaho. During this time, Elwin and Nelda were blessed with two sons, Kendahl and then Ladd. Eventually, he left farming to sell insurance for New York Life and later went to work for FMC. A daughter, Laura, soon joined the family. That same year they purchased a piece of land in Pocatello where Elwin could keep his horses. It affectionately became known as "The Ten Acres". He built a barn, corrals, and perimeter fence for the property. Many happy memories came from all the hard work and fun times there.
Elwin was very inventive and mechanically minded. He obtained a patent for a product he invented for FMC and began his own business to produce it called Pine Pole Products. He spent a lot of time in Island Park cutting and hauling trees to acquire the wood used for it. Nelda and Elwin also owned a children's shop which Nelda ran for 7 years.
Elwin decided to further his adventures by purchasing a 16,000 acre cattle ranch in Dubois, Idaho with his Uncle Delos and Cousin Byron. The family had great fun camping, fishing, and herding cattle on the ranch. Elwin's cousin Lynn was his best ranch buddy, often joining him for roundups and fence repairs. Being a great welder and skilled craftsmen, Elwin built many things for his ranching operations over the years including a cattle rack for his truck and his "Diamond-Bar-E" branding iron.
After he closed his business, Elwin became a truck driver for Systems 99, later called Sundance. In 1984 he began driving for Yellow Freight Company where he drove semi-trucks pulling double and even triple trailers until his retirement.
Elwin was active in the LDS Church and held many callings during his life including Young Men's Advisor, Sunday School President, and Activities Chairman for the 16th Ward. He amazed everyone with the elaborate ward parties he planned. Elwin was very generous and a great example of serving others; often helping family, friends, or neighbors in need. He was also a tremendous missionary and very knowledgeable of the scriptures.
Elwin loved animals and had many beloved pets over the years. He especially enjoyed spending time on the "Ten Acres" and "The Ranch" with his kids and riding his favorite quarter horse, Polly. Nothing made him happier than a good rodeo or lively horse sale. He also had a great appreciation for music and liked to listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. His favorite things included John Wayne movies, eating at Sizzler, cinnamon rolls, and traveling to Yellowstone Park with Nelda. They had many fun trips there before she passed away in 2003.
Elwin was proud that he was an "Idaho Boy" and wanted to keep it that way, even after age began to take its toll on him and his children tried to convince him to move near them in Utah. Although we will miss him, we know dad is happy to be reunited with mom, our brother Kendahl, and all the other family and friends who have preceded him in death. He looked forward to that reunion and summed up his time on earth with "I have had a good life".
Elwin is survived by his son Ladd Smith of St. George, Utah; his daughter Laura (Tracy) Mikesell of Logan, Utah; 7 grandchildren Andrew Mikesell of Saitama, Japan; Alyssa Mikesell Palmer and Amanda Mikesell of Logan, Utah; Shay and Marienna Smith of Salt Lake City, Utah; Jordan and Garrett Smith of Pocatello, Idaho.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Martha Browning, his wife Nelda Dahlke Smith, and son Kendahl LaMont Smith.
At Elwin's request no funeral or viewing will be held. We will honor him at a graveside service on Monday June 3, 2019 at 11:00 am at Mountain View Cemetery, 1520 S. 5th Ave. Pocatello.
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