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Rayola Wanlass

1923 - 2014 Obituary Condolences

Rayola Mae Smith Wanlass, 90, of Ammon, passed away Saturday, July 26, 2014, at Turtle and Crane Assisted Living from causes incident to age.

She was born Dec. 25, 1923, the seventh child born to David Smith and Emily Hancock Smith. She was the first baby born on Christmas Day in the Idaho Falls LDS Hospital. She attended schools in Idaho Falls. Later, she attended Ricks College, now BYU-Idaho, in Rexburg, and Brigham Young University in Provo.

On Oct. 31, 1947, she married Leslie Reuben Wanlass in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple, where they were married by her father, David Smith, who was serving as the Temple President at the time.

Rayola was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where she used her extensive talents to bless the lives of others. In 1958, she and Les moved their family to New Zealand for four years, where they served a teaching mission for the church. After leaving New Zealand, the family moved to Huntington Beach, Calif., and in 1967, they moved back to Idaho Falls-Ammon area, where they made their home and raised their family of eight children.

Rayola had a beautiful, strong voice and was active in both church and community choirs. She was always in great demand by church and community groups for her presentations on food storage including the many different uses of whole wheat, the making of yogurt, cheeses and cottage cheese, and the art of soap making.

Rayola was greatly talented in the art of knitting and crocheting. Through the years, she made countless baby dresses for her daughters, granddaughters and the children of her friends. Her hobbies included gardening, working on being self-sustaining and spending time with her grandchildren. Many of her neighbors benefited from the raspberry and strawberry starts she shared, along with produce from her garden and her apple orchard.

Rayola is survived by her daughters, Emily (Bill) Whipple of Idaho Falls, Cecily (Patrick) Croston of Boise, Mary (Richard) Hiett of Etna, Calif., Lorraine (Jan) Van Komen of Kirkland, Wash., and Rosalie Wanlass of Idaho Falls; and a foster daughter, Diane Evans of New Zealand; sons, Leslie (Chris) Wanlass Jr. and David Wanlass, both of Idaho Falls; 38 grandchildren; 89 great-grandchildren; sisters, LaPrele (Ron) Pond of Idaho Falls and Joanne (Wilford) Ruf of Fountain Green, Utah; sisters-in-law, Mary Smith and Janine Taylor Smith; and a brother-in-law, Kenneth Ellis of Riverton, Utah.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Leslie Reuben Wanlass, who passed away April 26, 2004; a son, Jeremii Cover Wanlass; a granddaughter, Noelle Hiett McKay; a great-grandson, Jordan Tanner Hiett; a great-granddaughter, Clennie Wanlass; sisters, Esther Stosich, Emily Lorraine Wilkinson, Caroline Hancock Thompson and Jeanne Adeline Ellis; brothers, Dr. David Harlin Smith, Albon Llewellyn Smith, Dr. Dale Hancock Smith and Frederick McKay Smith.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Ammon LDS 17th Ward, 2200 Stafford Drive, with Bishop Allan Landon officiating. The family will visit with friends from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Coltrin Mortuary, 2100 First St. in Idaho Falls, and Saturday for one hour prior to services at the church. Burial will be in Fielding Memorial Park Cemetery.

Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.coltrinmortuary.com.

Published in Post Register from July 30 to July 31, 2014
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