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Gay Elliker

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Gay Elliker Obituary
Gay Elliker

Zora Gay Elliker passed away December 28, 2016.

Gay was born on November 5, 1936, to Tobe and Dona Cartwright of Beaver, Utah. She was raised in Beaver and named Miss Sweetheart Beaver 1955.

Gay went to cosmetology school in Salt Lake City where she met and fell in love with Shirl T Elliker. They were married in the St. George Utah LDS Temple on June 26, 1956.

Gay and Shirl started their life together in Las Vegas where he worked as a barber and she a beautician until they had their first daughter. Over the next 13 years they welcomed three more daughters and a son into their family. In 1973 the Ellikers moved to Reno where Gay and Shirl opened their jewelry store, Jewelart.

It was at Jewelart that Gay began her teaching career in arts and crafts leading her to the position of Arts & Crafts Director for the City of Reno, a job she held for 20 years. During her time in Reno's Department of Recreation, she created the Magic of Santa Arts and Crafts Faire which she continued directing until 2014.

After her retirement from the City of Reno, Gay and Shirl expanded their love of antiques to a full-time business. They established Antiques and Treasures in downtown Reno and Tanners Marketplace, an antiques, collectibles, and crafts show in the Reno Livestock Events Center. Additionally, Gay maintained a booth at the Virginia Street Antique Mall until her death.

While their kids were small Gay and Shirl made outdoor family activities a priority, leaving their kids with many fond memories of camping, fishing, and hunting. Following the kids' interest in participating in Soap Box Derby, Gay and Shirl became the directors of the Nevada Soap Box Derby and represented Nevada in Ohio many times in the Ohio Soap Box Derby Championships.

Committed 49ers fans, Gay and Shirl maintained season tickets to the games for over 15 years. The family loved tailgating and traveled to various away-games. Gay and Shirl were also passionate about Reno's Hot August Nights. They loved shining up their 1959 Ford pickup each August to join in on the parades and shows.

Gay's greatest joy was in her kids and their achievements, especially the accomplishment of being good parents. Her pride was in that she and Shirl raised five children whose honesty and work ethic served as a great example to the grandkids. Gay was a devoted grandma, never missing birthdays, constantly attending sporting events, and maintaining a keen interest in the grandkids' progress and successes. She took such joy in her three great grandsons.

Gay is survived by her four daughters DiAnn, Janet, Laura, and Linda, her sons-in-law John, Craig, and Chris, her daughter-in-law Megan, her grandchildren, Rand, Kayla (James), Amanda (Danny), Katelynn (Nathaniel), Wes, Dustin, Lincoln, Jocelyn, and Benjamin, her great grandsons Hunter, Davis, and Luke, and her brother Allan (Camille).

Gay is preceded in death by her husband Shirl, her son Jim, her granddaughter Callie, and her grandson Tyler.

A viewing will be held Thursday January 5th from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM at Walton's Funeral Home (O'Brien-Rogers & Crosby) at 600 West Second Street in Reno. Phone: (775) 323-6191.
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal from Jan. 4 to Jan. 5, 2017
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