Elaine James Homer
1939 ~ 2021
Elaine James Homer of Draper, UT, gracefully passed away October 24, 2021, at the age of 81 after a lengthy decline due to vascular dementia, while surrounded by family. Always fond of fall time, she was born on November 16, 1939, in Salt Lake City, UT to Edwin James and Margaret Lange James, but grew up in Rock Springs, Wyoming. With her father as the Mayor and her love of quality, stylish clothing that she frequently made herself (4H winner at the state fair), she developed a reputation among her peers for being "cool" and aloof. She claimed she was just too shy to be all "bubbly".
Elaine branched out from her Wyoming roots by attending BYU in Provo, UT, graduating with a BA (Clothing & Textiles), joining her three other sisters as college graduates. While there she met an independent and self-assured classmate. She says she fell in love with Russ as they danced, side by side, and decided to join this ambitious Californian on whatever adventure would come their way. Married in the Logan Temple on March 29, 1963, they joined together in a partnership to last a lifetime. It may have seemed to some as if she worked in Dad's shadow but in reality, it was a life they created "side by side", Elaine doing her part in a partnership that raised five children in several states from coast to coast.
Living in Oakland, Concord, and Fresno CA, along with Houston TX, Redmond WA, and several years in Danbury CT, and even Frankfurt, Germany may have been well outside the comfort zone for this Wyoming girl, but Elaine didn't shy away from the inevitable opportunities to try new things, handle new challenges, and meet so many people. Eventually, Russ and Elaine came back West, settling in Sandy UT for life on Royal Lane. But they weren't done as they headed away from their lovely home to serve two LDS church missions.
Serving with Russ in the New York Rochester Mission as directors of the Hill Cumorah Visitor Center in Palmyra, NY gave her unique experiences leading tours and serving at the Mormon Handcart Historic Sites in Wyoming Mission on the high plains of Wyoming brought her back to the sagebrush and unforgiving winds of her childhood. No matter where she found herself Elaine was committed to serving in her church, whatever the calling. Whether leading music for Primary, playing the piano, teaching, leading the women in the Relief Society she blessed the lives of others not only with her faith and talents but her refined way of living life.
A great cook, she loved "entertaining", getting everyone together—always with the best table settings because "presentation is everything". Even in her final times with us, she loved nothing more than watching everyone at family parties, with all the noisy interactions and kids running around.
Even if she would have hesitated in choosing them intentionally, she didn't say "no" to hard things. Whether it was on church missions, or living in another country, speaking to elementary students or tourists as a long-time docent (14 years) at the LDS Church Museum of History and Art, meeting new people all over the US, or figuring out where to find a new dentist for her children after every move, she always gave these challenges the best of herself with grace, elegance, and always with a bit of class because, why not?
Elaine is survived by her husband of 58 years, J. Russell Homer, and her five children, Keith Homer (Kristin), Sheila Carroll (Stephen), Craig Homer (Gretchen), Brad Homer (Crystal), Janelle Blackham (Bren) along with 17 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren----also by her dear sisters Carol Lindsey and Marilee Vlam, preceded in death earlier this year by her eldest sister, Joan Dewey.
A viewing will be held at Larkin Sunset Gardens on 10600 South 1950 East in Sandy, on Friday, October 29th, 6:00-8:00. With an extra viewing on Saturday, October 30th, (10:00-10:45), followed by a funeral service at 11:00. Interment will be after the service at Wasatch Lawn Cemetery 3401 South Highland Dr.
Published by Deseret News from Oct. 27 to Oct. 29, 2021.