The following are obituaries that appeared in the May 20, 2015 print edition of the Star Valley Independent.
For more local obituaries, please visit Schwab Mortuary.
Darrel Ray Jenkins, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and a true friend, passed from this life on May 11, 2015. He was surrounded by those he treasured, his family, at the time of his death. Darrel was born on Jan. 18, 1920 to John Raymond Jenkins and Lula Irene Haderlie Jenkins in Freedom, Wyoming only about one fourth of a mile east of where he and his wife, Magdalene, raised their family. He was the third child and the first boy of the family. Darrel spent much of his childhood like many farm boys of the day, feeding, milking, and other daily chores necessary for family farms to survive. Later, two more sisters and two brothers were brought into the mix on the farm. Darrel attended the schools in Star Valley graduating from Star Valley High at the age of 16. In the fall of 1940, Darrel was called to serve a mission to the East Central States headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. He spent much of his time in Virginia and North Carolina. While there he contracted Malaria, which flared up many times over the course of his life. War had broken out while Darrel was on his mission and upon his return in November of 1942 he promptly tried to enlist in the military, but the Malaria was cause for the military to refuse his enlistment. However, his younger brother LaVor enlisted in the Marine Corp, and later served in the South Pacific. He lost his life on the island of Iwo Jima. In the fall of 1947, Darrel became reacquainted with Magdalene Duncan, from North Carolina. Darrel was familiar with the family from the mission field and when he found out that Magdalene was in Idaho Falls to visit her sister for two weeks he went to visit. Having spent five years looking for the perfect woman he decided when he saw her for the first time in Idaho Falls, she was the one. He persuaded her to stay out west and marry him, which she did on November 14, 1947. Darrel accomplished many of his personal dreams of climbing the Grand Teton and skydiving, etc. However, his greatest accomplishment was enjoying the love of his wife, children and his posterity of 23 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. He provided a lifetime of examples of genuine service to his fellow man. He was a lifelong and faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He truly enjoyed the two missions he and Magdalene served in Eufala, Alabama in 1983 and Florence, South Carolina in 1992. Darrel and Magdalene had seven children: LaVor (Barbara), Sue Tolman (Ron), Lavon Jake (Pam), Betty Jo (deceased), Earl (Jill), Kim (Debbie), Curt (Melanie). Darrel was preceded in death by his lovely wife Magdalene, his daughter, one grandson, two sisters, and two brothers.
John Melvin Robinson, “Big John,” 82, peacefully returned to his Heavenly Father on Thursday, May 14, 2015. John was born July 14, 1932, in Freedom, Idaho. Despite the fact that he was born three months premature, and weighed only three pounds at birth, he grew up to be a giant of a man, both in stature and in spirit. He was the son of John Melvin Robinson and Leone Augusta Erickson Robinson of Tin Cup, Idaho. The family lived in Tin Cup on the Robinson homestead where John developed a strong work ethic side-by-side with his nine siblings. His parents instilled in him a deep love for the gospel of Jesus Christ through their teachings and example. John excelled in sports at Star Valley High School and was awarded a scholarship to play football at Brigham Young University. His years at BYU gave him many opportunities beyond the football field. He was able to obtain a degree, wrestle on BYU’s team, and marry and start a family with his sweetheart, JoAnn Lauritzen Robinson. Throughout their marriage, John and JoAnn resided in Provo; Salt Lake City; Star Valley; and Soda Springs; pursuing different teaching and coaching endeavors. It was in Soda Springs that they enjoyed the majority of their life together. It was here that they raised their three children, John David Robinson, Marion Scott Robinson, and Janet JoAnn Townsend. They finished their teaching careers in New Mexico and Arizona, after which they faithfully served in the Tuba City, Arizona Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had a deep love for the Gospel and served in various callings throughout his life. Big John’s life revolved around sports. He loved to coach football and wrestling. Nothing brought him more joy than watching his children and grandchildren play and excel at their sporting endeavors. He enjoyed following Scott’s teams and helping out where he could. He had a deep love for BYU football and would spend hours analyzing different plays. He spent a lot of time with his best pal, Tim Johnson, gardening and fishing. Following Joann’s death in 2012, John was blessed with the companionship of Allene Winters Astle Heiner of Grover. Allene brought music, light, and life to John’s last couple of years on earth. John is survived by his wife, Allene, of Soda Springs; three children, David (LaNae) Robinson of Thatcher, Idaho; Scott (Shirley) Robinson of Evanston; and Janet Townsend of Georgetown, Texas. He is survived by six siblings: Bruce, Rose, Mary Lou, Merrill, Clint, and Augusta. He was also survived by nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, JoAnn, his parents, and three siblings: VerLene, Renn, and Lynn. Funeral services will be held at the Hooper LDS church in Soda Springs on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, at noon with a viewing prior to the service from 10-11:45 a.m. Internment will follow at the Freedom Cemetery. Big John will be missed by all of his family, friends, and his former students and players. We will miss his twinkling eyes and positive, uplifting spirit in our lives. We know he’ll keep coaching and cheering us from heaven’s sidelines. Until we meet again, Coach.
John Rowley was born at home Jan. 22, 1941 in Parowan, Utah to Waldo F. And Rita L. Rowley. He was the 5th of six children. After high school he joined the U.S. Navy in 1958 and served three tours in Southeast Asia on the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, U.S.S. Oriskany, U.S.S. Midway and was honorably discharged after nine years of service, in 1967. He had the privilege of working for Solar Turbines, a Caterpillar Company, allowing him to travel to over 100 countries and attain a degree in business management from San Diego State University. John moved to Star Valley in 2001 and made wonderful friends during his time in Smoot. He lost his sisters Ann and Rita Rae and his brother Richard. He is survived by his wife Anne Rowley after 40 years of wonderful marriage, and by his sister Coralie and brother David, five children; Kathryn, Lisa, Jackie, Mike, Debi, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Graveside services were held Monday, May 18 in the Parowan, Utah Cemetery with full military honors.
LaRue Roberts Stevens passed away peacefully at home in Lindon, Utah on May 11, 2015 surrounded by the love of her family. She was born in beautiful Star Valley to Lorin and Ruth Hokanson Roberts on June 5, 1925. She was the eldest of five children. As a young girl she loved exploring the mountains with her father, riding her horse Midge and learning new things. She was a stellar student, graduating from high school just after her 17th birthday, and Ricks College two years later with a degree in education. She taught in a one-room school house in Swan Valley Idaho and then moved to a “city” school in Montpelier, Idaho. She was a beloved teacher and a few of her students kept in contact, writing to her for over 65 years. While teaching in Montpelier, she was introduced to her future husband Arvel M. Stevens and after a courtship which included fishing trips and lots of visits to the ice cream parlor, they were married in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on June 22, 1948. They made their home in Seattle, Wash., where they raised their family. LaRue had a passion for learning and instilled a love of knowledge and curiosity in her children and grandchildren, many of whom now hold advanced college degrees. She was an avid library user and voracious reader, the Orem Library was one of her “happiest places on earth.” In her 70s and early 80s she simultaneously belonged to three different book groups. She was a skilled seamstress and loved to sew and design her own clothes, knit beautiful sweaters, play the piano, as well as grow flowers and vegetables in her garden and take long walks along the beach at Puget Sound. She made wonderful salads and cinnamon rolls. She worked as a proof-reader for a Seattle paper and found great joy in her volunteer work at Highland Park Elementary School teaching struggling children to read. She was truly generous with her time, talents, and shared all with those in need. LaRue had a sparkling smile and twinkling eyes that brightened the room and made everyone feel welcome and at ease. She was loved by all who knew her. Young children were especially drawn to her, she had a unique gift for working with them. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother, and each child felt like they were “the favorite.” She especially enjoyed her watching her family play in school soccer and baseball games. She was a huge baseball fan and loved following the Mariners’ successes. LaRue was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was a faithful visiting teacher and served in Primary and Relief Society in various capacities. She loved serving in the Seattle Temple and for many years once a week on her day off would take a 40-minute bus ride to Bellevue, attend two sessions and ride the bus home. She had a strong testimony of the gospel and tremendous faith in her Savior, Jesus Christ. LaRue is survived by her six children: Merleen (Lee) Malmberg, Farmington, Utah; Steve, Montpelier, Idaho; Richard (Lucy), Auburn, Wash.; Mark (Lori), Lindon, Utah; Christine Stevens, Renton, Wash.; Alan (Barbara), Farmington, Utah. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren: Eric (Kerryn), David, Nathan Malmberg, Ben Stevens, Jared (Melena), Mark (Kendall), Jon Stevens (Porsche), Elisabeth (Russell) Whitchurch, Joshua, Jon, Rachelle, and Rebecca, Stevens; and nine great-grandchildren; her brother Briscoe (Brenda) Roberts, of Rexburg, Idaho, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Cliel Roberts, sisters Beth Roberts, Gayle Weeks, and her husband Arvel. Services were held Friday, May 15 in Lindon, Utah. Interment took place in the Lindon City Cemetery.
William Delbert “Bill” Bagley, Cheyenne attorney and author, died Thursday, May 7, 2015 at Davis Hospice in Cheyenne, after a lengthy illness. Bill was born March 28, 1940 in Star Valley, to Della Evalena Newswander Bagley and William Burton Bagley. Bill was the grandson of Nora Neap Newswander, Godfrey A. Newswander, Josephine Burton Bagley and William Lester Bagley. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Ann “Margi” Seward Bagley and their three sons, William S. (Billy) Bagley; John M. Bagley; and Christopher J. Bagley. He is also survived by his sisters, Nora Jo Bagley Taggart; and Barbara Bagley Jenkins. He is also survived by his uncle, Dean Bagley. Bill graduated from Star Valley High School in 1958. He attended the University of Wyoming for both undergraduate and law school. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Juris Doctorate Degrees there. Bill was an ambitious young man. He started working as a newspaper boy. From there he was a grocery clerk, hardware store clerk, operated a bowling alley. He ran juke boxes, bought wrecked cars and then traded or sold them for parts. He cut and treated timber for fence posts and pole construction. He sold farming supplies and wholesale chemicals to weed and pest districts. He was a park ranger in Yellowstone and also worked as a law clerk in Cheyenne. After graduation from law school in 1964, Bill passed the Wyoming Bar and became a campaign manager for Teno Roncalio, who was elected that fall to the U.S. Congress. Bill served as his Administrative Assistant, Legislative Assistant, Office Manager and Campaign Manager in the 89th Congress. It was during that time that Bill met his future wife. They were married Sept. 6, 1965 in Arlington, Va. Bill and his family returned to Cheyenne, where he began his successful law practice in 1967. Bill was a member of the Laramie County and American Bar Associations and the Commercial Law League of America. In 1971, Bill was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He was also a member of the National Panel of Arbitrators and the American Arbitration Association. With Phil Whynott, Bill co-authored Wyoming Corporate Law Practices. He edited the Limited Liability Company Reporter for 20 years and authored Wyoming Corporate Law Practice. The LLC law that is favored by small businesses, was first established in Wyoming. Bill was chairman of the Wyoming Bar Association Business Law Section, a member of the Wyoming LLC Statutory Review Committee, a member of the Committee on Partnerships and Unincorporated Organizations, and of the Subcommittee on Limited Liability Companies of the American Bar Association of the Business Law. He was also a frequent speaker at Advanced Limited Liability Company, Estate Planning and Business Organization seminars. In 1978 Bill was the Democratic Candidate for the United States House of Representatives. He lost that election to Dick Cheney. Bill had a lifelong love of politics and was involved in many civic and Wyoming State associations. Bill loved his life, his work and especially his family. He died after a valiant battle with cancer.