The following are obituaries that appeared in the January 27, 2016 print edition of the Star Valley Independent.
For more local obituaries, please visit Schwab Mortuary by clicking here.
Amy Meleese Jenkins, 50, passed away Jan. 14, 2016. She had been battling cancer. Funeral services were held Jan. 20, 2016 in Afton. Burial took place in the Fairview Cemetery. Amy was born June 13, 1965 in Afton to Kenneth and Meleese Nebeker. She received her GED and attended beauty school in Logan. During her life Amy worked at the experiment farm in Afton, was a nanny in New York and New Mexico, owned her own beauty shop, worked for the weed and pest in Texas and worked for the postal service. She married Rick Nield of Afton, they were later divorced. She married Kirk Garrus of Albuquerque, N.M. They were later divorced. She met the love of her life, Mike Jenkins, and two beautiful girls. Amy was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is survived by her children: Rachel Meleese Jenkins, Fort Worth, Texas; and Paige Merie Jenkins, Fort Worth, Texas. She is also survived by siblings: David (Christine) Welchman, Afton; Eric Nebeker, Smoot; Dee (Sue) Helm, Smoot; Leslie Nebeker, Afton; and Ed Nebeker, Smoot.
David Gardner Roberts, age 94, passed away peacefully Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, at the home of his son, Kirk Roberts in Fairfax County, Va. David was born June 24, 1921, to David Ephraim Roberts and Viola Jane Gardner in Afton, the oldest of seven children. Additionally, he had three half-brothers and one half-sister from his father’s two previously deceased wives. He married Dorothy B. Roberts in the Salt Lake LDS Temple in 1947, and had 63 happy years together until she passed in 2010. They had four sons, 15 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren. David grew up during the depression, working hard to support his parents and brothers and sisters. He served with honor in the US Army Air Corps during WWII. Prior to the War he attended University of Wyoming and after the War attended and graduated from U of Utah. He chose a career in Social Work. He received: an MSSA from Western Reserve University at Cleveland with field work in psychiatric social work; a third year post-graduate certification in Medical Social Work at University of Chicago; and performed doctoral work at Washington University at St. Louis. From 1948-1968, he served as VA Chief of Social Services in SLC; Assistant Professor at the University of Utah Graduate School of Social Work; Director of Social Services Department at SL County General Hospital; and Director of the Social Services Department at U of Utah Medical Center. He integrated social workers into hospitals to support patient medical care, and served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Social Workers and on other boards dealing with alcoholism, medicine, and administration. In 1968, he accepted a position at University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work and later became the Acting Dean. He taught Medicine and Social Work, and Aging and Social Work; and directed the graduate students’ field work. David never lost interest in the sports of his youth, wrestling and boxing. He loved learning, designed and built furniture, was an amateur photographer, and wrote three histories on the Roberts family (fathers side), Gardner family (mothers side), and his WWII experience. David lived a long life of quiet and humble service to others. Throughout he demonstrated constant love and concern for, and communicated with his extended family, friends, and those in need. He is survived by: his brother, Delaine Roberts; his sister, Deona Hobbs; his four sons Craig (Kathi), Kirk (Diane), Jeff (Tammie), and Mark (Marilyn); 12 grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. at the LDS Great Falls Ward chapel on Thursday, Jan. 28, located at 1325 Scotts Run Road, McLean Va. The funeral will be on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at noon with a viewing at 10:30 a.m. in the Etna LDS Chapel in Star Valley.
In the words of a friend, “The sky was set on fire January 13, 2016, as heaven welcomed home its newest angel, Heather Owens.” She was born Feb. 19, 1981 to Gary and Patricia Owens. She was a constant source of positive energy, excitement, and happiness to all who knew her. Her nieces and nephews considered her their personal super-hero. Heather was truly one of a kind! She was wildly fun from her earliest days. As a young girl, she was affectionately nicknamed “Animal” due to her boundless energy and drive. From the start she exhibited talents of amazing creativity, acceptance, and love of all people and animals. She had a zest and passion for new adventures. She enjoyed hiking with cousins, dinner with friends, lazy afternoons with a blanket, snuggles with animals, and all seasons of time and life. Heather was a gracious lady with impeccable taste. She is survived by: her father and stepmother, Gary and Kathleen Owens, stepparents, LaRon and Jeannee Stevens, the great love of her life, Ray Davis, siblings Casey (Katie) Owens, Robyn (Sean) Wilson, Cache and Colton Owens, four nieces and two nephews, Ashlyn, Tyler, Ali, Bree Owens, Trisha, Ryker Wilson, her grandparents, Eugene and Shirley Owens, as well as numerous uncles, aunts, cousins and ‘Kitty’ and her kittens. She was welcomed into eternity by her mother, Patricia Stevens, her grandparents, Lynn and Carol Welch, and a host of others happy to see her once again. Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Jan. 19 in South Jordan, Utah. Interment took place in the Orem City Cemetery.
Keith H. Robinson passed away in Afton on Jan. 15, 2016. He was born on Sept. 8, 1922 in Freedom to Alvin and Olive Robinson. He was the youngest of four children. He was welcomed by his siblings Valois, Theo and Vera. Keith’s mother died when he was only four years old. In school he was a member of the basketball team and in 1935 their team won the school championship. As soon as he finished eighth grade he started working on his dad’s ranch. His father, Alvin, married Thetta Sanderson and they were blessed with five more children, three sisters, Ione, Verna and Etta, and two brothers Alvin and Blake. By the summer of 1941 you would find Keith with Verda Titensor almost every night. On Sept. 13, they drove their friends Bill and Beatrice Croft to Idaho Falls to witness their marriage at the justice of the peace. Keith had the only car, and they got a flat tire on the way down. They were late so the judge had gone home. His secretary called him and he said that if they would come to his house, he would perform the ceremony there. After the Croft’s were married, they kept telling Keith and Verda they should just get married too. Finally Keith said, ‘well, we might as well’, so back to the justice of the peace they went where they were married too. They kept their marriage a secret for two weeks. They moved into the old Freedom Post Office where Keith and Theo helped run the ranch. Keith and Verda moved to Idaho Falls where he learned the mechanic trade working for J Ed Browning. Alvin sold the ranch and bought a stockyard in Great Falls, Mont. Keith and Theo took their families and moved up there to help. Keith became the manager of the stockyard and checked all the cattle before they were shipped across the country. After a few years Alvin sold the livestock operation and Theo and Keith moved back to Thayne. Alvin purchased Robinson Motor and Implement where Keith became the mechanic and they sold New Holland farm equipment, Ford tractors and obtained the Studebaker franchise. Shortly before Alvin passed away, Keith and Theo purchased Robinson Motor and Imp from him. They obtained the franchises for GMC and Oldsmobile. Keith was a member of the Afton Volunteer Fire Department for 39 years. He was the fire chief from 1959-1961. Keith and Verda loved to dance. They could do any type of dancing the band would play. Sometimes you would even find Keith singing with the band. Keith also loved the game of golf and had four Hole in Ones. He brought snowmobiles into Star Valley in the early 1960’s. He obtained the Ski Doo franchise and was the back bone to the Star Valley Snow Skippers. Fishing was his true love of nature. Keith could fly fish, ice fish, and catch steelhead on the Salmon River, Salmon in the Rouge River and Mackinaw on Jackson Lake. He acquired many close friends during all his years on the rivers and lakes. Keith and Verda did a lot of camping and hunting with family and friends. After retirement Keith and Verda did a lot of traveling in their trailer house from the west to east coast always stopping to camp and fish along the way. They wintered in Yuma, Ariz., with many of their friends from Star Valley. The family always enjoyed the annual fish fry cook out every summer in Keith and Verda’s backyard. Keith was Mr. Fixit and Mr. Build it in the family. He opened The Barnwood Shop and sold cabinets, bird houses, picture frames, wishing wells and outhouses. With family and friends by their side, Keith and Verda went thru the Rexburg, Idaho LDS Temple and were sealed on Jan 20, 2010. They were married almost 75 years. Keith died peacefully on Jan. 15, 2016. He was met by an entourage of family and friends including two of his grandchildren Terri and Brendan. He was a true Wyoming cowboy that loved this country. He is survived by his loving wife Verda; three children, Karen, Bob and Olive; three sisters, two brothers, six grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 16 great great grandchildren.
Vern Sidney Cleverley was welcomed back into his loving Heavenly Father’s arms, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Vern was 91 years old. He passed away one year, one month and five days after his eternal sweetheart. Vern was born May 21, 1924 in Shelton, Idaho to William James Cleverley and Emily Lucinda Harmon. Vern was the youngest child in a family of 11 children. Vern’s father passed away when Vern was seven years of age. Vern attended grade school in Shelton. After graduating from eighth grade, he started high school in Ucon, Idaho. He left school to help support his family. Vern spent a lot of time in his younger years at his Aunt Mae Barns home, doing odd jobs around her farm to make what money he could to help his mother. In the summer he took jobs herding cattle in Mackay, Idaho and also worked in Alpine, Wyo., helping the farmers get their crops planted. After all of Vern’s siblings were married, he and his mother couldn’t do all the work on the family farm themselves. His mother sold the farm and they moved to Idaho Falls. Vern found a job working for Roger Brother’s Feed Company. On weekends he would go to Alpine to help area farmers get their crops in. In the spring of 1942, he attended a dance in Alpine. It was at this dance he met a girl by the name of Myrle Sessions from Auburn. Vern dated Myrle and the romance blossomed. On Dec. 1, 1942 they were married in the Logan LDS Temple. Dreams for their future were put on hold in February 1943 when Vern was called to go serve his country in World War II. On Feb. 18, 1943 he was inducted into the service. Vern was called to serve with the 11th Airborne Division. He spent two years, nine months and 28 days in the service of his country. One year, six months and 28 days were spent overseas in the Pacific Theater. Vern served in the Phillippines, Luzon, Corregidor, New Guinea, Leyte, Manila, Okinawa and Sendai, Japan. Vern was decorated with lots of ribbons while serving his country, but the one he was most proud of was the Bronze Star Metal awarded for Meritorious Achievements in connection with Military Operations against the enemy on Leyte, Philippine on 6th of December 1944. Vern was a jack of all trades. He hauled logs out of the mountains which were sawed into lumber to build the American Legion Hall in Swan Valley. He worked on the Palisades Dam. Their first son, Vernal James, was born July 6, 1947. The family moved to Star Valley. Vern worked Ty Camp in LaBarge. He also worked at Gomm’s Saw Mill. He worked at the West Vaco Soda Ash Chemical Plant in Rock Springs and at the Rogers Brother’s Seed Company in Idaho Falls. On May 28, 1949 their second son, Galen Ray, was born. In 1954, after moving here and there for work, twins were born. Larnell S. and Larna arrived on July 31, 1954. Vern was offered a steady job working for the Star Valley Creamery Company in Afton. Vern worked at the plant for nine years. Vern was able to find a job working for the Star Valley Feed Company. He worked at that job for 29 years. While he was working there, the business was purchased and became Agri Star Feed Company. After retiring, he worked for Star Studs Saw Mill and then took a job working for the Forest Service in the summers. As they grew older, Vern and Myrle spent time living in their children’s homes. Vern was preceded in death by his parents, all 10 of his siblings, his wife, a grandson, Joshua White, and a daughter-in-law, Janet Hebdon Cleverley. Surviving are his children: Vernal (Karla), Fairview; Galen (Rhonda), West Jordan; Larnell (Tana), Afton; Larna (Homer Bailey), Hardinsburg, Indiana; 17 grandchildren, 27 great grandchldren; two great great grandchildren; 17 step grandchildren; five great step grandchildren; brother-in-law, Donald Sessions. Graveside services for Vern Cleverley will be held Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 at noon in the Auburn Cemetery. Full Military Honors will be presented by the VFW Post 4797 and American Legion Post 49. A viewing will take place from 10-11:45 a.m. prior to the graveside services at Schwab Mortuary.