From a very young age, Elva was a bright star, independent and fun loving. She was an exuberant soul whose philosophy toward life was “Why not?!!”
Elva, known as “Ma” to her children, “Granny” to her grandchildren and great grandchildren, passed away on March 24, 2014, surrounded by family. Elva was born on Dec. 22, 1920, in Melstone, Mont., the daughter of Harper and Maud Burton. The family lived in Roundup, Lewistown, and Red Lodge, before settling in Roberts, where Elva graduated from high school.
Elva met her future husband, Palmer (Bud) Loyning, in Red Lodge, when she blocked him in with her Model A coup at the Ford Garage.
In time, a snow storm created the perfect opportunity for Elva to close the Roberts Lightening Service Station and elope with Bud to Columbus on Oct. 1, 1944.
Elva and Bud settled on a ranch on Elbow Creek where Elva was Clerk for the Loyning School. In 1955, they purchased the Burton Ranch and moved into Roberts. During this time, they raised four children: Linda, Hanly, Karen and Harper.
Elva was hard working and ambitious. Over the years she managed the Red Lodge Café, was a Stanley Home Products Area Manager, and was the Activities Director at the Carbon County Memorial Hospital.
Having many interests, she ran for Carbon County Commissioner, was a trained EMT, and completed her college degree at age 69. Her beautifully designed cakes graced many weddings and special occasions.
Elva was active in many organizations including the Cowbells, Home Economists and the VFW auxiliary. She was Montana State President of the Business Professional Women’s Club and Montana Farm Bureau.
For recreation, in addition to being wonderfully mischievous, Elva loved to ski the slopes at Red Lodge Mountain. It was her favorite antidote for winter. She also enjoyed waterskiing, listening to Elvis, and fireworks.
Following Bud’s death in 1995, Elva sold the Loyning Ranch and moved to Yuma, Ariz., to enjoy the warm winter seasons. Astoria, Ore., became her summer home with frequent visits to Montana, Utah, and New Mexico, to see her family. She returned to Montana in 2010.
Elva is survived by her children: Linda (Art) Fenley Moyer, of Grants, N.M., Hanly (Rochelle) Loyning, of Roberts, Karen (Bob) Wrench, of Billings, and Harper (Nancy Stark) Loyning, of Salt Lake City. Also surviving are nine grandchildren, each lovingly called “Dolly”: Randy Martin, Bill (Denise) Martin, Carl (Denise) Loyning, Amber (Bob) Hogg, David (Ellie) Wrench, Greg (Cheri) Wrench, Susan (Tony) Frederickson, Wendy (Joe Harkins) Loyning and Sam Stark-Loyning; eleven great- grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Violet Ekle of Columbus; and brother-in-law Ray Loyning of Bridger; and many nieces and nephews.
Elva was preceded in death by her husband, Bud, of fifty years; her parents; her brother and his wife, Dr. Hanly and Martha Burton; and two great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the staff at Tender Nest Assisted Living for their kindness toward our wonderful mother and their thoughtful care. A special thanks to Pastor Bob Reed for being at Elva’s side and comforting our family.
Elva was a lady ahead of her time. Being with her was always fun and eventful. We will miss her amazing spirit. A summer Celebration of Life will be scheduled at a later date.
Memorials may be made in Elva’s name to the Alzheimer Association, Montana Chapter, 3010 11th Ave. N, Billings, MT 59101.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.dahlfuneralchapel.com