Olive Elaine Dana, 93 of Thayne, passed away April 8, 2020, at her home in Thayne to join her eternal companion, Charles Dana. She died from complications of Parkinson’s and old age.
Elaine was born February 19, 1927, to Olive Herrick Heap and Henry Harrison Heap in Thayne Wyoming in her Grandmother Heap’s house. When Elaine was 6 years old, her family’s home burned to the ground. She talked about this quite often. It was a hard thing for such a little girl to witness. They lost everything. Elaine’s mother said she didn’t know what she would have done without the Red Cross and the ward. Elaine and her sister Ruth had to wear bib overalls to school and they were mortified because nobody wore bib overalls but it was the only thing they had to wear.
Elaine went to school in Thayne. She liked school. In the 5th grade Elaine went to Salt Lake for the summer with her teacher Beatrice Murray, to help her. In Elaine’s home there was always a lot of singing going on because her mother would always sing. Elaine and her sister Ruth, sang in church and mutual and in quite a few school plays.
When Elaine was in the 8th grade she got really sick and went to Salt Lake to be treated for bright’s disease, a disease of the kidneys and stayed there that year and got better.
In Elaine’s teenage years, she had two friends that were sisters. Eva Lee and LuJene Watkins. They were 18 and 17 years old and they drowned in Bear Lake. This was hard on Elaine and she talked about them throughout her life.
Elaine met Charles Dana when he came home on furlough during World War II. They married on December 27, 1945 in Ogden, Utah. They were later sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple for time and eternity. They lived on muddy string and farmed for quite a few years. During this time they had four children, Kenneth H., Terry Lane, Debra and Leisa Lorraine.
Elaine has always been a business woman. Her and Charlie opened up a service station in Thayne called Standard Service in 1959. In 1960 they took on the Massey Ferguson dealership. In 1963 they moved from the ranch to their house in Thayne. In 1978 they became a True Value Hardware Store and in 1984 they added V&S Variety to that. They built a new hardware store in 2000 and then sold it in 2002 because of their health. It is now the Thayne True Value.
Elaine and Charlie had been married for 61 years when Charlie died on Sept. 13, 2006. She was totally heartbroken. Her health went down from there. She had lived in three rehab centers for a few months at a time and was always able to return to her home. She fell and broke her wrist in the fall of 2012 and moved into Beyond Home in Afton, and was never able to return home after that until April 6, 2020, two days before she died.
Elaine coached church basketball, volleyball and softball for 25 years. She started as chorister in the primary and then became the ward music director, serving for 52 years. Directed about 34-35 Christmas pageants. She belonged to a group of women called the Variety Club for 38-40 years. She was serving as club president in 1965 when they restored the Thayne Cemetery with the help of the Lions Club and the Bishopric. That was a project that meant the most to her. They raised money to build the shelter at the Thayne Park, bought a piano for the church house, and bought a cast cutter for the hospital and many more community services. She was an EMT for 15 years. She started CARE (Community Awareness Resource Environment) in 1989, which put a drug awareness program in the high school. She served on the Thayne Planning and Zoning Committee for 4 years. Served on the Lincoln County Mental Health Board and the Lincoln County North Mental Health Board. She provided 13 high school students with scholarships. Provided countless people with Christmas’s that her family don’t even know about. She has sung at many funerals and weddings and other functions. Served as Young Women’s presidency for 4 years and Relief Society Work Director for 6 years. She took care of her mother for around 25 years. We know she has helped many family members and friends throughout her life. She also raised three grandchildren.
Elaine was preceded in death by her parents and all of her siblings, her husband Charles, Charles’s parents, and all siblings except one. One son-in-law and one step-grandson. One great grandson and twins-step great grandchildren.
Elaine is survived by her children, Ken (Lesli) Dana of Thayne, Terry (Drew) Stayner of Farmington, Utah, Debra (Dean) Burnham of Thayne, and Leisa (Ruta Horner) Dana of Thayne. 12 grandchildren, 6 step grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren, 11 step great grandchildren, 11 step great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren, 2 great great step grand children, 2 sister-in-laws, Neoma Soelberg and Betty Kelly, and many nieces and nephews.
There will be a condensed funeral for family only on April 13, 2020 at Schwab Funeral Chapel in Thayne, WY. We are totally heartbroken because we cannot have the funeral that she wanted and for all the people who want to share their condolences with us, because of the virus. We are planning on having a memorial for her sometime this summer.
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