Elna J. (Welsh) Hendricks

1930-2020 • La Grande

Elna Jeanette Hendricks, 90, of La Grande and formerly a longtime resident of Elgin, died June 22 at her home. A viewing is planned for July 2 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Loveland Funeral Chapel. Masks are required, and no more than five people at a time will be permitted in the chapel. A graveside service will begin at 10 a.m. July 3 at the Summerville Cemetery. Social distancing and masks are strongly encouraged.

Elna was born June 16, 1930, in Rockport, Utah, to David Hartwell and Amanda Tilley (Larson) Welsh. During her life she lived in Coalville, Peoa and Provo, Utah, and in Spray, Elgin and La Grande. She graduated from South Summit High School in Kamas, Utah, in 1948.

On Aug. 22, 1950, Elna married Donald Ray Hendricks at the LDS Temple in Logan, Utah. The couple settled in Elgin where Don became the shop teacher at Elgin High School. They had five children: Craig, Gary, Debbie, Dave and Karyl.

Elna was well known in the Elgin community as an employee of Elgin Hardware and later as the longtime librarian at the Elgin City Library, where she advocated for literacy, promoted children’s literature and connected the library with the state interlibrary system. She also was known for her magnificent bread baking and for knitting white baby sweaters for family, friends and neighbors.

A lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elna served many years at the Elgin LDS church as Primary president and Relief Society president and was involved in indexing and digitizing family history records.

In addition to family history, Elna enjoyed sewing, quilting and ceramics, and she was an avid reader. She was a charter member of the Elgin Museum and Historical Society, for which she loved volunteering.

In 2005, Elna moved to La Grande. She was diagnosed with inoperable and terminal cancer on her 90th birthday and succumbed to the disease just six days later.

Surviving relatives include her children and their spouses, Craig and Charlene Hendricks of Philomath, Gary and Cathy Hendricks of Kennewick, Washington, Debbie Waite of Centerville, Utah, Dave and Eileen Hendricks of Boardman, and Karyl and Ted Kramer of La Grande; brothers and sisters-in-law, Stanley and Stella of Orem, Utah, and Richard and Artie of Anchorage, Alaska; and 11 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Don; brothers, Dave, Don and Floyd; son-in-law, Reed Waite; and her parents.

Online condolences may be made to the family at www.lovelandfuneralchapel.com.

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I have had the opportunity for last several years around Memorial Day to visit briefly with Aunt Elna, including this year on May 26th. At that time she said she was feeling well except for her arthritic hands. If I had know her time was short I would have extended my visit. Even with the pandemic, she wanted to have a hug just before I left. Now she is gone, but the memories remain. I'm glad she didn't have to suffer long following her diagnosis. Nephew - Kent Welsh

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