Elsie Holyoak

Elsie was born March 31 1919, in Kanab, Utah, to George Franklin and Ruby Spencer Swapp.  She received another calling from her Heavenly Father to join him across the Pearly Gates on February 11, 2018.

Elsie grew up in the beautiful red hills of Kanab during the pioneer times.  She grew up helping her father who was a cattleman and her mother who was a proper home maker.  She learned the value of working the land with her hands and homemaking.  She attended all her schooling in Kanab, she played basketball and became the team captain.

As a young woman she worked at Parry Lodge and then for a short period relocated near the Civilian Conservation Core (CCC) in Northern Arizona to help feed the personnel working in the camps.  After leaving Northern Arizona she went back to Parry Lodge where she worked in the restaurant and eventually met John Howard Boies, who she married at Parry Lodge in 1938.  Together they had two daughters Bernice and Sharon.

In 1948 Elsie’s new family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where she raised her daughters and worked in the restaurant business.  Over the years the family moved from Las Vegas to near Nellis Air Force base and witnessed many atomic bomb testing from her back yard.

A devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), she served in many positions for many years.  Her selfless service included Sunday school secretary, Young Women’s leader, and Relief Society Presidency.  Holding these positions she also worked full time and over time saw Bernice to a mission and Sharon to college.  Upon Bernice finishing her mission calling, Bernice joined Sharon at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  As proud parents Elsie and Howard where very excited seeing their daughters graduate college.  Both daughters went on to successful lives.

After working 35 years in the restaurant business, Elsie and Howard decided to buy an apple orchard and relocate to Silt, Colorado.  While in Silt they worked the farm growing apples, alfalfa, raising chickens and goats.  She continued her faithful service with the church volunteering.  Silt is where she refined her pioneer crafts making soap, tanning hides, animal husbandry and the use of herbal medicine.

Howard passed away in 1987, upon his death Elsie relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada to live with family.  One year later she was called on a Mission to serve in Tennessee for 18 months, traveling to many cities within the state.  As a missionary representing the LDS church she shared the Book of Mormon assisting people who are searching for the meaning of life.

After successfully completing her mission, she then relocated to Kanab, Utah where she met and married Rowland Holyoak.  Together they lived in Parowan, Utah and built many memories dancing, horseback riding and elderly adventures.  Rowland lost his battle to cancer at 80, 11 months after they married.  These 11 months while short, where some of the happiest times she had in years.

She relocated back to Kanab, Utah where she lived out her remaining years.  Elsie was a high spirited woman who loved the outdoors, her family, her church and who will remain in our hearts.

Elsie is survived by her daughter Sharon Medina, grandchildren; from Bernice, Leslieann Christy Scheg, from Sharon, Felicia Redmond, Mark Medina, Jonathan Medina, Abraham Medina, Brigham Medina and many Great Grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by John Howard, Rowland Holyoak, and Bernice Cox.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 in the Kanab 4th Ward with burial in the Kanab Cemetery.


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