Beverly Joan Stiburek Elder was born on October 16th, 1932 in Cascade, Idaho. She passed away on Friday night, October 2nd, 2020, in an auto accident in Valley County. She was 87 years old. Beverly was raised in Cascade and lived most of her life in the mountain west - in Idaho and Utah.
Beverly was the daughter of Charles and Mary Irene Stiburek of Cascade. She attended Cascade Schools for the entirety of her public education. Beverly went on to attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and graduated with a BS in Political Science. From there, she went to George Washington University in Washington DC to gain her law degree.
Beverly and her sister, Barbara loved to sew. It was not unusual for them to make a dress on Friday for a dance on Saturday. They never followed the pattern completely and they used their creativity to make their own style that others would copy.
While she was in Washington DC she worked for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) during law school for 2 years. After that, Beverly began working for Senator Dworshak in Washington DC, at which time the senator asked Beverly to return to Boise to help him run his office during an election year and then she stayed on after he was re-elected. She returned to law school after that year and continued to work for the senator until she graduated from George Washington University in the spring of 1960. Frank attended her graduation and proposed on Beverly’s graduation night.
After her schooling she went on to marry Frank Elder and returned to Idaho to happily follow her husband throughout Idaho and Utah as he worked with the US Forest Service. She was fortunate enough to have been stationed in Cascade a couple of times during their career. She took on the duties of a Forest Service wife with gusto. For the first 6 years of marriage, she willingly and happily moved twice a year, to various summer posts around the Payette and Boise Forests – Landmark, Bear Valley, High Valley, Indian Creek (in the wilderness area), Lowman. They would move to the “big towns” of Boise, Emmett and Cascade during the winters. They finally settled down in Council, Idaho where Frank was appointed Ranger of the Council Ranger District in the Payette Forest.
While Beverly was living in Council, she ran for Adams County Prosecuting Attorney – as a “write in” candidate and won that election easily. Beverly was only the 2nd female prosecuting attorney in Idaho up to that time. In addition to her law practice, Beverly was active in the League of Women Voters and acted in leadership roles with that organization throughout her professional life.
After 4 years in Council, Frank was transferred to the Indianola/ North Fork Ranger District in the Salmon National Forest. While living in North Fork/ Salmon, Beverly took on a variety of jobs – office manager for a real estate agent, a wilderness outfitter and guide and an engineering firm (all at the same time), she picked potatoes during harvest and worked as an independent lawyer on occasion. All while raising two active girls – Betsy and Sandy.
Frank finished his career in Ogden, Utah where she was able to spend time with Betsy and Amanda, her granddaughter. While living in Utah, Beverly once again spread her wings and tried a variety of jobs. She worked for the IRS, Health and Welfare, insurance sales, Utah Tailoring – which was probably her favorite job ever (besides being a mom and grandma) and she worked with Utah Musical Theater as a costume designer. As a result of her time with the Utah Musical Theater, Beverly was asked to work with the 2002 Winter Olympics Wardrobe Department - Ceremonies Team, which created all costumes worn in the Opening Ceremonies and the Closing Ceremonies for the Olympics. Beverly was recognized as being part of that team when they were awarded an Emmy in 2002 for “Outstanding Costumes for a Variety or Music Program”.
As a mother – Betsy and Sandy couldn’t have asked for a better mom. She always made sure we were active, involved in learning new skills and supported us in everything we decided to try. She had us involved in dance classes, gymnastics, piano, karate, 4-H, church activities as well as supporting us in our school endeavors. She encouraged us to find our passions and follow those as we moved into adulthood.
Beverly was blessed with a granddaughter - Amanda Mary Oakes - who she cherished with all her heart. She loved being a grandma and was fortunate to have Amanda live with Bev and Frank at times as she was growing up.
When Frank retired from the US Forest Service they returned to Cascade to live out their years in the place Beverly called home, ALWAYS. In her “retirement” she opened a sewing/ fabric store in Cascade called Bev’s Attic. From her store she was able to keep an eye on what was happening in the community. She enjoyed chatting with the locals, telling stories from the good old days and a great source of information about Valley County to people who were passing through. Beverly had a quick laugh and a keen wit. One of the things that brought her joy was to make sure the people around her were happy.
Beverly is preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Frank Elder, her two daughters - Betsy Elder and Sandy Elder and her granddaughter and her wife - Amanda Oakes and Melissa Oakes. She is also survived by her older sister, Barbara Jean Stiburek Welch and all her nieces and nephews.
We request any donations be sent to McPaws: https://mcpaws.org/donate/make-a-donation/ to recognize her love of animals and especially shelter pets.
Or to the Idaho Youth Ranch: https://payment.youthranch.org/give/24513/#!/donation/checkout to recognize her enormous heart and willingness to help anyone in need.
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