Ellanor Fern Wilburn passed away Friday, Dec. 13, 2019.
Ellanor was born Christmas Day 1920 in Los Angeles. She was the daughter of Forrest Wayne Hartwick and Sue May Daugherty, who raised her with three brothers in the Redlands, Calif., vicinity. After graduating from high school in 1939, Ellanor attended Simpson Bible Institute in Seattle and then Nyack Bible College in New York City. Both these schools prepared her for missionary work in Idaho. Later she pursued librarian training at San Jose State College.
During many trips to Idaho, Ellanor taught release-time Bible classes in schools and led vacation Bible schools in communities along the Clearwater River and on the Camas Prairie. During one visit, she met Vance Wilburn, who was home on furlough from serving with the Air Force during World War II. This began a long romance that eventually led them to marry in 1955.
Vance and Ellanor raised their two boys, Wayne and Tad, in Kamiah, where Vance served as office manager for the Potlatch mill. Ellanor was a homemaker, and she enjoyed all the work and pleasure of keeping up with two busy boys. She loved music and played piano and organ at the local Baptist church. For many years, Ellanor led a group of band musicians to play their instruments once a month at services. She enjoyed using her beautiful voice to praise God in choirs and ensembles.
Ellanor worked hard at gardening and preserving all the vegetables, berries, fish and wild game that God provided. Tad died in 1981, after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis. Wayne married Judy Schmidt in 1984, and they gave Vance and Ellanor three grandkids, Andrea, Aaron (married to Emma) and Adam. The kids have great memories of trips to Kamiah and Grandma’s yummy cooking and warm hospitality. Grandma and Grandpa were very proud of these kids.
Ellanor enjoyed many travels with Vance, singing with the Valley Singers, teaching kids in the Awana Club and supporting the Gideons. After Vance’s death in 2003, Ellanor moved to Lewiston, where she enjoyed new friendships at church and later at her retirement center. She loved God and will be remembered for faithfully praying for her friends and family. Ellanor almost made it to her 99th birthday.
A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 8 at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Lewiston. Trenary Funeral Home of Kooskia is assisting the family.