- About Us
Eleen Barker RigbyApril 21, 1924 ~ July 5, 2017 (age 93)
Eleen Barker Rigby, a valiant member of that greatest generation, was born April 21, 1924 to Bazil Orrin Barker and Hazel Ida Henrie. She was a child of the Great Depression and mastered the virtues of kindness, patience, frugality and charity. Her father was a skilled miner and heavy equipment operator. He was often in search of work and the family moved frequently. Eleen lived in such exotic places as Park City, Standardville, Boulder City, Nevada, Union, Hiawatha, and Fairview.
Eleen was born in the home of her grandparents in Fairview with neither a doctor or her father present. She was quickly given a blessing and the name "Eleen", a name that came to her mother in a dream.
Her early childhood was spent in Boulder City, Nevada, where her father sought work building the new Boulder Dam. Her family lived in a "rag town" in a tent without electricity near the Colorado river. She attended school in a large tent with one teacher teaching grades K-12.
With completion of the dam, her family moved back to Fairview where she completed her schooling. She met Alden Rigby in the school band where she played the snare drum. They became close friends and began dating while attending North Sanpete High School.
Alden attended BYU while she was a senior and during that time Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and all carefully laid plans were interrupted. They had planned to marry following school and Alden's mission but discussed the situation with their parents and decided to get married in June of 1942.
Alden and Eleen were married June 4, 1942, in the Manti Temple. Following his induction into the military she followed him across the country as he trained to become a pilot. She lived off-base in abject poverty, surviving on salads and Corn Flakes except when Alden was able to arrange dinners at the base. She returned to her parent's home where she gave birth to their first child, Jerralyn. She faithfully supported him through nine months of combat overseas and continued that support through 73 years of marriage.
Service to others was her credo. She held many positions of responsibility in her church including serving as MIA, Primary, and Relief Society President, and Stake Relief Society President. She served as hostess and supervisor in the Beehive House for 40 years. She and Alden served LDS missions to India/Sri Lanka and to the BYU Center in Jerusalem. She was a proud member of the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers and the Bountiful Literary Guild. Her thoughts were always concerned with the welfare of others. In her own words, "The greatest calling in my life is: Daughter, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Great-Great Grandmother". She was so strong and resilient to the end. The world is a better place because of her and with her return "home" to her sweetheart, family and friends, Heaven is a better place as well.
Eleen is preceded in death by her devoted husband Alden and her sister, Bettie Hyer. She is survived by her brothers, Bill (Diane) Barker, LaVere (Lunella) Barker, and Bettie's husband Blaine. Also, her children, Jerralyn Drummond (Al), Larry (Susan), Kevin (Estelle), Greg (Faye), 26 grandchildren, 71 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Monday, July 10, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the Oak Hills Ward, 455 So. 1200 East, Bountiful. Viewing Sunday 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Russon Mortuary, 295 North Main, Bountiful and Monday morning 9:30 -10:30 am at the Oak Hills Ward prior to funeral. Interment at Bountiful City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, family requests that donations be made to Primary Children's Hospital in her name.