Farming Rural 05

Ellis Thomas Smith

July 8, 1936 ~ January 13, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Ellis Smith Obituary

Ellis Thomas Smith, 87, passed away at his home in Layton, Utah on January 13, 2024, surrounded by family.

A memorial service in his honor will be held Saturday, February 17, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints chapel located at 380 South Fairfield Road, Layton, Utah. Interment at the Willard, Utah cemetery will follow.

Ellis was a faithful, lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His faith endured to the end. He served well in many callings and strived to follow the example of his Savior, Jesus Christ. His final words were father’s blessings for his children and grandchildren.

Ellis was born July 8, 1936, the ninth of ten children to Heman and Edetha Smith in Cowley, Wyoming. Ellis adored his two elder sisters and seven brothers: Rawlin, Fred, Grant, Rachel, Melvin, Dean, Clara, Blake, and Neff.

Teased for being the shortest (5 feet 6 inches) of his brothers and friends, Ellis focused on being the bigger man in other ways. He welcomed each day with hope: excited to work and excited to play. He saw the good in each day, just as he saw the good in all people he encountered in life. He collected friends with his abundant personality, trademark smile, and joyful demeanor.

Ellis grew up farming and herding cattle with his dad and brothers. Life in northern Wyoming, at the end of the Great Depression, wasn’t easy, but it shaped who Ellis became. He learned how to have fun while working hard. Fun often involved mischief and a narrow escape. His children and grandchildren loved his tales of adventure told while camping and sitting around the dinner table. The family favorites included ‘The Bear Story’, which involved a lariat rope, his horse, and a baby bear followed by a very angry mother bear.

After graduating from Cowley High School in 1954, Ellis served a 2-year proselyting mission in the Great Lakes area (Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio) for the Church. On his return, he enlisted in the United States Army where he served as a cook. In 1963, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with an accounting minor from Utah State University.

On June 28, 1963, Ellis was married for time and all eternity to Donna Cook in the Logan, Utah Temple. They celebrated their 60th anniversary last year. The newlyweds lived in Pocatello, Idaho where Ellis taught seminary for the Church for one year before moving to Golden, Colorado in 1964, where Ellis worked for his brothers at Special Products. Ellis and Donna lived in Colorado for four years where they had a daughter and two sons. The family moved to Twin Falls, Idaho in 1970, where another daughter and son were born. Ellis worked for various agriculture companies in the area until retiring from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) in 2003. They lived in Twin Falls for 53 years before making a final move to Layton, Utah seven months before his death.

Ellis’ wealth was his faith, family, friends, and work ethic. He often stated that he had all he needed in life. He loved to grow a garden almost as much as he loved to give away the produce that he grew. He had a lifelong love of horseback riding, which began in the Pryor mountains and continued in the mountains of Idaho. He loved sharing this passion. Weather permitting, he offered to saddle up his horses for a ride in the pasture for any visitor to his home. Riding horses with him was a good mix of excitement and terror—never boring! His zest for life was contagious. His best friends were those who could keep up with him on horse, by foot, by bike, or on skis.

Ellis is survived by his siblings, Clara McDermott and Blake Smith; his wife, Donna; daughter, Lauri Myers (Matt, Arizona); son, Troy (Diane, Hawaii); son, Darren (Lisa, Idaho); daughter, Heather Jenkins (Pete, Utah); and son, Chris (Utah). He cherished the time he had with his fourteen grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the many nurses and caregivers of Cascade Springs Hospice, especially Amy, Rhonda, Ari, and Joanie. 

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Funeral Service
February 17, 2024

11:00 AM
Fairfield Chapel
380 South Fairfield Road
Layton, UT 84041


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