Obituary: Illena & Eugene Updike
November 25, 2020 – November 27, 2020
On November 25, 2020; Illena Faye (Lawton) Updike, age 83, departed this earth. As in this life and into the next, on November 27, 2020; her soulmate, Eugene Dale Updike, age 85 joined her.
Eugene, born in Craig, CO on December 16, 1934 to Glen Mason Updike and Rachel Margeritte Futhey. He was the last of 5 children. Gene enjoyed his life driving trucks, working on drilling rigs and ranching/farming. He never knew a stranger and could strike up a conversation with anyone.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Illena, born in Haybro, CO to Leonard Harrison Lawton and Addeline Frances Blackman on May 29, 1937. She was 1 of 9 children. Illena was an avid animal lover. She loved working with kids. She started the pigtail softball league for girls in the area. She enjoyed creating art and was prolific in needlework. Her specialty was crocheting. All her family enjoys her afghans.
The couple married on August 12, 1956 in Craig, CO. They had 4 children, Rita (Tina), Dale (Cathy), Glenda Bellio (Todd), and Jay. Giving them 9 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. The family spent time together hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and working; often adding extra children to the “family”. They taught their children the importance of work ethic. In their later years, they were always together. They were lifetime members of the Big Gulch Better Community Club. They enjoyed participating in tractor pulls with the tractor club, squirrel hunting, stalking the “grandchildren” and playing games at the senior center.
A bittersweet blessing for them as well as the family; was that they were able to be together until the end. Gene held Illena’s hand as she took her last breath and the day of his passing one of his last remarks was “I miss grandma”. As we have all mourned their absence from us, it is comforting to know that they are surrounded by so many loved ones that have gone before them.
A graveside service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Friday, May 28, 2021 at the Craig Cemetery. We invite you to celebrate their lives with us at a potluck BBQ, May 29, 2021 at 2:00 p.m., at the house on County Rd 7. Bring a lawn chair, a side dish and all your stories. Contact any family member for more information.
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