Elaine Vera Wilson Gunning, 98, passed away May 11 at Heron Place in Nampa. Elaine was born July 31, 1919 in Halfway, Oregon to Fred and Lavinna Wilson. In 1920 she moved with her parents and older brother Carl (deceased) to a home on Davis Avenue in Nampa. Elaine graduated from Nampa High School in 1938 and then attended Beauty School. She married her high school sweetheart William L (Bill) Gunning in 1941.
Following the start of WW II the couple moved to Vancouver, Washington for jobs in the Kaiser Shipyards where Elaine crawled through the holds of Liberty Ships retrieving tools. Later Bill joined the US Navy and Elaine returned to Nampa.
When Bill returned home from the service the couple started their family and farmed near Melba, moving to Black Cat Road near Kuna in 1950. On the farm Elaine took great pride in her flower and vegetable gardens, but she was also adept at helping corral wayward Holsteins who managed to escape the corral in the middle of the night. During this time Elaine volunteered with the Kuna Schools PTA and other community organizations while Bill served on the Kuna School Board. Elaine was an excellent cook and legions of teens and young men looked forward to her wonderful midday meals if they were lucky enough to work on one of the farm’s hay crews.
In 1974 Bill and Elaine sold the farm and moved to Nampa where Bill began his career in farm and ranch real estate and Elaine became a volunteer for a number of groups. Following Bill’s death in 1982 she continued as a volunteer in several schools, and was most proud of her service on the first board of directors of the Nampa Women’s Shelter.
Elaine is survived by her four children and their families: Norm (Paula), Meridian; Tim, Mountain Home; Lynne (Byron) Yankey, Nampa; and Colleen (Luke) Mathisen, Florence, Montana; as well as five granddaughters, four grandsons, three great granddaughters and two great grandsons.
A private graveside service is scheduled for 3pm Friday May 18 at Cloverdale Memorial Park, 1200 N Cloverdale Rd in Boise. It will be followed at 3:30 by a celebration of life for friends and family at the nearby Maple Grove Grange Hall, 11692 W. President Drive in Boise. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to a nearby women’s and children’s shelter.