Cover photo for E. June Oler's Obituary
E. June Oler Profile Photo
1927 E. June 2024

E. June Oler

August 6, 1927 — January 24, 2024

Idaho Falls

Elaine June Oler passed away at home in Idaho Falls on Wednesday, January 24, 2024. At 96 years old, June lived an incredibly rich and meaningful life, secure in her faith as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was born in Idaho Falls on August 6, 1927 to Charles Winfield and Ila Johnson Tate. The Tate family left to Nebraska, following Charles’ work on a fox farm. Upon the farm’s failure, the Tate family returned to Idaho in a ragtop, early-model car to settle near their extended family in Buhl, Idaho.

Growing up in Buhl, June was sent to tag along after her older brother Wayne and his friends. Often left behind, June developed a tenaciousness and determination that carried her through great adventures and deep trials. Her loving brother Wayne preceded June in death in 2016.

On December 8, 1941 June attended a Monday morning assembly where her 7th grade class sat in front of a single radio on stage. Broadcasting was President Franklin D. Roosevelt, declaring war on Japan following the previous day’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

In high school, June was a drum majorette, a cheerleader, a member of Thespian Society, and the Phi Delta Sorority Treasurer. The day after her graduation from Buhl High School in 1945, she and a handful of young women stepped directly onto a bus headed to the Ogden Defense Depot where she worked until the end of World War II.

Returning to Idaho Falls, June enrolled in the University of Idaho, Southern Branch, and began to study journalism. She met Billie Nuttall Oler who was studying typesetting. They married on September 8, 1946 in Buhl. The early years of their marriage were spent blissfully in Aberdeen with weekends filled with fly fishing. She employed her proficient shorthand at several secretarial jobs during this time including one for the Atomic Energy Commission.

After some struggles with pregnancy, Bill and June welcomed their first son, Craig, into the world on November 19, 1955. December 20 of the following year, they both received their endowments, were sealed to each other, and had Craig sealed to them in the Idaho Falls Temple. Van followed in 1957 and finally Michelle in 1962.

In addition to raising her three children, June began teaching grade school in District 91 at Linden Park. Later she taught at District 93. Many of her students went on to be prominent leaders of Idaho Falls and even Idaho State. Ever the teacher, June took any and every opportunity to read historical markers, often requiring Bill to drive miles off of his chosen route to a given destination.

For two summers, June took the children with her to Brigham Young University to complete her bachelor's degree and teaching certification. By quizzing June and helping her prepare for tests, Craig and Van returned from summer breaks well prepared for their own schooling. She graduated on August 21, 1969 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Teaching Education with a minor in English.

Bill preceded June in death on June 2, 1978. Devastated, but undaunted June continued to teach and threw herself into community organizations. She was a charter member of the

Bonneville County Historical Society where she served as president for five terms. Through her leadership, the society secured the location and funding for the Museum of Idaho which opened in 1985. She was instrumental in securing Fred and Frank Keefer’s collection donation to the museum. Her next greatest accomplishment as president required months and months of walking around Idaho Falls, historical plats in hand, designating which structures would be included on the county historic register.

June traveled to Japan as part of the Sister City Program Delegation both in 1984 and 1995. Between these visits, she served as an ordinance worker in the Idaho Falls Temple from 1988 to 1993. She married James R. Howard during this time which brought comfort and companionship during a difficult period in her life. Jim preceded June in death on October 4, 1988.

After retiring from teaching, June began the next great era of her life. In November 1995, she donned a black missionary name tag and reported to the Family History Center in Salt Lake City where she served on the British Isles floor until November 1997. With her insatiable mind and dedication to history, she embarked on two more family history missions which took her to Australia, New Zealand, Guam, and American Samoa. She worked alongside tribal elders and translators to capture oral histories of Maori tribes and set up accurate sustainable family history centers across the area. She trained and supervised local missionaries in family history research, opening the door for unprecedented temple ordinance work in the Southern Hemisphere.

Upon returning from her missions, June married Mahlon W. Ellingford for time only on February 22, 2003 in the Idaho Falls Temple. The two crisscrossed the country on wheels over the next ten years, keeping each other company. Mahlon preceded June in death on February 4, 2013.

In her remaining decade, no one could accuse her of living a quiet life. June was difficult to keep track of because she enjoyed traveling so much. She enjoyed learning about cultures and historical events. When she could not experience these through travel she did so through reading.

June moved from 17th street and became a fair and generous landlady. She traveled to meet her first great-grandchildren, saw her granddaughter Lisette graduate from the University of Texas, and took one last boondoggle through Lake Louise, Canada. She enjoyed a variety of flowers in her home and yard. She delighted in hosting and talking with friends and family.

June is survived by her son Van (Katherine), daughter Michelle (Jim), grandson Neil (Angelica), grandson Kirk (Teresa), granddaughter Vanessa, granddaughter Lisette (Connor), grandson Gary, granddaughter Christy, and eight great-grandchildren: Evelyn, Adia, Liliana, Amelia, Barrett, Cameron, Hayden, and Emerson.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on February 9, 2024 at the Woodruff Ward chapel, 1660 12th Street, Idaho Falls. Internment will follow at the Shelley Hillcrest Cemetery.

A visitation will be held the prior evening, February 8, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Buck-Murphy Funeral Home at 825 E 17th St, Idaho Falls.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of E. June Oler, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 8, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

Buck Murphy Funeral Home & Cremation Services

825 E 17th St, Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, February 9, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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