Elaine (Ryan) Brent, 70, passed away unexpectedly March 10, 2023. Elaine was an ever flowing source of love, support and care for her family, and she is so deeply missed.
Elaine was born in Reno, Nevada on April 3, 1952 to James and Patricia Ryan. She was a loving sister to her younger brothers, Ed and Glenn Ryan. Their family enjoyed time together spent traveling, camping, and with extended family and cousins. Elaine’s grandparents, Paul and Isabell Ryan, lived within walking distance, and she spoke fondly of time spent with them growing up. Elaine was very involved in Girl Scouts, eventually becoming a camp counselor. She enjoyed school and was an excellent student. Elaine graduated from Reno High School in 1970 and continued her education at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with her Bachelors degree in Range Management.
During her time at UNR, Elaine made lifelong friends in classes and club activities, even placing 2nd in a national Plant Identification Competition. She spent her summers working for the Ag Research Service conducting range surveys in Southern Nevada and Reynolds Creek, Idaho. It was also at UNR that Elaine began dating a fellow classmate, Stewart Brent, and they were soon inseparable. Stewart and Elaine were married November 30, 1974 in Reno, surrounded by family and friends. Stewart began working for the Farmers Home Administration in Weiser right out of college, and they would continue to follow his job as he advanced through the agency for several years to come. They settled into married life in Weiser, often lending a hand on Stewart’s family’s ranch on Mann Creek. Over the next few years, they transferred to Emmett and then to Salmon, enjoying new places and making friends along the way.
While in Salmon, in September of 1978, they welcomed their first daughter, Kerry. Soon after, the family moved to Emmett, where their sweet daughter Bonnie was born in June of 1980. They stayed in Emmett for a couple of years before settling back in Weiser for good. There, their family grew again, joined by a son, Brian, in January of 1983 and their youngest daughter, Amanda, in December of 1986. Elaine devoted herself to her family, taking time with all of her children to pass on invaluable lessons and skills. She was endlessly patient, read countless books, and made us all feel included and loved. She looked forward to holidays, especially Christmas, and always found ways to make them extra special for everyone. Elaine was always busy making her house a home. She sewed many of her family’s clothes and home decor. Many were lucky recipients of the beautiful quilts she lovingly pieced. Each summer, she canned and preserved enough food and goodies for her family for the year to come. She was a wonderful cook and gifted baker – everything she baked was scrumptious.
As her children grew, Elaine juggled all of their activities and sports, and either she or Stewart were always there, even if schedules required them to divide and conquer. During the school year, you could often find Elaine volunteering in her children’s classrooms. When the need arose, she volunteered as a 4-H leader, along with some other talented ladies, and the Kitchen Stitchers club quickly grew. She passed on her knowledge of cooking, sewing, plants, and dove into many other projects that sparked interest for the group. When her kids became involved in soccer, she joined other parents in fostering what was then a fledgling sport in our community. She raised funds, organized paperwork, and ferried her own kids and others all over the valley to play. Even when she was pulled in so many directions, she managed to make it all look easy, with dinner on the table and help with homework every night.
As Amanda got older, Elaine began working at Radio Shack and then Midvale Telephone Exchange. She continued to make sure all four of her children were safe and well fed through college. She worked in the kitchen at the high school, where she loved interacting with the kids, for a short time before retiring. Each of her daughters were lucky to have her help planning their weddings. One of her many talents was organization, making everything come together seamlessly and seemingly effortlessly, no matter how complicated the task. She adored all of her grandchildren and loved spending as much time with them as she could, and she could often be found on the sidelines cheering them on.
All of the little things that Elaine did day in and day out – birthdays remembered, favorite foods, friendly hellos, sharing her knowledge and skills, giving of her time and care – added up to very big things for all those who knew and loved her.
Elaine was preceded in death by her parents, James and Patricia Ryan. She is survived by her husband Stewart; her brothers Ed (Sydney) Ryan and Glenn (Tawni) Ryan; her children Kerry (Jeff) Calhoun, Bonnie (Sam) Dowell, Brian Brent, and Amanda (Rob) Murdock; and her grandchildren Morgan, Luke and Tygen Brunson, Sam Dowell, Leland and Emmett Murdock, and Chance and Jocelynn Calhoun.
Family and friends are invited to a celebration of life on Friday, March 24th from 3-6pm at Sunnyside Farm & Events, 1526 Sunnyside Rd, Weiser, ID, with a potluck dinner to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Angel Wings Network, Washington County 4-H, or your favorite charity.