Earl Morgan Elsner was born November 15, 1929 and rode into the sunrise June 19, 2019. Kind, patient, tough as nails, he was the son of George Stewart Elsner and Thelma Fulkerson Elsner. They lived 8 miles north east of Gooding. Earl went through Gooding schools and graduated in 1947. He attended one year at Utah State University.
In 1949 he was elected president of the Junior Cattlemen’s Association of Idaho. In his second term as president the new secretary was Marygrace Smith, a daughter of a rancher in the Arrowrock area. The Junior Cattlemen’s was a short lived association but the marriage of Earl and Marygrace lasted 65 years. The Elsners sold the place at Gooding and moved to the Yale, Oregon area. Earl had joined the Army Reserve while in Gooding and continued his training in Boise after the move. They ran their cows along the Owyhee River then expanded to Mud Flats.
Earl and Marygrace were married October 11, 1953 and began the adventure of working on ranches in Oregon near Burns, Washington, near Davenport, and Idaho near Mayfield, Hammett, Eagle, Minadoka, Bruneau, and Mt. Home. There were other jobs, too. Apple picking in Spokane and in meat packing plants. His wife’s poor health often decided where they would live and then they were blessed with children. In 1965 Earl’s parents bought a ranch near Gabbs, Nevada and they all moved there. Earl and the boys enjoyed six years of ranching old west style. Then it was back to Idaho to Jerome then Grandview for Simplot Livestock. They sent him to Elko to manage a ranch. They lived at several other ranches in the Elko region then back to Idaho. One more trip to Nevada to oversee the estate of his father or his place in Jersey Valley when his dad died.
Now Earl was past 60 and there had been lots of rough horses and hard winters so they came back to Boise to the place Marygrace’s parents had lived and Earl went to work for the Boise Parks Dept. They lived near Kuna for a while then to Guffey, near Murphy.
Earl enjoyed rodeo and rode rough stock, starting when he was 15 until he broke his neck. He was inducted into the Idaho Legends of Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2003. He enjoyed all his sons and his daughter’s sports and activities. He was a horseman and cattleman, he liked music and sang in several church choirs. He liked making things out of wood, metal, leather and rawhide from fences, barns, horseshoe furniture to toys and he loved hard work.
He belonged to the Knights of Columbus and was Grand Knight at the council in Rupert, Idaho. He was so proud of his children and their children.
He is survived by his wife Marygrace; a daughter, Cindy (Patrick) Patterson; son George (Christine) Elsner of Jordan Valley, Oregon; son Joe (Paulette) of Castelford, Idaho; 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
We have been blessed by the love and care Earl received at the Memory Care Centers at Touchmark, Overland Courts, and Keystone Health. If anyone wishes to send a memorial, we suggest: Alzheimer’s Disease Research, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871, 855-345-6237, brightfocus.org/stopAD or Owyhee County Museum 17085 Basey Street, Murphy, ID 83650, www.owyheemuseum.org.