PHOENIX: (602) 906-9600 | PEORIA: (623) 486-1955

Date of Birth: June 25, 1941

Date of Death: May 15, 2020

Juanita Louise Joy Elmer (Nita and Grandma Nita) was born in Spokane, Washington on June 25, 1941 weighing less than 4 pounds. Her mere survival at that time was miraculous. Shortly after birth, her birth mother abandoned her. Her maternal grandmother, Oliane, adopted her and became her Momma. She was raised in the tiny town of Malta, Montana, solely by her Momma. She was initially raised Lutheran but around the age of 11 or 12, she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She attended Brigham Young University for College which is where she met her husband on a blind date. She loved books and wanted to be a Librarian. She was working on her Bachelorā€™s Degree in Library Science but quit just shy of graduation to have family. She married Evan Elmer in the Mesa Temple on August 7, 1962, where they were Sealed together for Eternity. Her favorite role was raising her children. She always wanted to have two boys and then two girls and that is exactly what she got. She was the most loving, giving, sacrificing, supportive, fun, and amazing mother any child could have. She read to all of her children very often, even throughout their college years. Over the years, she had many side jobs, including but not limited to the following. She worked at a special school, teaching adult immigrants how to read English. She babysat whole families of children while their parents were at work or out of town. She was a seamstress, constantly making beautiful things for others. She even reupholstered furniture. She loved genealogy and spent countless hours helping others find their family history lines. To her, it was like a puzzle and she loved puzzles of all kinds. She decorated cakes and even taught her boys how to pipe icing. She worked in a popcorn cooking factory and made popcorn of various flavors. She cared for disabled people in their homes and later worked as an aide for children in Special Education. In November of 2019, she was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Brain Tumor. She underwent surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and Optune treatments. Due to complications related to her treatment, she died at the age of 78, surrounded by loved ones. It was approximately 12:30 PM on Friday, May 15, 2020 when she was reunited with her loved ones on the other side of the Veil. She is survived by her husband, Evan Kay Elmer, her four children: Roger Ray Elmer (Sonny Boy), James Joy Elmer (My Jamie), JoLene Joy McFarland (My Blue Rose), and LeAnna Louise Bunting (LeAnna Fix It); and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and honorary grandchildren. She will live forever in our hearts.

Service Information

A viewing and memorial is being held on Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 10:30 AM at her youngest daughter's home. Space is limited so we are asking that only those who have been invited, attend. We plan to live stream the memorial service via Facebook live on JoLene McFarland's Facebook Page. We invite any and all who knew her and loved her to join us. We also ask that people refrain from wearing black that day. Nita loved bright and cheery colors. Her favorite colors were purple and yellow. In lieu of flowers, please get a jigsaw puzzle or a game and spend time with those you love. If you have a favorite memory of her, please feel free to share it in the comments here. We have learned so much about our mom over these past few days. Although it has been hard to not have her physically here with us, it has been beautiful to hear the stories and memories others have of our amazing mother.


It is not necessary but if you choose to make a charitable contribution on her behalf, her favorite charities were Best Friends Animal Society and Operation Underground Railroad.