Elva Lucille Boyd Steen was born March 28, 1924 in Ulman, Missouri and died at home on her farm near Eldon on Sunday, February 18, 2018, at the age of 93. She was the daughter of Willard and Maggie (McDaniel) Boyd, the youngest of three girls.

In 1940 she married Holmes Steen of the Iberia area and they were married forty years, until his death in 1981. Their first daughter was born in 1941 and within ten years, there were five girls and one boy: Sue, Sharron, Shirley, Judy, Donald and Janie. She would sit out on the back porch and ask God to help her "raise them right." She was a member of Ninth Street Christian Church in Eldon for more than sixty years and her children joined her in that journey of faith.

Elva often said, "The day I married Holmes was the best day of my life." She loved her family and her farm, and she followed the example of Jesus, "not to be served, but to serve." She was content and creative, happy and hardworking, saving and resourceful. As mother to six and Grandma Steen to dozens more, she knew how to listen and how to love.

When she and Holmes bought the farm where she lived for almost 70 years, Elva made a Home of the big old two-story house. As Holmes built fences and outbuildings, she painted and papered, made curtains, refinished and reupholstered furniture, raised big gardens, and explored the woods for mushrooms, gooseberries and blackberries. In her 90s, she still preferred to line dry her clothes. As long as she could work, she never lacked energy nor determination for her next project.

Education was important to this family. They were grateful for School of the Osage, for teachers, extra activities and opportunities. Elva provided a home place of quiet routine for growing and learning, took large platters of donuts and ground-up bologna sandwiches to PTA potlucks, made cheerleading outfits, and supported Holmes on the school board.

Elva taught herself to sew for her girls, copying dresses for them out of catalogs. She loved fabrics, preferring bright colors, and in later years she made more than 250 quilts, saving the prettiest ones for weddings and grandchildren.

All her life she planned toward holidays and the farm was a special gathering place. She was known for her turkey dinners, breads, donuts, cinnamon rolls, pies, blackberry cobblers and angel food cakes.

When Holmes died, she was in her mid-50s and decided to stay on the farm, with son Don farming next door. She fed bales of hay to the cattle, broke ice on the pond, helped with turkeys and cleaned fence rows. When Paul Harvey wrote "And on the 8th day, God Made a Farmer," it made us think, "And God also Made a Farmer's WIFE!

Elva Steen was preceded in death by her husband Holmes, daughter, Sue Gardner Cates, grandson, Grant Woolsey, parents, Willard and Maggie Boyd, and sisters, Nettie Dickerson and Edith Richards.

She is survived by children, Sharron Holder (Paul), Shirley Woolsey (Craig), Judy Pryor (Joe), Donald Steen (Alisa), Janie Davis (Bob); more than 60 grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Lucille Steen, and many nieces and nephews.

The family will welcome friends from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, February 24 at the Ninth Street Christian Church in Eldon and the Celebration of Life will follow immediately at 3 p.m.

Burial was held near Iberia in Williams Cemetery, overlooking the homestead where life began for the Steen family.

In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be given to Ninth Street Christian Church in Eldon.

Arrangements are under the direction of Fancher-Rekus Funeral Home in Iberia.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.fancher-rekusfuneralhomes.com.