Gardening 03

Ellen Marie (Hunter) Bingham

September 22, 1938 ~ July 25, 2020 (age 81)


Ellen's Zoom funeral service can be viewed here:

Ellen Marie Hunter Bingham, 81, left this life from Idaho Falls on July 25, 2020.  She was born to Rosel Hyrum and Hazel (Johnson) Hunter in Oakley, Idaho.  The family moved on to Caldwell, Idaho, when she was 5 months old, where her father taught English in a nearby Japanese Internment camp.  During this time Ellen was presented at women’s clubs standing on a table and singing the popular songs of the era. 

At the age of five, the family, now numbering nine, moved to a seven-acre farm in Nyssa, Oregon, where Rosel taught school and the family farmed and raised a herd of registered Jerseys.  The family traveled around the area singing four and five-part harmony with no music and Ellen playing the songs “by ear.” 

Music was a daily activity in the household and a joy to hear the beautiful harmony which bubbled out often. 

Ellen was called as the church Junior Sunday School pump organist at the age of nine and the ward organist and primary organist at the age of ten.  She also sang with a girl’s trio.

In 1954 the family moved to Corvallis, Oregon, where her father was the American Jersey Cattle Club field man for the nine western states.  The family, now numbering 10, still traveled around singing beautiful harmonies. 

The whole family of “jocks” enjoyed all school and church sports. 

During her junior and senior school years, Ellen worked as a nurse in a doctor’s office, two nursing homes and private nursing.

Ellen, a senior at Corvallis High School, met Gail Bingham, a senior at Oregon State College, on a blind date.  They were sealed in the newly constructed Los Angeles temple shortly after both graduated the same day.  Ellen gave up her scholarship to OSU although she took many classes from ISU, BYU-I, BYU and U of Oregon because she loved learning.

The couple lived in Alexandria, Virginia, while Gail was stationed at Fort Belvoir, then on to Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.  Upon completion of his Army stint, they moved to Idaho Falls where Gail worked as head of projects for Westinghouse at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Ellen loved teaching, particularly when it involved children. She had a gift for making up games and songs as a way to teach and entertain at the same time. In addition to teaching kindergarten, she gave piano and voice lessons for more than fifty years. She also knitted, crocheted and sold ponchos for several years, published crossword puzzles for Dell magazine and wrote children’s music for Jack and Jill magazine, arranged and sang in the Idaho Women’s Centennial quartet and the Choralaires, and wrote songs for church choirs and her grandchildren.  Later she was asked to organize and run the Bonneville County election office which she did for 14 years. 

She is survived by her husband of 63 years, children: Steven (Brenda) Bingham of Wake Forest, NC; Brian (Cynthia) Bingham of Anacortes, Washington; Laura (Mark) Underhill of Ogden, UT; Terry (Michelle) Bingham of Beaverton, Oregon; and Janette (Mark) Larsen of Idaho Falls; 16 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren; 5 brothers and sisters, Rosel Deane Hunter, Belva Burgess, Dwight Hunter, Marcial Hunter and LaNor Wilhelms.  She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Jolene Mock; and brother John Gordon Hunter.

Funeral services will be broadcast live via Zoom at 11 a.m., August 5th 2020, with interment in the Ammon Cemetery. 

Please join Zoom here:
Meeting ID: 835 8323 8194
Passcode: 704685

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Private Services

Grandview Ward
1450 Mountain View Lane
Idaho Falls, ID 83402

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