Nelda Yvonne Lancaster, 94, of Rigby, passed away October 13, 2021, at Sage Grove Assisted Living. She was under the care of Aspen Home Health and Hospice and her loving children.
Nelda was born October 25, 1926, in Aberdeen to Frank E. Slaugh and Rozena Richins Slaugh. She had two siblings, Jean and Orval. Her mother died in 1934, and Orval died in 1936. She missed both of them her entire life. Her father married Pearl Clinger in 1935, and she brought with her six children. Frank and Pearl had six more children together. Nelda always felt like an outcast in the blended family and was very lonely. This is where she learned her hard work ethic very early in her life.
She married William Zahl in 1947, and following their divorce, she moved to Idaho Falls and started working at the Soda Fountain at Sundberg Pharmacy. This is where she met Kenneth “Pops” Lancaster. They were married September 13, 1958. Nelda became an instant “other” mother to his two rotten children, Bruce and Becky. Nelda left Sundberg and went to work at Tempo, then on to Osco Cosmetics Department. In each job, she made and kept lifelong friendships.
Pops and Nelda were very active people. They snow skied every chance they got in the winter and camped with a boat in tow for fishing or waterskiing in the summer. They threw legendary parties at their home for friends and family. Nelda retired from Osco when Pops retired from the Site. They spent the winters in Arizona, finally enjoying the fruits of their labors!
Nelda was the “other” mother kids dream of having. Because her childhood was so bleak, she made ours so much fun! She was renowned for her practical jokes. We had epic water fights that ended up in the house. Pops and Nelda saved their vacation time to take us on adventures--Mexico to the bull fights, Lancaster family reunions, remote camping spots, and Oklahoma to visit relatives, always stopping at every tourist trap along the way. We spent every summer with them and their two dogs. She was generous with her love, time, wisdom, car keys, and she always made sure that we knew that we could always count on her.
After Kenneth died in 1997, she reunited with her childhood sweetheart, Ronald Stroschein of Aberdeen. They were married on June 4, 1999, and Ron moved to Idaho Falls. Ron had nine children who loved our mom too. Sadly, Ron passed away in 2007, and she was alone again.
Nelda developed macular degeneration and lost most of her sight. She couldn’t live alone so she became a resident at Sage Grove Assisted Living in 2015. The care givers there treated her like family, especially Lila Smith, and the manager, Amy Rackham. Her best friend there was Pat Moses, who was her constant companion. Janel from Aspen Home Health and Hospice was by her side at a moments notice and treated Nelda so gently. Bruce and Becky are so grateful for these individuals’ care and obvious love for our mom.
She was a proud member of Watersprings Church.
Nelda is survived by her son, Dr. Bruce Lancaster; daughter, Becky (Terry) Turnmire; one grandchild, four great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, William Zahl; second husband, Kenneth Albert Lancaster; third husband, Ronald William Stroschein; and grandson, Jon Lancaster.
No services will be held per her request.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bonneville Humane Society or Aspen Home Health and Hospice.