Elaine Perkes Bridges, born May 3, 1941, in Santa Maria, California, passed away unexpectedly on November 20, 2021, at her home in Provo, Utah. Elaine was raised in California, Canada, and Oklahoma by loving parents William (Bill) and Helen Ashton Perkes. She gained a love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ from her parents. Throughout her life, she shared that love and testimony with her children, extended family, friends, and all who knew her. People often described her with words like “joy” and “light.” She radiated the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and others could feel the joy It brought to her life. She served as president, counselor, and teacher in every organization in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Primary, Relief Society, and Young Women. There were two callings she seemed to love the most—teaching early morning seminary and teaching music in Primary. Hundreds of children and youth were influenced for good because of her love and dedication.
Elaine was a great student. She skipped a grade in elementary school. She was a voracious reader, and always had a book to recommend…church books, mysteries, historic novels, and children’s books. Her grandchildren have fond memories of cuddling up with grandma in a rocking chair to listen to her read. They could feel her love of books, but more importantly, they could feel her love for them.
Elaine’s sewing skills were unrivaled. Her oldest children didn’t own clothing purchased from a store until they were in middle school because mom was constantly sewing them new dresses. She excelled at French hand sewing, smocking, and cross-stitching. Other than clothing, she sewed quilts, dolls, stuffed animals, and did quite a lot of mending at the frequent request of her kids.
Another passion she had was BYU. She loved everything BYU—the sports, the campus, and especially the students (many of her grandchildren are currently students). Elaine was a Cougarette in 1958 and never lost her love for her beloved university. She treasured the years she worked at the Harmon Building. She planned to retire in May at the age of 81.
Elaine loved her husband and children fiercely. Her office wall was covered in pictures of her children and grandchildren that she enjoyed showing off to co-workers. They would stop by to chat and hear stories about the family she adored.
Mom, we love you the most!
Elaine is survived by her husband, William (Bill) Bridges; her children: Susan Richardson Potter (Dwight Potter), Karen Richardson Steele (Erwin Steele), Lisa Richardson Nicholas (Ken Nicholas), Laura Richardson Bailey, Holly Richardson Barch (David Barch), Tiffany Jeanne Wardell (Bruce Wardell), Melissa Tournay Parent (Kevin Parent), Megan Michelle Lewis (Jimmy Lewis), Spencer William Bridges (Katie Lee LeCheminant), Chelsea Ashton Brunner, Kellyn Elaine Rhea (Jeff Rhea); 56 grandchildren; 46 great grandchildren; and her siblings Carlyle Perkes (Generia Perkes), Lawrence Perkes (Marsha Perkes), Rosemary Perkes Thurber (Erin Thurber), Terri Perkes Allen, and Elizabeth Perkes. Elaine is preceded in death by her parents, William Evans Perkes and Helen Hall Ashton Perkes and her son-in-law, Alan Bailey.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, November 29 at 11:00 am at the Meadow Wood LDS Ward Building, 303 West 3700 North in Provo. A viewing will be held Sunday, November 28 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the same building and on the morning of the services from 9:30 to 10:30 am. Interment will be at the Orem City Cemetery.
For those unable to attend, you may view the Services via Livestream at
the following link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D0dtQRCWDlA
Condolences for the family may be expressed on this page.