Elly (Bigelow) Reynolds stepped into Jesus’ arms just after the sun rose October 1, 2020. Elly was born June 30, 1951 in Portland to Dick and Marilyn (McLain) Bigelow. She grew up and attended schools in Redmond, Prineville and Burns, graduating from Burns Union High School in 1969. Elly loved horses and anything outdoors, and was active in 4-H. Shortly after graduation, she married Rich Reynolds. The couple made their home in Prineville, where they lived until their two boys were grown, except for a short time in the Seattle area.
Elly worked for Welker’s Pharmacy for several years, then began working at First Baptist Church, where she served in several different capacities, eventually settling into the role of administrative assistant to the youth pastor. She loved youth ministry, and in 1989 started a working partnership with Luke Hendrix that continued until 2016, across four different ministries, and moving from Prineville to southern California, then back to the Portland area. In 2016 she had the opportunity to retire, and they moved back to central Oregon to be close to their grandchildren.
Elly loved opening her doors and her heart to young people, to share God’s love with them. She ‘adopted’ many of her boys’ friends, and she and Rich hosted many house guests at different times who needed a place to land for a season. She and Rich also served as 4-H leaders for a few clubs through the years, continuing a tradition started by both their parents that now has passed down to their grandkids.
Elly fought cancer three different times in her life. The last battle began shortly after they returned to Prineville in 2016, and lasted until the end of her life. She resolved to use her cancer journey to show God’s power and presence in her life, and discovered CaringBridge.org as her platform to share her journey with as many people as wanted to hear it.
Elly was preceded in death by her parents, Dick and Marilyn Bigelow. She is survived by Rich, her husband of 51 years, sons Kelly(Anne) and Jason (Lisa), and 10 adoring grandkiddos. Memorials in Elly’s name may be made to CaringBridge.org and Partners In Care, who provided outstanding care in her last weeks. A celebration of Elly’s life will be held Friday, October 16 at 2:00 p.m. in the Crook County Fairgrounds Pavilion Tent.
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