Our beloved wife, mother, sister, and friend Garla Rupp returned to her heavenly home on May 24, 2022. She passed away peacefully due to renal failure. At her request, she remained in her home with her husband Monty by her side until her time came. She was 70 years old.
Garla was born May 6, 1952, in Pocatello, Idaho, to Garland Tonks and Joyce Dotson Tonks. She grew up with her parents and six siblings in Pocatello, Nampa, and Meridian, Idaho. Shortly after moving to Meridian in 1966, she met her future husband, Monty, through their associations at church activities and school. They quickly became sweethearts and dating each other was the highlight of their high school years. Including dating and courting, they have been together for nearly 55 years.
While attending Meridian High School, Garla participated in many activities including Future Homemakers of America, Quill and Scroll, Warwhoop, Big Sisters, Future Teachers of America, and her favorites -- Drill Team and the Girls’ Athletic Association. She loved team sports, was a natural leader, and was loved by her peers and teachers. She and Monty both graduated in 1970.
Garla attended Ricks College and graduated in 1972 with her Associate’s degree. She loved her experience at Ricks and especially enjoyed her service with the Valkyries. When Monty returned from his mission, they married in the Salt Lake temple on October 12, 1973 and moved to Kamiah, Idaho. There they began farming and ranching in the beautiful Woodland area overlooking the Clearwater Valley.
In 1978, they built a new home to better suit their growing family. They were blessed with six beautiful children who brought Garla her greatest joy. The rearing of her children as a dedicated and conscientious mother was the focus of her life,. That love and dedication has carried on with her grandchildren as she has a special and individual relationship with each one of them.
Garla was a wonderfully supportive wife in their farming partnership. She was also an accomplished homemaker and gardener, who enjoyed both working and playing outside during the warmer months.
She was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many callings including the president of the Relief Society and the Young Women’s organizations. She also served as an early morning seminary teacher. In her later years, she worked faithfully in the family history center. But her favorite callings were those in the primary and nursery working with the young children.
After her own children were all in school, Garla worked in the Kamiah School District as a substitute teacher and as a teacher’s aide in various capacities. She also coached t-ball and was a passionate supporter of her kids and their activities, driving them long distances to games and activities. She also helped them with their 4-H projects and was the local club leader for a few years, including raising and training pigs for competitions and sales at the county fairs for many years. She served as the club leader for several years.
Garla never met a child she didn’t love immediately. She especially loved to hold and snuggle newborn babies and had a gift for calming a fussy child. She was a wonderful and loving aunt and teacher, but it is her own children and grandchildren who have benefited most from her unconditional love and support.
Garla’s unwavering love for her husband was also never in doubt. She said that the best day of her life was the day she married Monty. Together their greatest source of pride and achievement is the continued faithfulness of their children and their families. All six of their children remain committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ that she taught them and were each married in the temple. Garla’s strong testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ and His gospel was clear in her words, choices, and actions.
In 1988, Garla was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. When her condition deteriorated,, she received the life-giving donation of a kidney from her sister Carole in 2001. Time eventually ran out on her “borrowed” kidney, but Garla and her family are eternally grateful for this selfless gift and all those who were willing to give it.
In 2020, Monty and Garla sold their farm in Kamiah and moved to a small acreage between New Plymouth and Middleton so they could be near many of their children and grandchildren, which was Garla’s longtime wish and desire. There they built a beautiful new home where Garla spent her final months in the care of her family.
Garla is survived by her husband, Monty, her children, Lori (Brett) Bishop of Middleton, Larry (Amy) Rupp of Middleton, Douglas (Dawn Marie) Rupp of New Plymouth, Dallan (Anna) Rupp (of New Plymouth), Carl (Kate) Rupp of Twin Falls, and Cristy (David) Turner of Salmon; her siblings Paul (Cathy) Tonks, Steven Tonks, Kale (Nita) Tonks, Carole (Dave) Irish, Gail (Mike) Taylor, her brother-in-law Kim Hansen and MANY nieces and nephews.
In addition to her six children, her posterity includes 20 granddaughters and 10 grandsons. She was looking forward to her first great-grandchild coming in September.
She is preceded in death by her sister, Linn Marie Tonks Hansen, and her sisters-in-law, Sherry Rupp Boone and Leonora Hansen Tonks.
A service will be held on Monday, May 30, at the LDS church at 1615 W 2nd Street in Meridian, Idaho, at 11:30am. The family will receive friends from 10-11:15am at the church prior to the service. Burial will be at the Middleton Idaho Cemetery on Tuesday, May 31, at 10:00am.