Eva (Collier) Rhinehart Pendleton of Midvale passed away on Christmas Day, December 25, 2019, at the age of 99, just 146 days shy of her 100th birthday.
Eva was born to parents James Edwin and Lena May (Palmer) Collier on May 19, 1920, in Vernal, UT. She was the fourth of eight children and attended Uintah High School, where she excelled in basketball, baseball, track, and tumbling.
In 1939, a group of young men from Ohio was sent to a camp near Vernal as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). One of those young men was a handsome rogue with jet black hair named Eugene Victor Rhinehart. When Eva met him, she told her friends if she ever married him and had a little girl, she would call her Victoria Jeen. They married in June of 1940, they had their first child, a boy, William Edwin, or Bill, in June of 1946, and Victoria Jeen was born the next year in August 1947. During WWII, while Gene was stationed overseas with the SeaBees, she worked at Remington Arms Factory, inspecting bullet casings, and later worked as a driver for the Army. Gene and Eva divorced in 1966.
Eva took a dental assistant course and was the president of the Salt Lake Dental Assistants Association in 1968-1969. She worked for Dr. Livingston in Salt Lake until she married Dr. Robert C. Pendleton in 1973. She may well have been his most avid student, driving him throughout the western United States, learning about the flora and fauna, and soaking up all of the knowledge she could. She said at the end of her life that she wished she had gone to university. She had a brilliant mind and never stopped learning. She instilled that love in her children and grandchildren, many of whom are avid birders, rock hounds, pumpers of iron. Eva earned her purple belt in Kenpo Karate under the study of her son and grandson, Bill and Tommy Rhinehart, in her late 70s . She paraglided over the sea in Mexico at 63, skied into her 70s, and loved hiking, with a special love for Cecret Lake. She lived independently, was very proud that she was legal to drive until "1-0-2," and pumped iron at the gym three days a week until she was almost 99 years old. She lived an adventurous life on her terms. She was stubborn, beautiful, and amazing, and she will be missed terribly. There is a century-sized hole in our hearts, but what a legacy and what a progeny she leaves behind!
Eva is survived by her daughter, Victoria; her sister, Ina May Johnson; daughter-in-law, Robyn Rhinehart; eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, 5 step great-great-grandchildren, and was so happy she got to live long enough to meet her great-great grandbaby who was born in June 2019, shortly after her 99th birthday. She is preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Robert C. Pendleton; her son, Bill Rhinehart; her brothers, Eldon, Vernon, Don, Palmer, and Wendell; and her sister, Mary.
A memorial will be held on January 4, 2020, at 11 a.m. at the LDS chapel at 7250 S 300 E, Midvale, UT. Eva’s wishes were to be cremated. Her ashes will be interred in Elysian Gardens Cemetery next to her son, Bill.
We are so grateful to the many healthcare and wellness professionals who have cared for her over the years, including Registered Physical Therapists (RPT), Monique at her family doctor’s office, Anna and her phenomenal team at IMC Wound Clinic, Dr. Alan Crandall and Dr. Brian Zaugg at the Moran Eye Center, Dr. Peter Novak at St. Marks, Marcy Rowley, NP, Melissa and Mindy, drivers at the skilled nursing facilities she lived at during her last few months, and the fantastic nurses and CNAs at Intermountain Medical Center. There are many, many more. If you had the pleasure to know Eva, you knew her by her spunk, joy in living, and WTL (Will To Live!) Her secret to a long life was “Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and love everybody.” The world is a little less bright without her here, but she lives on in the lives of everyone she touched.
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