Elizabeth Belle Woodliff
Aug 1, 1914 – June 28, 2015
On June 28 Elizabeth Belle Woodliff passed away peacefully at her home at the age of 100 years. Elizabeth was born to Lloyd Ruben Underhill and Adabelle Childers Underhill on August 1, 1914 in Chico California. Elizabeth first came to Nevada with her mother Adabelle when she was seven years old. When they arrived in Reno from Oakland, California, her mother and stepfather to be, Lewis Sutton, were married. The three of them then proceeded to Hazen, Nevada by train to start a new life together on a forty acre homestead located on Swingle Bench. Lewis and his brothers grew cantaloupes and Elizabeth remembers the loading of crates of cantaloupes on the train at Mahalia just north of the “Bench”. In addition to farming, Elizabeth’s stepfather also worked for the TCID and there was a time when the family lived at diversion dam. Elizabeth went to school at Northam School and graduated from eighth grade. She remembers accompanying her teacher, and the teacher’s niece and husband on a car trip to Joplin, Missouri, the summer after she graduated. The trip was exciting for the teenagers, especially when they had to help push the automobile over the Rocky Mountains. Once Elizabeth finished school at Northam, the family moved into town where Elizabeth attended Churchill County High School. After moving to town Elizabeth’s stepfather went to work for I.H. Kent Company where he had multiple jobs including delivering fuel oil. The family continued to grow until Elizabeth had three brothers, Tip, Bud, and Kerry, and three sisters, Lorene, Muriel, and Alice. While attending Churchill County High School, Elizabeth remembers how the “Pit” was used as a basketball court where she played and utilized the lockers under the walkways which are still there but no longer accessible. It was also during this time when she was a senior that she met and married Frank Woodliff Jr. After they were married in 1932, both Frank and Elizabeth worked in the various businesses of the Woodliff Company. The Woodliff Company was founded by Frank’s dad and grandfather who first arrived in Nevada in 1863 where he had a drug store in Aurora. Later in 1903 the Woodliff Company would locate in Fallon, Nevada. Elizabeth helped her husband Frank in several businesses including the Lyric Ice Cream Parlor, Western Hotel, and the Western Motel. In 1955, Elizabeth and Frank moved the family into the newly constructed Western Motel to manage the business until it was economically feasible to hire managers. Frank and Elizabeth who were married 78 years had two children, Deanna and Frank. In addition to helping with the family business, Elizabeth was the consummate housewife seeing to it that the family was always cared for. Among her passions were reading, gardening, and playing Bridge. For more than sixty years, Elizabeth was a member of two Bridge clubs who played weekly. Elizabeth was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. She and her husband Frank served together as Worthy Matron and Patron of Myrtle Chapter No. 12 in Fallon. Elizabeth was also a member of the Daughters of the Nile. Elizabeth is survived by her sister Alice Edwards, brother Kerry Sutton (Gloria), daughter Deanna Woodliff Diehl, son Frank Woodliff III (Sally), grandchildren Erin Gail Knowles, Megan Knowles LaVoy (Matt), Brett Woodliff Knowles (Ari), and great grandchildren Seth, Ryann, Drew, and Luke LaVoy and Krystin and Rylee Knowles. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews. A graveside memorial service will be conducted 10:00 am Friday, July 3, at the family plot in the Churchill County Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Churchill County Museum, 1050 S. Maine, Fallon, Nevada. Arrangements by Smith Family Funeral Home in Fallon: 423-2255.