Ellen May Cairns was born December 22, 1921 in Montrose, Colo., the second of five children and only daughter of William O. Cairns and Georgia Barnes Cairns. She spent her childhood living on the family farm in Riverside, close to Montrose.
She graduated from high school at age 16 and took a year of business-correspondence classes.
Ellen married John William (Bill) Brock in 1943 and they had three children. They later divorced and she married Ray Alger in Moab in 1960.
Ellen had a long and satisfying career. She worked at the employment center in Montrose, and was Montrose City Clerk prior to moving to Moab. She went to work for Moab Broadcasting & Television Corporation in its infancy, and she and a business partner, Forest Simpson, started the KURA radio station in Moab. After they sold the radio station, she worked for the National Park Service for a couple of years as secretary to Bates Wilson, at the time when Canyonlands National Park came into being. She later worked with her husband, Ray, helping him run his electrical contracting business, A & E Electric, from which they both retired.
Ellen and Ray enjoyed their retirement years, spending time traveling and following the race circuit with their quarter horses. They were also active in family life with the kids and grandkids.
Ellen is survived by her husband, Leo Ray Alger; daughter Kathleen (Katie) Hanway (Murray) of Moab; daughter Bonnie (Ray) Walker of Sandy; and her brother Roy M. Cairns of Montrose. Also surviving are nine grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. She was preceded in death by her son, James B. Brock, of Sandy, and three brothers, Robert, Bert and Ralph Cairns.