April 22, 2024

Elaine Louise (Lehrke) Anderson

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Elaine Louise (Lehrke) Anderson, age 87, passed away peacefully on February 13, 2024 after a brief hospice stay at Broen Home in Fergus Falls, MN.

Elaine was born at home on December 14, 1936 to Walter and Helen (Kaatz) Lehrke.  She grew up in rural New Effington, SD where she was confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in 1951. Shortly after her confirmation, the family moved to South St Paul, MN where she would graduate from high school in 1954. She attended Hamline University and graduated from their nursing program in 1957. After spending a number of years in the nursing profession, she decided to find a career that was more conducive to raising a family and she took a job doing layout and proofing of The Times newspaper in Forest Lake, MN. She continued taking classes in graphic design and jumped at the chance to work at 3M in their design and typesetting department. Elaine worked at their St Paul campus until her retirement in 1994.

She met Arnold “Andy” Anderson after high school and the two were engaged after she graduated from Hamline. They were married in September of 1958 and made their home in Wyoming, MN. They raised their family in the original farm house until 1985 when they built their a-frame just a few hundred feet away. After retirement, Andy and Elaine built a home in rural Dalton and moved in on January 1, 2001. They had many happy years at their home in the country and their family still gathers there to celebrate holidays and birthdays!

Elaine loved celebrating her children’s birthdays. She would make whatever meal they requested, but found the hotdogs and beans the easiest to prepare. She looked forward to having her extended family over for every Thanksgiving. She instilled in her children the importance of family and made it a priority, right to the end of her life, to be at as many gatherings as possible.

Elaine enjoyed bowling league and playing cards. She was often found playing solitaire anywhere there was a flat surface until she got a computer and could play on that all day and night. She was well known for her cross stitching skill and the stockings her family hangs every Christmas are a treasure. Elaine was active in her church, teaching sunday school, working in the kitchen and participating in the women’s bible study. She rarely missed a Sunday service and was famous for saying she couldn’t sing, but could “make a joyful noise”, which she certainly did.  

She was preceded in death by her husband Andy, infant son David, parents Walter and Helen, father and mother in-in-law Harold and Hazel Anderson, brother Herbert, sisters Lucy (King), Erna (Ellingson), and Evelyn (Witz), brothers-in-law Stan King, Chester Witz, and Thomas Klimas and sister-in-law Marge Lehrke.

Left to mourn her passing and celebrate her life are her children Joanne and Dave Johnson of Wyoming, MN, Richard Anderson of Shoreview, MN, Wayne and Lita Anderson of Richfield, MN and Janice and Tom Amundson of Dalton, MN, her grandchildren Megan (Ben) Klaphake, Eliza (Alex) Harste, Beckett Anderson and Asher Anderson, her great-grandchildren Avery, Adeline and Andrew and her grand dogs Sutton, Cleo and Saga. She will be dearly missed by her remaining sister Malisse Klimas, brother-in-law Hartley Ellingson, brother-in-law Don (Donna) Anderson, all her nieces, nephews and cousins and all who knew and loved her.

A visitation will be held at Erickson Smith Funeral Home in Elbow Lake, MN on Thursday February 22, 2024 from 6 – 8 p.m.

A funeral service will be held at Christ Lutheran Church in Elbow Lake, MN on Friday February 23, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. with a visitation one hour prior.

Burial will be at Fort Snelling at a later date.

In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to Lutheran Island Camp or The American Lung Association.

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