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Eleanore Josephine Gansen

eleanore gansen

Eleanore Josephine Gansen age 88 of Elma, died Friday, May 17, 2024 at her home surrounded by her family.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Elma with Rev. Dan Knipper celebrating the Mass.  Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Elma with Eleanore’s grandchildren serving as pallbearers.

Friends may greet the family from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in Elma.  Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass on Wednesday at the church.


Born on August 25, 1935, in New Hampton, Iowa, Eleanore was the daughter of Louis and Helen (Schmelzer) Ludwig.

Eleanore’s journey began in the serene countryside of Iowa, where she attended country schools around the Elma area before pursuing her education at Elma Catholic High School. It was during these formative years that she crossed paths with the love of her life, Joseph Gansen. Their romance blossomed, culminating in a joyful union on January 28, 1953, in Lourdes, Iowa. Together, they embarked on a beautiful journey filled with love, laughter, and cherished memories.

As a devoted farm wife, Eleanore dedicated herself to nurturing their five children while Joe worked the land. Their home in the Elma area became a haven of warmth and hospitality, where Eleanore’s love and care were felt by all who entered. Amidst the joyful chaos of family life, Eleanore found solace in her passion for sewing. Whether surrounded by children or tending to her beloved flowers, her nimble fingers worked wonders, creating beautiful garments and cherished memories.  She was a big fan of tractor pulls and loved to watch her husband, son Bob and grandson Joey.

Eleanore’s generosity knew no bounds; she was always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need. Her culinary skills were legendary, delighting family and friends with her delectable cakes and sumptuous meals. Her sense of humor, as endearing as it was infectious, brought joy to all who knew her.

In addition to her domestic pursuits, Eleanore was an active member of her community, participating in organizations such as the Red Hat Ladies, Tri County Citizens for Life, and the 4-H Club. Her talents extended beyond the home, as she excelled in arts, crafts, golfing, and even a friendly game of pool. Eleanore and Joe shared a passion for travel, embarking on countless adventures together, often journeying to California to explore new horizons.

Among Eleanore’s many passions was her love for Collies, reflected in her extensive collection and their involvement in breeding purebred Collies. Her love for these majestic creatures mirrored her nurturing spirit and unwavering devotion to her family.

She is survived by three sons, Kenny (Jamie) Gansen of Elma, Bob (Robin) Gansen of Elma, Rich (Lori) Gansen of Brownsdale, MN; two daughters, Mary Jo (Denny) Fitzgerald of Elma, Jayne (Rusty) Joelle Conway of San Diego, CA; 14 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; sister-in-laws, Eula Ludwig of Elma, Norma Kolbet and Jeannette Glaser.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Joseph in 2013; one brother, Don Ludwig; one sister, Jannette (Bill) Meyer; two daughters-in-law, Debbie Gansen, Dawn Gansen; one granddaughter, Angie Mayer.


Visitation: May 21, 2024 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Hugeback & Johnson Funeral Home - Elma
508 Maple St
Elma, IA 50628

Mass of Christian Burial: May 22, 2024 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church - Elma
203 7th Street
Elma, IA 50628

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  1. We are deeply sorry for the loss of Eleanor,we will keep you in our prayers and thoughts.
    Duane and Marlys Hackman.

  2. Eleanor was a champion for the pro-life cause! She is now in Paradise united with God and His Angels & Saints!

  3. Our deepest sympathy to all of Eleanor’s family. We have always been very grateful to Eleanor and Joe for them visiting our sister Lillian when she was in the rest home. It was quite a distance to go to Webster City and appreciated their thoughtfulness. Connie {Havlik) & Gary Kuehn

  4. Sending prayers to Eleanore’s family. May her memories console you today! Jeanne and David Roder

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