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Elsie Winter

elsie winter
Elsie Winter age 104 of Fredericksburg died Sunday, November 18, 2012, at her daughter’s rural Fredericksburg home. Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 24, 2012, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church-Richfield, rural Sumner, with Rev. Wayne Ellingson officiating. Organist for the service will be Irmgard Ellingson. The congregation will sing, 'Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning', 'Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me', 'The Lord's Prayer' and 'God Be With You, Until We Meet Again.' Interment will be in Rose Hill Cemetery, Fredericksburg with Dean Speicher, Keith Speicher, Allen Fritz, Duane Lewis, Ronald Ungerer and Dennis Shurtleff as pallbearers. Honorary Pallbearers are Ron Moody, Bob Rethamel, Roger Lewis, David Ungerer, Donald Ungerer, Harvey Ungerer, Dale Ungerer and Jerry Lewis. Friends may greet the family 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. Friday, November 23, 2012, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home in Fredericksburg. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the church. Elsie Emelia was born on a farm south of Hawkeye, Iowa on May 21, 1908, the oldest child of Henry and Anna (Belgalske) Ungerer. Elsie was a great help to her mother and was a wonderful caretaker to her younger siblings. She also helped her father with various chores on the farm. Her determination was evident even when she was a young girl. She attended two different country schools. After 8th grade, her parents needed help with farm work and raising her siblings so she was unable to finish. Elsie also stayed with her Grandma and Grandpa Begalske, where she attended a confirmation school in Hawkeye. She always helped in any way possible and always did what was needed. When she was young, there wasn't radios, television or any of the electrical items like there are today. Elsie played checkers, dominoes, and cards. On special occasions, her family would pack a picnic and visit their neighbors. Elsie met Erwin Winter at a dance in Hawkeye. Erwin had gone with Elsie's cousin to the dance, but was smitten with Elsie and won her over instead. Erwin was from the Waucoma area and would need to borrow his father's car, in order to see Elsie every two weeks. On June 6, 1935, Elsie married the love of her life, Erwin Winter on a Saturday afternoon wedding at the Richfield Lutheran Church. A wedding day story she told was that she was late for her own wedding. Back then, flower shops were few and far between and the bride's bouquet came in the mail. When Elsie received it, she was very disappointed and decided to spruce it up. After taking it apart and adding her own ferns and flowers, she was off to the wedding, albeit a tad late. After their marriage, Elsie and Erwin stayed with his parents on their farm for about a year. They then bought the Zbornik farm about 4 1/2 miles from Fredericksburg. They split everything 50/50 with the Zborniks until they saved enough for a down payment and bought the farm on contract. It was at this home their twodaughters, Lorraine and Connie were born. Their youngest, Denny was born at a maternity home in Sumner. Money was scarce, but Elsie was a master dressmaker/sewer. She made clothes for her three children out of feed sacks for years. They would pick out the fabric for their dresses by going to the co-op with their father to choose the prettiest feed sack in the pile. Her children remember not having a store bought coat until high school, but they recall their friends admiring the clothes their mother made and even asked to borrow them. They didn't do without; they were blessed with her talents. In fact, Elsie's sewing and dressmaking were known worldwide, as her daughters would give beautiful gifts to friends who would take them overseas. Many people would call back to see if they could purchase more. Her talents included making baby quilts, crocheting, and making her daughters wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses. When Elsie and Erwin were on the farm, they farmed with horses. One year all the horses were stricken with sleeping sickness. After continued vigilant care, they did not make it. After much discussion, her and Erwin decided it was time for their first tractor. They purchased it in 1939 for $830. Elsie was an entrepreneur.She always found ways to earn extra money for her family. She had a vast garden and would sell strawberries for 25 cents per quart. She saved seeds from the year before for the next year's garden. Never to waste, never to want, she was always vigilant in saving money and time. In 1969, their beloved son Denny was killed in a car accident. Life had changed forever. The couple moved into Fredericksburg in 1973 and Elsie proceeded in redoing her new house. In 1975, Erwin and Elsie celebrated their 40th Anniversary. Her dear Erwin died that year at the age of 63. She continued living in town. She stayed very active and traveled to see all her grandchildren. In fact, she was present for every birth of her 5 great-grandchildren. She had a lifelong love for fishing and when she was 80 years old went to Canada with Bob and Lorraine. Elsie was a longtime member of the Richfield Lutheran Church. The couple also belonged to the 'Social Center Club' for many years that was made up of men and woman of their neighborhood on the farm. They met once a month and was a very important part of their social life. She also was an 85 year veteran of the 'Royal Rummy Club' Survivors include two daughters, Lorraine (Bob) Weidler of New Hampton and Connie (Dennis) Heussner of Fredericksburg; four granddaughters, Debbie Weidler and Kathy Weidler both of New Hampton, Lisa (Steve) Young of Dallas, TX and Gina (Thomas) Miller of Bentonville, AR; five great-grandchildren, Austin Young of Dallas, TX, Hayden Young of Leads, England, Emmy Miller of Fayetteville, AR, Riley Miller of UT and Lizzie Miller of Bentonville, AR; one brother, Clarence Ungerer of Taylorsville, IL; one sister, Clara Lewis of Windsor, CO; one sister-in-law, Doratta Johnson of Cedar Falls. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Erwin in 1975; her son, Dennis Winter in 1968; and one sister, Mabel Speicher.

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  1. So enjoyed the story in Our Iowa Magazine about Elsie returning to the building site she spent so many years and had many memories. Beautiful obituary. Our moms were exceptional people and left big shoes for us to fill. Charlotte Karnatz Braland

  2. Deepest condolences to you Lorraine, Connie, and your families. Your Mother was a great lady. We truly enjoyed your mothers 100th Birthday Celebration. You are in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless You. Jean and Clarence Beier

  3. Oh Gosh..sorry to hear about Elsie. 104 years is remarkable..Our Sympathy to her family..Roger and Margo

  4. My sympathy to your family. What a beautiful obit. Your family history is a lot like mine. I remember Elsie well from Richfield days. Wish I could be there to give you all a hug. Sincerely, Joyce (Winter) Grover. North Pole, Alaska

  5. We love you so very much. The strength you gave us at our darkest times will be with us always. Love,Tod, Dena, and Zachary

  6. Bob, Loraine and family, you have our sympathy. Elsie lived a beautiful life. Blessings on you all. Richard and Rose Holschlag

  7. Elsie was an amazing woman and my deepest sympathy to her entire family. She will be missed. Dan and DeeDee Sternat family.


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