Elaine C. Terfehr, age 97, of Urbank died peacefully surrounded by family on Friday, December 25, 2020 at the Alomere Health in Alexandria.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Urbank with Fr. Peter VanderWeyst officiating. Interment will take place at the church cemetery. The service will be broadcast to the parking lot on 105.3 FM radio. The service will be lived streamed to the overflow area in the Parish Hall and on the church website. Access via this link at 10:45 AM: catholicchurches-BMUP.org.
Visitation will be from 5-8 PM, Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at Lind Family Funeral Home in Alexandria with a time of sharing at 7:00 PM. The visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church commencing with the Christian Mother’s Rosary at 10:00 AM. Please honor all Covid mandates, social distancing, and facial coverings.
Elaine Cecelia was born on July 22, 1923 to Jeremiah and Mathilda (Weiler) Sullivan in Lisbon, North Dakota. She was the youngest of seven children. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Aloysius Church in Lisbon. She attended the country elementary school just over a mile from the family farm north of Lisbon. Most days she walked to and from school. She attended and graduated from Lisbon High School. During those years she stayed with her Grandmother Weiler in Lisbon because the farm was 6 miles from Lisbon and there was no bus service in those days. She continued her education at the business school in Fargo, North Dakota. Following graduation, she worked as a teller and accountant at The National Bank of Wahpeton, North Dakota.
Elaine lived the simple life of a farm girl during the depression years. She was given a lamb to raise each year then sold and the proceeds used to buy school clothes. She was given a milk pail on her 7th birthday and thereafter assumed duties milking the family dairy cows. She never had a bicycle but had fun riding with her friends who did. Oyster stew was a Christmas food tradition in their Irish household. She remembered her Dad as a kind man who often helped someone in need including boarding some folks at the farm for a time. She once said, “there were some real characters that stayed with us.”
During the five years she worked at the bank she had an active social life including being a member of a bowling league. During that time, she visited her sister who lived in Urbank. On one of those visits she met her future husband Bill Terfehr. Elaine and Bill were married in Lisbon on May 24, 1948. They took over the family farm in Urbank and raised seven children there. During those years she was the host for many family gatherings. She was a great cook. There were also trips to North Dakota to visit her Sullivan family – she enjoyed those very much. She was a life-long parishioner at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Elaine was active in the Christian Mothers organization and prepared her well known chicken recipe for the fall bazaar each year. She also served as the Urbank Town Clerk for many years. She worked at various jobs after she and Bill stopped farming including Knute Nelson Senior Living in Alexandria for 26 years. She retired at age 80.
During retirement Elaine enjoyed a variety of leisure activities. She loved old time and country music, playing bingo, and watching the Urbank Bombers and Minnesota Twins baseball with her good friend Caroline Bettin – known by some as the Go-Go Girls. She loved visits to Eagle Lake and pontoon rides on warm sunny summer days. She enjoyed dressing stylishly with complementary jewelry, of course. Her watch collection is renowned. Elaine enjoyed an occasional trip to the casino for a bit of entertainment, dressed well of course. All who knew Elaine remember her bright smile, warm personality, feistiness, and her hugs – wonderful warm hugs.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Terfehr; daughter, Bernadine (Raymond) Schmidt; and son, Jerry Terfehr.
Elaine is survived by her son, Tom (Lisa) Terfehr; daughters, Mary Ann Nunes (Paul Mielke), Lavonne (Chuck) Braunschweig, Lorraine Hausmann and Rosalie (Mark) Hoium; daughter-in-law, Teresa Terfehr; 20 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.
Pallbearers are her eight grandchildren, Chad Braunschweig, Shayna Braunschweig, Kathy Hausmann, Tonya Karels, Bob Schmidt, Dawn Terfehr, Emily Terfehr and Jake Terfehr. Honorary pallbearers are her remaining grandchildren.