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Obituary: Edna "Lorraine" Swenson Elmquist


January 31, 2020

Edna "Lorraine" Swenson Elmquist, 92, entered the presence of her Lord and Savior at Cokato Manor on January 23, 2020, in Cokato, Minnesota.

Lorraine was born on Sept. 11, 1927 in Clayton, Wisconsin to Anton and Ruth (Blomquist) Swenson. She moved to a farm near Kandiyohi, Minnesota when she was 9 years old, and graduated from Willmar High School in 1945.

Lorraine was in the first graduating class of Rice Memorial Hospital's nursing school. She worked as a licensed practical nurse at Rice Memorial in Willmar and Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet. She also spent a winter working in Waco, Texas.

Lorraine married Willard (Bill) Elmquist in 1953. To this union four children were born. The family moved to Cloquet in 1957, where she remained after the death of her husband in 1990. She moved back to Kandiyohi in 2005 and enjoyed traveling to visit family, taking her grandchildren on road trips to Montana and winter getaways to Arizona with her brother Arnold and his wife Kathryn. She spent her later years at Lakeview Ranch in Dassel, Cedar Crest in Cosmos, Prairie Senior Cottages in Willmar and Cokato Manor.

Lorraine had a beautiful soprano voice and sang at many weddings, funerals and church services. She was nicknamed "the soul singer." As Alzheimer's disease stole more and more of her mind and memories, the lyrics of her beloved hymns remained with her. Even in the end when words failed her, she continued to hum along in the alto and high tenor range.

She was known for her delicious Swedish rye bread and Swedish tea rings, which her grandchildren called "Grandma Cake." Lorraine was a beautiful seamstress, sewing several wedding and bridesmaid dresses, and even a down jacket with her son David. She was in a bowling league for many years and enjoyed playing cards. She was also an avid Twins fan.

Lorraine is survived by her brother, Kenneth (Lorraine) Swenson; her children, James Elmquist, David (Colleen) Elmquist, Barbara (Mark) Gustafson and Scott (Nancy) Elmquist; her grandchildren Sarah Squires, William Elmquist, Amy (Erik) Hartsoch, Eric (April) Elmquist and Seth (Nicole) Elmquist; her great-grandchildren, Ben, Jacob, Michael and Ellery Harstsoch, and Madilynn, Myles and Mack Elmquist; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Willard; grandson David; sister, Florence Erickson; and brother Arnold Swenson; in-laws Alton Erickson, Kathryn Swenson, Walter and Hazel Johnson, Harold and Gladys Brandt, and John and Muriel Elmquist.

Lorraine trusted Christ Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was very active in Tripolis Lutheran and St. Paul's Lutheran Churches. She was kind and generous to all and a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She will be greatly missed. Blessed be her memory.

Visitation: 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service Friday, Jan. 31 at Tripolis Lutheran Church, Kandiyohi.

Pine Knot News, Jan. 31, 2020.


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