Eleanor Marie Torkelson, 84, of Elgin, Iowa died Thursday, April 26, 2018 at Stoney Brook Village in West Union, Iowa. Eleanor was born December 29, 1933 on a farm near Castalia to Elmer and Marie (Backhaus) Schutte. She was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Castalia and confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Postville. Eleanor graduated from Postville High School in 1951. Upon graduation, Eleanor moved to Cedar Rapids with three very dear friends. While in Cedar Rapids she worked for Handler Motor Co. She also lived in San Francisco, California for a short time. While living in Cedar Rapids a young Elgin boy started to visit her. When that Elgin boy was discharged from the Army, Eleanor moved back to Elgin and married Ivan Torkelson on October 24, 1954 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Postville. Three children were born to this union.
Eleanor devoted most of her life caring for others. She kept busy raising their children and helping Ivan with their business, Torkelson Motors. After the children were grown, Eleanor worked at the Elgin State Bank, Palmer Community Hospital and made crafts for a company from her home.
Eleanor loved working in her yard and taking care of flowers, she also enjoyed baking and preparing food for her family. Eleanor was a very talented person who did a lot of sewing and crafting. She made stained glass sun catchers and many braided rugs, created and decorated hundreds of grapevine wreaths and made many beautiful pieces of hardanger embroidery. She loved to do crossword puzzles and read books. Another of Eleanor’s greatest loves were the many dogs that they had over the years. She even raised some pug puppies. Eleanor and Ivan enjoyed traveling to many places.
Eleanor was a very active member of the Elgin Lutheran Church. She taught Sunday school and was a junior choir director for many years. Eleanor was very active in Ladies aid and held many office positions. She loved music and was often found playing the piano at home and church. She was a senior choir member her entire life.
Eleanor is survived by her sons, Bruce (Sue) Torkelson of Waukon, Iowa and Dirk (Cindy) Torkelson of Elgin, Iowa; son-in-law, Bob Wilson of Decorah, Iowa; five grandchildren, Erin (Jesse) Bunge, Kyle (Aubrey Boubelik) Torkelson, Jerrod (Royale) Torkelson, Brandon Torkelson and Cody Torkelson; two great-grandsons, Theodore and Oliver Torkelson, and Baby Bunge due in November 2018; sisters-in-law, Carol Torkelson of Lisle, Illinois and Lillian Schutte of Postville, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.
Eleanor was preceded in death by her husband, Ivan in 2014; daughter, Lynette Wilson in 2006; parents, Elmer and Marie Schutte; brothers, Eugene Schutte and Lloyd Schutte; sisters-in-law, Clarine Schutte and Gayle Torkelson; and brothers-in-law, Otis Torkelson and Dean Torkelson.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, Elgin Lutheran Church, Gundersen Tomah Hospice and Stoney Brook Villiage.
Visitation will be held from 3-7 pm on Sunday, April 29, 2018 at Elgin Lutheran Church, Elgin, Iowa. There will also be a one hour visitation before services at the church on Monday.
Funeral Service will be at 11:00 am on Monday, April 30, 2018 at Elgin Lutheran Church, Elgin, Iowa with Rev. David Coffin as the officiant.
Burial will be in the Elgin Cemetery, Elgin, Iowa.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elgin, Iowa is helping the family with arrangements.