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Obituary for Elaine Kringen

Elaine Anita Holst was born on December 3, 1923, in Chicago, Illinois to Lars and Anida (Jensen) Holst. Her father died when she was nine years old leaving her mother to raise Elaine and her three-year-old brother during the Great Depression. Elaine graduated from Fenger High School in January 1941. After much urging by her pastor, Elaine enrolled at St. Olaf College in the fall of 1941. Perhaps the generous scholarship of seventy-five dollars (the cost of tuition for one semester in 1941) helped influence her decision. When working on her family history she wrote about that time, “To be […]

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Elaine Anita Holst was born on December 3, 1923, in Chicago, Illinois to Lars and Anida (Jensen) Holst. Her father died when she was nine years old leaving her mother to raise Elaine and her three-year-old brother during the Great Depression. Elaine graduated from Fenger High School in January 1941.

After much urging by her pastor, Elaine enrolled at St. Olaf College in the fall of 1941. Perhaps the generous scholarship of seventy-five dollars (the cost of tuition for one semester in 1941) helped influence her decision. When working on her family history she wrote about that time, “To be thrust into this Norwegian Lutheran community was like coming home.” She met Duane during their freshman year and by the end of their sophomore year there was no doubt this was the love affair of their lives.

Elaine and Duane were married July 19, 1944, in Chicago. They spent three months living in San Diego before Duane left for the Pacific Theater. Elaine returned to Northfield to finish her college and then accepted a teaching position in St. Olaf’s Women’s Physical Education department. She taught for three years prior to the birth of their first child. After the children were grown, she worked for the Norwegian American Historical Association, which combined her love of history with her love of all things Norwegian. Following retirement in 1984, she and Duane spent several months each winter in Arizona.

Elaine enjoyed a variety of activities, but two favorites were swimming and reading. She was an excellent swimmer and taught swimming at St. Olaf and life-saving classes for the Red Cross. During summers at the family cabin, she would swim twice daily, doing laps to the raft and back (unless it was snowing). This activity continued until her 91st year. She belonged to two reading groups that she enjoyed very much. She always read the books prior to the meeting! One book club required research and presenting a paper at the meeting. She loved her church, serving on a number of boards and assisting with services. She was involved in starting the Columbarium at St. John’s. She served as a Girl Scout leader, chair of the Hospital Auxiliary and other community activities.

Of course, her family was her foremost and greatest love. In her early years, there were camping trips to various destinations in Minnesota, the National Parks in the West, New England, and the Canadian Rockies. In later years the family cabin became the focus of many of the most memorable, joyful times. She also enjoyed the many trips abroad with devoted friends who graced her life.

She is survived by her husband of 73+ years, Duane; children Janet (Terrie) Thompson, Peggy Soden and Andrew (Dawnette); brother Lawrence Holst. She is also survived by grandchildren Siri Thompson (Eric), Nate Thompson (Suchi), Joel Soden (Mallory), Marta Soden (Ryan) and Elisa Schaar (Steve). Great grandchildren Addison and Charlotte Thompson-Klimpke, Arlo and Cora Soden, Kira and Evan Soden-Kahler.

Elaine died March 18, 2018. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 24, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.

Memorials are suggested for St. John’s Lutheran Church, St. Olaf College, or the Northfield Public Library. Arrangements by Bierman Funeral Home. biermanfuneralhome.com.

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Funeral

11:00 AM - March 24, 2018


Visitation One Hour Before Service
St. John’s Lutheran Church
500 3rd St W Northfield, 55057 Get Directions

1 Comment

  1. Tamar Ghidalia

    What an amazing life!
    So sorry I will not be able to attend the funeral on Saturday; my thoughts will be with you and your family!

    best,
    Tamar

    Reply

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