Elaine Lenore Eleeson

Elaine Lenore Eleeson, affectionately known as Lainey, passed away on April 1, 2024 at the Scotchman Living Center in Philip, South Dakota, at the age of 95.
Elaine Lenore Eleeson was born on February 9, 1929 to Carroll and Susan Van Ourkerk in Philip, SD. She was the fifth of nine children. Elaine attended Philip Elementary and Philip High School graduating in 1947.
Elaine met Duane Eleeson while at Philip High School and he became the love of her life. They married upon his return from the Navy after World War II.
Elaine and Duane had two children, Linda and Bruce. Life and job promotions took their family to Huron, Sioux Falls, back to Huron, Lincoln, NE, Rapid City and finally Wichita, Kansas.
Elaine worked at various jobs during her life but her passion was gardening. She loved gardening and working in her yard. Her yard was a showplace with beautiful flower beds and well groomed grass. It was the envy of her neighborhood. She spent endless hours planting flowers weeding and watering.
Elaine was close to her family members and was a prolific letter writer. She stayed in touch with her family members by writing and sending them detailed letters.
Elaine and Duane enjoyed life and eventually retired in Wichita where they had developed many lasting friendships.
Duane developed dementia and required extra care. Elaine placed him in a nursing home for a short time but could not bear to see him spend his last days in a nursing home. She hired extra care and brought him home making a bedroom out of the dining room. She cared for him until his death on April 21, 2010, at the age of 81.
Elaine remained in Wichita after Duane’s passing. Elaine suffered an abdominal aeoticaneurysm in 2017. This affected her health to a degree that she could no longer take care of the her beautiful yard and home.
Elaine moved to Rapid City in 2017 so she could be closer to Bruce, hometown of Philip and the Black Hills which she loved.
Elaine’s health declined and she required additional care. She entered the Scotchman Living Center in 2017. Her special niece Kerry Burns was an angel to Elaine during her final years in Philip. Kerry would bring Elaine’s brother Bill to visit with her and they enjoyed playing poker and visiting. Kerry and Don Burns hold a special place in our hearts.
Elaine is survived by her daughter Linda; son Bruce (Ginger Tait); brother William VanOurkerk; grandchildren Kerry Held, Amy (Matt) Taylor, Joshua Upton, Kelli Eleeson and Autumn Tidwell; great-grandchildren Emma and Camden Held, Samantha and ZachTaylor and Joshua Upton.
Elaine was preceded in death by her parents Carroll and Susan Van Ourkerk, sisters and brothers Norma Lobdell, Robert Van Ourkerk, Flora Rice, Marian Svilar, Calvin VanOurkerk, Donald Van Ourkerk, Virginia Fitzgerald; and granddaughter Casey Eleeson.
Visitation will be held one hour prior to the services at the church.
Funeral services will be held 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 5, at the United Church in Philip.
Interment will be at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.
Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
E Mail: ads@pioneer-review.com

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