Elaine Marilyn Knipfel

PORTAGE  --  Elaine Marilyn Knipfel left this earthly plane to be with her heavenly Father on the eve of March 13th, 2009.  Her loving son, David and Southern Care Hospice were at her side at Northview Gardens Assisted Living.  Elaine had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for several years.

Elaine was born on April 30th, 1924 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Helen and Lester Nelson. She and her two brothers, Roy and William grew up in Minneapolis and on Lake Minnetonka.  She graduated with High Honors from North High School, Minneapolis, MN in 1942 and then attended business school.  She worked for several years for Lutheran Brotherhood as executive secretary to the Vice President in their Corporate Headquarters.  During that time, she met her husband, John Densmoor Knipfel, who had just returned from the War.  They married on June 19th, 1948 at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.  In 1952, they moved to Portage, Wisconsin.  There, they lived and raised their 4 children, Mary Lynn, David, Jan and Gretchen. During their years together she was a busy mother and homemaker.  Elaine also assisted her husband with several of their business ventures.  Elaine was a member of the Portage Country Club Ladies Auxiliary, the Portage Curling Club, the Women's Civic League and several other organizations.  She was always ready and willing to help out with any fundraisers or functions which required either time and/or food donations.  Elaine was also an active member of her Church, St. John the Baptist Episcopal and served on their vestry in different capacities over the years.   She also had been an editor for "Deertales", which was a newsletter for the Saddle Ridge community.  Elaine was an avid reader, a world traveler and true lover of life itself. 

 Elaine was a kind, gentle and dignified lady. She was a devout believer in Jesus Christ and led a faithful and honorable life.  She lived what she professed, that is: To treat all people with respect, dignity and honor, never too quick to judge and always being kind to others.  Elaine always put the needs and wishes of others before her own. 

Elaine is survived by her four children, Mary Lynn Fisher, Estero, FL; David Blair Knipfel, Minneapolis, MN; Jan (Roger) Otterlei, Estero, FL; Gretchen Joyce Lambert, Portage, WI; and her brother, Roy (Mary Ann) Nelson, Mpls. and Naples, Fl.  She is further survived by her five grandchildren: Jordan V. and Alexandra Lua Fisher, Estero, FL; Natalie A. Otterlei, Estero FL; and Chelsea Mae and Whitney Blair Lambert of Portage, WI.  And many nieces and nephews.  Elaine was preceded in death by her parents Lester and Helen Nelson, brother William and her beloved husband John Densmoor Knipfel.

The family would like to give a special thank you to Coleen Nall and all the staff of Heritage House, where she lived for nearly 4 years. They would also like to thank the staff at Northview Gardens Assisted Living and Southern Care Hospice for their loving care of their mother in her last weeks of life. 

Visitation will be held on Sunday March 22, 2009 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage, and the funeral in celebration of her life will take place at 2:00 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 211 W. Pleasant St., Portage, with Rev. Richard Edwin Craig, III officiating.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Elaine’s name to the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Association.

The Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family.



For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)