Elaine Alva Dahl Mortensen
Elaine Alva Dahl Mortensen, 98, passed away on September
18, 2017 at Heritage Manor in Elroy, Wisconsin.
Elaine was born March 4, 1919, fifth in a family of eight
children, to Norman and Ida Peterson Dahl in Stanley,
Wisconsin. She married Willard Charles Mortensen on
October 7, 1950 at Grace Lutheran Chapel in Eau Claire,
Wisconsin. She lived most of her life in Stanley, in Eau Claire
during World War II, and the last six years in Elroy.
She grew up on a farm, was raised with a strong work ethic,
and taught her children to have great respect and gratitude
for farmers. In the 1930s and after WWII, she worked at the
luggage factory in Stanley. During the war, she was employed
at the Presto munitions plant in Eau Claire and lived with her
sister Nora’s family. She was patriotic and dedicated to her
work. Her experience of being paid less money based on her
gender, not on her good performance, made her a strong
supporter of equal pay for equal work.
Elaine had a strong faith and was a lifelong member of Our
Savior’s Lutheran Church. She was a faithful member of the
church quilting group and made many quilts at church and at
home for Lutheran World Relief. Her favorite book was the
Bible and she was a “prayer warrior.” Elaine was a thoughtful
and kind person, a loving and supportive wife, a wonderful
mother, and an empathetic listener to all. She was a great
homemaker/baker, always making bread, as well as
Norwegian favorites like flatbread, lefse, fattigmann, and
krumkake. She was a strong model for water and energy
conservation and the importance of being a good steward in
her household and in the world. She could be counted on to
cry at sad movies. She was intelligent and loved to read. She
did not graduate from high school due to eye problems, but
she was self-educated, always curious about the world, and
willing to consider other points of view.
Elaine and Willard (Bill) had a strong and loving partnership.
They enjoyed gardening, spending time with their family,
going places together, and, in later years, tying quilts, making
lefse and flatbread, and visiting with their grandchildren. Their
favorite trip was traveling to Norway, Denmark, England and
Germany in 1974 with Bill’s sister Marie and brother-in-law
George. Elaine was so pleased to meet her Odden relatives in
Norway who lived on the ancestral Folldal farm.
Elaine was preceded in death by her husband Bill in 1994,
and by her four sisters, Nora Olson, Vi Carlson, Evie Follien
and Mil Simenson, and two brothers Larry and Robert.
Elaine is survived by her brother and sister-in-law Rodger and
Betty Dahl of Eau Claire; her three daughters and her son-in-
law: Roxanne Janisewski of East Troy, Debbie and Bill
Henderson of Kendall, Denise Schneider of Madison;
grandchildren Joel Janisewski and Jean Pretz, Jason
Janisewski, Amanda Henderson and Andy Czachowski, Adam
Schneider, Lucas Schneider; and great-grandchildren Miriam,
Ruth, Eleyna, Izaac, and Grayson.
A memorial service will be held at Our Savior’s Lutheran
Church in Stanley on Monday, September 25 at 11:00 a.m.,
preceded by a visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m.