Edna “Lorraine” Swenson Elmquist, age 92, entered the presence of her Lord and Savior Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at Cokato Manor in Cokato.
A funeral service will take place at Tripolis Lutheran Church in Kandiyohi, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 at 11 a.m. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service.
Lorraine was was born Sept. 11, 1927, in Clayton, WI, to Anton and Ruth (Blomquist) Swenson.
She moved to a farm near Kandiyohi when she was 9 years old, and graduated from Willmar High School in 1945.
She was in the first graduating class from Rice Memorial Hospital’s licensed practical nurse (LPN) nursing school, and worked as an LPN at Rice Memorial (Willmar) and Cloquet Memorial hospitals. She also spent a winter working in Waco, TX.
Lorraine married Willard (Bill) Elmquist in 1953. To this union, four children were born.
The family moved to Cloquet in 1957, where she remained after the death of her husband, Bill, in 1990.
She moved back to Kandiyohi in 2005, and enjoyed traveling to visit family, taking her grandchildren on road-trips to Montana, and winter getaways to Arizona with her brother, Arnold, and his wife, Kathryn.
She spent her later years at Lakeview Ranch in Dassel, Cedar Crest in Cosmos, Prairie Senior Cottage in Willmar, and Cokato Manor.
Lorraine had a beautiful soprano voice and sang at many weddings, funerals, and church services. She was nicknamed the “Soul Singer.”
As Alzheimer’s disease stole more and more of her mind and memories, the lyrics of her beloved hymns remained with her. Even in the end when words failed her, she continued to hum along in alto or high tenor.
She was known for her delicious Swedish rye bread and Swedish tea rings, which her grandchildren called “Grandma Cake.”
Lorraine was a beautiful seamstress, sewing several wedding and bridesmaid dresses, and even a down jacket with her son, David.
She was on a bowling league for many years, and enjoyed playing cards. She was also an avid Twins fan.
Lorraine is survived by her brother, Kenneth (Lorraine) Swenson; her children, James Elmquist, David (Colleen) Elmquist, Barbara (Mark) Gustafson, and Scott (Nancy) Elmquist; her grandchildren, Sarah Squires, William Elmquist, Amy (Erik) Hartsoch, Eric (April) Elmquist, and Seth (Nicole) Elmquist; her great grandchildren, Ben, Jacob, Michael, and Ellery Harstsoch, and Madilynn, Myles, and Mack Elmquist; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Willard, grandson David, sister Florence Erickson, and brother Arnold Swenson, in-laws Alton Erickson, Kathryn Swenson, Walter and Hazel Johnson, Harold and Gladys Brandt, and John and Muriel Elmquist.
Lorraine trusted Christ Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was very active in Tripolis Lutheran and St. Paul’s Lutheran churches. She was kind and generous to all and a beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She will be greatly missed. Blessed be her memory.