Mavis Elseth, 76, long-time resident of Warren, MN, passed away on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at her home in Lindsborg, Kansas.
Mavis Irene Nelson was born October 14, 1943 to Theodore (Ted) and Florence Nelson in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada. As the oldest of six siblings on the family farm, Mavis learned early the value of work and gratitude. A stroke Ted suffered when Mavis was 11 paralyzed his left side and altered family life in multiple ways. Florence, who taught Mavis well, was industrious, hospitable and creative – able to make meals and clothes out of seemingly “very little”.
Their family was very close to the Ernie Drebert family, to whom they were twice related: Florence’s brother was married to Ted’s sister. (This made Mavis and siblings “double cousins” to the Drebert children, an insight Mavis enjoyed sharing.) The two families shared one farm home until the third child was expected in each family. When the Dreberts built across the field, a well-worn path between the two homes soon resulted. When she was 16, Mavis lived with the Dreberts to make meals and care for the family while Vivian was ill.
Faith also formed her early life. Frequent gatherings of Malmo Mission Covenant Church and its fellowship times, including outings to Pigeon Lake Bible Camp shaped Mavis’ sense of what a faith community could be. It was at camp that she chose to follow Christ.
After graduating from Wetaskiwin High School, Mavis attended Covenant Bible College (CBC), in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and took secretarial courses in Edmonton, Alberta. Her first job was as secretary at Fort Saskatchewan Elementary School. Later she served on staff at CBC twice and as the office administrator at Warren Covenant Church for 18 years.
On June 21, 1968 she married Robert (Bob) Elseth. They made their home near Warren, Minnesota. In 1969, Mavis and Bob grieved the passing of their first-born daughter, Irene, at the time of her birth. In the years that followed, together they enjoyed raising daughter Anita and son Jeremy. These family years were marked by the rhythm of farming, worship and church involvement, as well as trips to Alberta, Minneapolis, and Bluewater Covenant Bible Camp.
Mavis thoroughly delighted in people and in friendships, and savored opportunities to extend hospitality. A great day included connection with friends or family and the chance to serve God and others. Often she could be found welcoming people or organizing something. Pepparkakor and coconut oatmeal cookies, rye bread and flatbread were among the specialties from her kitchen. Her granddaughters will remember her for the many tea parties she hosted!
In recent years Mavis battled Parkinson’s Disease. Since late 2018, Bob and Mavis appreciated times in Lindsborg to be near family.
Left to mourn her passing are her loving husband, Bob; daughter, Anita (Brian) Eyer of Lindsborg, KS; son, Jeremy (Jaime) of Lindsborg, KS; five grandchildren, Brayden and Sophia Eyer, Jalen, Jordyn and Jersey Elseth; one sister, Bev (Neil) Plume of Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada; four brothers, Dennis (Ruth) Nelson of Wetaskiwin, Alberta; Russell (Donalda) Nelson of Edmonton, Alberta; Doug (Heather) Nelson of High River, Alberta; Rob (Amy) Nelson of Goshen, Indiana; two “double cousins”, Marilyn (Ewald) Roesler of Kelowna, British Columbia, Glenda (Al) Gassner of Red Deer, Alberta; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ted and Florence Nelson; Uncle Ernie Drebert, Aunt Vivian Drebert, double cousins Morley and Rod Drebert; and daughter Irene.
A Celebration of Life will be held 10 AM Saturday, June 20 at the Warren Covenant Church. The service will be held outdoors in order to maintain Social Distancing. Please bring your own chair.