Elaine A. Van Effen

ESCANABA — Elaine A. Van Effen, of 1014 S. 15th St., Escanaba, passed away Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, at the DragonFly assisted living home in Rapid River. She was born on Feb. 11, 1920, the daughter of Ole and Edith (Ringstrand) Anderson. She was a lifelong resident of Escanaba.

She was valedictorian of the Escanaba High School Class of 1938 and served as class secretary. She was a member of the National Honor Society.

She attended Cloverland Commercial College, where she won first place in a National Gregg Shorthand contest. She was employed for 13 years by the Delta Hardware Company as a secretary and buyer. She also served as assistant secretary of the company.

On Oct. 24, 1942, she married William J. Van Effen, former superintendent of the Escanaba Municipal Electric Department, at the Zion Lutheran Church, Boston, Mass. Bill preceded her in death on Dec. 18, 1973.

She volunteered for many years for the Red Cross Blood Bank and the St. Francis Auxiliary gift shop and enjoyed her time as a Cub Scout den mother and a Girl Scouts Brownie leader. She was also active in the PTA and PTO Council.

As a lifelong member of Bethany Lutheran Church, she was a member of the choir, WELCA, the serving committee, the Altar Guild, flower delivery and represented Bethany in the Church Women United.

She enjoyed working on high school class reunions and kept in touch with 1938 graduates in many parts of the country.

She cared for her mother in her home for 18 years, and they regularly visited friends who were in nursing homes.

In her earlier years, she enjoyed ice skating, skiing and bicycle hikes. Her interests included listening to music, reading, knitting design sweaters, movies and collectibles, especially angel dolls and figurines. At Christmas time, she especially enjoyed decorating her home in the Swedish theme and inviting several groups for visits, one of them being the elderly women of Bethany.

At various times over the years she had been a member of the Delta County Historical Society, the Evening Stars Circle of Bethany, PEO Sisterhood, Chapter Z, St. Francis Hospice and Future Planners Extension Club.

She was a very appreciative person, and especially thankful for her kind and thoughtful friends.

Elaine A. Van Effen is survived by her son, William J. (Deborah) Van Effen II, Newberry; daughter, Jill (James) Miller, Gladstone, and Jean (David) Van Effen, Yelm, Wash.; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sisters-in- law, Phyllis Larsen, Escanaba, and Helen Nolde, Gladstone; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Elaine was preceded in death by her husband and brother.

Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday, Dec. 8, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Escanaba. Funeral services celebrating the life of Elaine will follow at noon Thursday with Rev. Erik Heskin officiating. A luncheon will be served afterward in the Bethany Lutheran Church fellowship area. Burial will take place in Gardens of Rest Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Bethany Lutheran Church Organ Fund, the Salvation Army, or a charity of your choice.

The Anderson Funeral Home is assisting the Van Effen family and online condolences can be sent at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net.