Elaine Marie Hodnefield, 72, of Kingsley, Iowa passed away on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at Unity Point Health in Sioux City, Iowa.
A Celebration of Life will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 17, 2020 at the Johnson – Earnest Funeral Home in Kingsley. Masks and social distancing will be required. Pastor Ken Kraft will officiate. Burial will take place at the Hauges Cemetery in Jackson, Minnesota. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday at the funeral home. Expressions of sympathy may be directed through www.mauerjohnsonfh.com
Elaine Marie Hodnefield was born to Cornelius (Corny) and Mildred (Millie) Hodnefield in Jackson Minnesota on March 21, 1948. It was Palm Sunday, also the first day of spring. She was the first of their three children. She grew up on a farm near Lakefield Minnesota with her two younger sisters, Kathy (Kathleen) and Ellie (Elinor).
Elaine was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church. She was a woman of strong Christian faith and values. Elaine was an excellent student and knew at a young age that she wanted to be a teacher. Her favorite childhood activity was playing school with her two rather reluctant sisters as students.
She graduated as Valedictorian from Lakefield High School in Minnesota 1966. She studied Elementary Education at Mankato State College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1970.
Elaine’s teaching career spanned 47 years from 1970 until her retirement in May 2017. She did her student teaching in Northfield, Minnesota. She taught in Paullina, Iowa before joining the Kingsley -Pierson School district. She taught primarily 3rd grade classes.
Elaine was passionate about teaching. She taught three generations of children in the Kingsley -Pierson schools. She will be remembered for the many lives she helped to shape as a teacher. She treated every student as though they were her own children. Elaine was involved in many of the school’s activities. She loved to go to football and basketball games.
Elaine was a die-hard Minnesota Twins baseball fan. Her favorite player was home run hitter Harmon Killebrew. She would celebrate his birthday every year and was able to meet him in person after he retired.
Elaine was proud of her Norwegian ancestry and visited Norway twice. She also traveled to Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia and took a cruise from Vancouver to Alaska with her sisters and their husbands. She was an enthusiastic tourist, always looking for things that would help her in her teaching. This was true whether she were going to Moville or San Francisco.
Elaine was the family historian and keeper of the birthdays. She knew birthdays of most, if not all, of the extended family as well as all her friends and probably most of the kids that she taught. You could always see the sparkle in her eyes and hear the glee in her voice when she would say “Do you know whose birthday is today?”
Elaine was an optimist. She always tried to see the best in people. She was devoted to the students she taught, her family and her friends. Elaine was the one who strove to nurture family relationships. She had a knack for choosing just the right cards and gifts for celebrations of holidays, birthdays, graduations and anniversaries. She loved to celebrate the milestones in life.
She is survived by her sisters, Kathy Brandt and her husband Ed of Tracy, MN and Ellie Funk and her husband Dean of Brooklyn Park, MN.
She is also survived by nieces and nephews, Neal and Mary Brandt of Lakefield, MN; Nicole and Jeff Konz of South Haven MN, Nadine and Kurt Weedman of Tracy, MN; Lisa Funk and fiancé Eric Hermansen of Forest Lake, MN; and Cory Funk and Mary VandeVoort of Woodbury, MN; and 10 great-nieces and nephews who all adored her and knew her only as “Auntie”.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, parents and great niece Sophia (Funk) Fleming. She will be interred near her parents and grandparents at Hauges Cemetery of Jackson MN.
Memorials in Elaine’s name will be used to fund a scholarship for a student of elementary education.