Elaine Bertha Free
Elaine Bertha Marg (Nystrom Vincent Minge) Free of Neillsville, Wis., died on Friday, September 20, 2019, at Riverside Assisted Living.
Elaine was born at home at (what is now)1012 Hewett Street in Neillsville on May 5, 1926 to Norma Lydia Winter Marg and Albert Ferdinand Marg. She was later joined by her three dear sisters: Betty, Deloris, and Shirley Ann. She loved her little sisters and they remember she made scrapbooks, Valentine aprons, and other presents for them.
Elaine married Joel “Bruce” Nystrom in 1948. They were blessed with three children: Shirley Jean Nystrom (Fisher) Anderson, Michael “Bruce” Nystrom, and Joel Bryan Nystrom. They lived in Oshkosh for several years, then moved to Pocatello ID in 1963, where they were divorced. Elaine married Clarence Vincent. They were divorced, and Elaine moved to Goleta CA in 1965, where she learned to use the new computer technology and successfully pursued a career with social services and the local hospital. She married Argyle Minge in 1969. They returned to the Midwest in 1973 and built their lovely Pleasant Ridge home, calling it “Hope Ranch.” Elaine worked for Sunburst Youth Homes and was involved in the Clark County Historical Society, the Clark County Humane Society, and her church. Her antique and gift shop on Highway 10 was well known in the Neillsville area. Elaine and Argyle were known for their hospitality and entertained often in their home. After Argyle’s death in 1981, she found companionship and love with Robert Free, marrying in 1984. They enjoyed traveling with their RV before Bob died in 1986. Elaine’s companion in later years was John Ford. He died in 1998.
Elaine was raised in the Wisconsin Synod Lutheran Church, but also faithfully attended the UCC church and Living Hope in Neillsville in later years, never doubting that she was God’s child, with full confidence in her salvation as promised by her dear savior, Jesus Christ.
She was an accomplished dancer, painter, seamstress, and singer. Her legacy continues in her children and grandchildren, among whom are professional dancers, musicians, artists, and clothing designers.
Elaine is survived by her daughter, Shirley (Don Campbell) Anderson, son Bruce (Velma) Nystrom, and son Joel Nystrom. Her grandchildren are Kristine Anderson of Chicago IL, Eric Anderson of Denver CO, Stella (Jordan) Rogers of Birmingham AL, Uri (Jessi) Nystrom, also of Birmingham AL, Leelya Martinez of Moab UT, and Yarley Nystrom of Portland OR,. Her great-grandchildren are Akyra McNeely of Utah, Braxton Martinez, Ty Martinez, Oscar Martinez, Charlotte Martinez of Utah, and Elliott Rogers of Birmingham AL. She is further survived by her sisters Betty Jean Plunkett Jennings and Shirley Ann Holverson, and several cousins.
Preceding her in death were her parents, one sister, Delores Stockard, four husbands, and many friends.
We cannot thank Riverside Assisted Living enough for their loving care over the past 2 years, particularly in the last month. Our family has grown through the addition of the caregivers and residents at Riverside.
A service will be held at Living Hope Evangelical Church in Neillsville at 11 a.m. on Monday morning, September 30, 2019. Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Sunday September 29 at Living Hope Church and again from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday, also at the church. Lunch will be served afterward, also at the church. Interment will be in the Town of Grant Cemetery.
Online condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com.
The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Elaine’s family with funeral arrangements.
Memorials may be directed to the Clark County Humane Society per Elaine’s wishes. She never met an animal she didn’t love!
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