Willard Roy Elseth went to be with his Lord and Savior on April 1, 2010, at the Good Samaritan Center in Warren, MN, at the age of 101 years. He lived in every decade of the 20th century.
Willard was born December 8, 1908, to Alfred and Clara Elseth in Newfolden. He was the second of seven children. He was raised in the Newfolden area, attended country school and the Utilities Engineering Institute of Chicago. He enjoyed pitching at baseball games, fishing, hunting, and attending auction sales. Willard was a member of the Warren Evangelical Covenant Church.
On July 17, 1937, he married Ruth Stanghelle. They met while he was on a threshing crew at the Stanghelle farm near Argyle when he came to Ruth’s rescue as she was wrestling a calf. They had 61 years together.
Willard worked at Winberg Machine Shop in Thief River Falls and also at Nelson Motor Company and Silnes Motors, both in Warren. In the late 1940’s Willard bought a farm northeast of Warren. A banker told him that he would go broke paying $75/acre. In 1951 Willard and Ruth had a house built on this farm where they raised their five children. Willard’s lifelong passion was farming. In 2008, at the age of 99, he completed the fall tillage and also drove combine during the wheat and bean harvest. In December, 2008, the family celebrated his 100th birthday with many relatives coming from several states and Canada. He was forced into retirement when he suffered a stroke April 7, 2009.
Willard is survived by daughters Dee (Bob) Ricker of Newbury Park, CA; Barb (Gren) Weis of Oakville, ON, Canada; sons Robert (Mavis) Elseth of Warren, MN; Howard (Barb) Elseth of Garrison, TX; Elden (Tink) Elseth of Warren, MN; grandchildren Todd Ricker, Kristen Ricker Wise, Alec and Dylan Weis, Anita Elseth Eyer, Jeremy Elseth, Elizabeth Elseth Mayo, Rebekah Elseth Moody, Anna Elseth Austin, Daniel, Amos and Lydia Elseth, Michael Elseth; and 13 great grandchildren mcKensey, Harrison, Jackson, and Dawson Wise, Brayden and Sophia Eyer, Jalen, Jordyn, and Jersey Elseth, Seth and Drew Mayo, Jacob and Christopher Moody. He is also survived by three younger sisters, Earlene Solmonson of Anoka, MN, Ivie Folden of Golden Valley, MN, and Eunice Sahlberg of Winthrop, MN; cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Willard was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth; his parents; an infant sister, Ione; brothers Raymond and Gordon; and an infant granddaughter.
FUNERAL SERVICE: 10:00 AM on Monday, April 12, 2010 at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Warren, MN.
VISITATION: 3:00 – 5:00 PM with a 4:00 PM family service on Sunday at the DuBore Funeral Home in Warren and one hour before services on Monday at the church.
INTERMENT: Alma Lutheran Cemetery, rural Argyle, MN.
From: DuBore Funeral Home
Transcribed by: Cheryl Srnsky