She was a 60-yard dash runner, figure skater, nurse, curler, gardener, reader and traveller. She was a small-town girl — helpful and involved, always trying to make things better for everyone and finding every opportunity to learn something new. She grew up in Rouleau, Sask., and knew she wanted to be a nurse from the time she was a little girl. She moved to Saskatoon in 1962 to attend the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan where she earned her degree and RN designation, met lifelong friends, and in spite of a girlhood pledge to never marry a farmer, caught the eye of an Agro who was in her English, Chemistry and Biology classes.
After convocation and getting married, Elaine worked as a public health nurse for the Victorian Order of Nurses, driving to her patients’ homes to administer medications, making sure they were safe and well, and being a friendly and professional face at the door, providing a human connection that was at the heart of the kind of nursing she always wanted to do. They moved to the farm northeast of Hawarden in 1969, built a home and were part of the community for over 40 years.
Elaine was stylish, practical and no-nonsense. She had a strong sense of fairness and justice, which she practised in her 18 years as a member and then Chair of the Saskatchewan Social Services Appeal Board, and as a mother — her daughters were always to be kind, treat everyone equally, speak out against wrongs, and step up in defense of others.
Elaine was predeceased by her parents Marvin and Olive Hansen, and will live on through her family: David, her husband of 50 years, cared for her every day with love, tenderness, good humour, and grace. She was deeply loved and will be remembered by her daughters Susan, Sandy, and Jen, her sons-in-law James and Doug, her grandchildren, John and Lucy, and Owyn, Milo and Dawson, and her younger brothers Gordon and Alan, sisters-in-law Fran and Kathy, and their families.
Our family is deeply grateful to those who cared for her after a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia. From the home care nurses who drove to the farm every day, to the Saskatchewan Abilities Council for providing essential equipment, to Jamie Pfeifer, who moved mountains to keep Mom and Dad together at Parkville Manor and helped navigate the long-term care system, to the Direct Client Funding program, and to Parkridge Centre East 2, who provided close and compassionate care for all of us in her last days. Most of all, we thank Dale Natowcappo, who came twice daily to care for Elaine seven days a week for nearly four years. She has been a strong, sweet, and steady force in our lives and it is because of her that Elaine and David were able to live together at home for as long as they did.
A service to celebrate Elaine’s life was held at Park Funeral Home on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Donations in her memory can be made to Alzheimer Society Saskatchewan (alzheimer.ca/Saskatchewan), Saskatchewan Abilities Council (abilitiescouncil.sk.ca), and The Lighthouse Supported Living (lighthousesaskatoon.org).
To share memories and condolences, visit www.parkfuneral.ca “Obituaries-Guestbook.” Arrangements are entrusted to Derryl Hildebrandt, Park Funeral Home (306-244-2103).