Elsie was born March 16, 1934 to parents Jack and Annie (Fritschel) Wagner on the family farm in the R.M. of Hillsburg. Elsie was the fourth of six children; Lizzie, the oldest, then Hertha, John, Elsie, Edna and Harold.
Elsie was baptized and confirmed in St. John Lutheran Church in Shevlin. This is where she received the foundation for her unwavering convictions. She was steadfast and unwavering in her faith. She received her schooling at Shell Vale School. Elsie enjoyed school. She was always busy. When Elsie finished school, she started working in Roblin Hospital as a Nurse’s Aide; caring for others was her calling. It was at this time she met Edward.
Elsie married Edward Zimmer February 25, 1955 in the same church she was baptized and confirmed. Once Elsie married Edward, she quit work and became a full-time farm wife and mother. Together they had four boys; Dennis (September 21, 1955), David (October 22, 1956), Howard (December 16, 1957) and Glen (January 18, 1959). It would take several years before Elsie would get her girls Elaine, Laura and Kitty.
Edward and Elsie raised their boys in a tiny two-bedroom house. There was a lot of hard work to be done on the farm, water to be hauled, pigs and chickens to be fed, eggs to be gathered and cows to be milked. There were no modern conveniences as there are today. No running water, and an old wringer washer, with clothes hung on the line, even in the winter as there was no such thing as an automatic dryer and the endless ironing! I cant even imagine the diapers!
Elsie would just say “working this hard, I am no different than anyone else.” Elsie always had a big garden, liked picking mushrooms and loved to go berry picking with her good friend, Ina. Elsie was a proud and vibrant member of the Endcliffe community helping to organize different functions and events in the area. She was also a true member of the Grace Lutheran Church.
Elsie always enjoyed going for drives whether it be to a specific destination, or just sightseeing and BINGO was her game! Elsie and Eddie were able to enjoy travelling to places like B.C. and Yellowstone.
Other places they visited included Mexico and Churchill with auntie’s brother John and his wife, June. Edward and Elsie made many great memories as they drove down east to Nova Scotia with Dave, Elaine, Nara, Crystal and Patricia on an extended family vacation. Auntie loved the many trips they made to Flin Flon to spend time with Dave, Elaine, and their growing family.
Oh the knitting Elsie would do. Elsie’s hands were never idle. If she had a free minute to sit, she would grab the needles!
After the boys grew up, Elsie went back to work at the Russell Hospital; first in the kitchen, then as a Nurse’s Aide. Elsie loved her job. For many years after retirement, Elsie would go in and sit with the patients. Elsie had such a big presence at the Russell Hospital; everyone loved her there. Her gift was to make everyone feel comforted and special.
More than Elsie’s job, she loved her grandchildren; Colin (Marnie), Nara (Garth), Crystal (Clint), Patricia (Reggie), Paul (Leah), Jason, Timmy (Kelly), Jamie (Chelsea), Crystal and Kimberly. Then her great grandchildren; Darren, Austin (Hailey) Kieran, Ethan, Brennan, Taylor, MiKayla, Noah, Nico, Brayden, River, Hunter, Zaiden and Maxton and then her great great grandchildren; Lilith and Allessa.
Edward and Elsie moved from the farm into town in 1997. Edward was retired already, Elsie retired not long after. This enabled them to do what they wanted, when they wanted. Whether it be trips to Deadwood, to Yorkton to the Casino or just for a drive in the country, or to visit friends or family. Elsie loved her trips to Shooting Star with her good friend, Gerry and always looked forward to going.
Elsie loved company. You could never leave without some sort of goodies, after having a good long visit and some lunch, which was always delicious. Her fresh baked buns were always a favorite. She was great at staying connected with everyone. I always enjoyed our visits, she always kept me up to date with all the news within the community and family. She was always happy to let me know about the new babies, new jobs, and anything exciting going on with her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren or great great grandchildren. She was always so proud.
Elsie loved to be “in the know”, she was always unassuming and accepting of everything. While in the care home, she would always visit with the nurses, asking about their families and truly care about their responses.
Elsie was loved by many and will be missed by all!
To send flowers to Elsie's family, please visit our floral store.
Grace Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, Russell
Russell MB R0J 1W0