Elsie (Olthoff) Wipf was born July 1, 1914 to Henry and Christina (Borchers) Olthoff on a farm near Emery and passed away March 1, 2009 at Diamond Care Center, Bridgewater, SD. She attended school in Emery and graduated from Emery High School in 1932. Elsie accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior at a young age, was baptized and became a member of First Baptist Church, Emery, SD.
On August 1, 1949 she was united in marriage to Rev. David S. Wipf becoming a loving wife and a loving mother to his three children, Melvin, Lucille and Donald. She was a help mate to her husband for two years of his service at First Baptist Church in Emery and also while he taught at Northwestern Schools in Minneapolis, MN. During those years they served together at Northside Baptist Church in Hutchinson, MN and Minnetrista Baptist Church in St. Bonifacius, MN.
From 1958-1972 she served as a team while Rev. Wipf was administrator at the Baptist Home in Madison, SD and she assisted in a variety of capacities. During this time she also became a Licensed Dietitian which included the food service for the facility. Many former employees have kept in touch with Elsie over the years. It is interesting to note that the Case Worker for Elsie’s Long Term Care was a former employee at the Baptist Home. In January 1972 they moved to Emery and were members of First Baptist Church. Rev. Wipf passed away in 1983. Elsie moved from their home to R and B Manor where she lived until 2000 when for health reasons she moved to Diamond Care Center.
Elsie enjoyed playing scrabble and working crossword puzzles until failing eyesight prevented her from continuing. In the fall of 2008 she began reciting a German ABC poem though she could not remember where she learned it. She and Lucille translated it into English. It is said that learning a foreign language stretches the mind so Elsie learned to count from 1 to 6 in Japanese at 94 years of age. Best of all was that she recited Psalm 1 and Psalm 23 along with other familiar Bible verses.
Left to mourn her passing are her step-children: Lucille (Floyd) Dalzell, Emery, SD and Don (Paula) Wipf, Arlington, VA; and one daughter-in-law, Janette Wipf, Fargo, ND; grandchildren: Jacque Olson, Judy Lage, Terry Wipf, Randy Wipf, Donna Wipf, David Wipf, Laura Wipf; three nephews and one niece plus friends and relatives.
Elsie will be missed by her family and others. Though these last few years her hearing and eyesight caused her some difficulty she is now free from pain and is with her Savior whom she loved and looked forward to being with Him.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and three brothers: Archie, Carl and John and their spouses, stepson, Melvin Wipf, baby granddaughter, Sally Wipf as well as uncles, aunts and cousins.
Memorials may be designated to Gideon’s International.