Elaine Kathryn Syverson

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Elaine Kathryn Syverson, 97, of Elkader, died Monday, May 4, 2020, at MercyOne Medical Center in Elkader. Elaine was born Sept. 22, 1922, to Archie and Elsie (Roeder) Martin in Clayton County. She graduated from Elkader High School and attended Elkader Junior College. She proudly joined and served in the United States Marines Women’s Reserve from July 15, 1943 to Aug. 22, 1946, being honorably discharged at the rank of technical sergeant.   

Elaine was united in marriage with Roy Syverson on Jan. 24, 1948. Throughout the years, “Sarge” worked as a bookkeeper at Anderson Lumber Company, Swales Concrete, J.C. Costigan Construction and CJ Lanes bowling alley and was a tax preparer with Dietz Donald and Co., all in Elkader. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, American Legion Post 106, Peace United Church of Christ, Women Marines Association and a lifetime member of the Iowa Bowling Association. Sarge enjoyed bowling, golfing, coaching basketball, reading and doing puzzles. One of the many proud and deserving moments in her life was being invited on an Honor Flight for World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., in May 2010.        

Known as “Aunt Elaine” to many, related or not, she was possessed of a keen mind to the end and was famous for quickly adding a column of figures without a calculator. Elaine was a genuine original and we will all deeply miss her advice, instructions, stories and laughter.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Roy Syverson; parents, Archie and Elsie Martin; three brothers, Carlton Russell, Donald and Virgil Martin; and a nephew, Rickie Martin.

Surviving Elaine are her sister, Lois Zerkle of Whitewater, Wis., and sister-in-law, Bonnie Syverson of Elkader. Also surviving are nephews Russell Martin of Norfolk, Va.; Roger Martin of Gloucester, Va.; Gregory Zerkle of Reseda, Calif.; and Scott Syverson of Walker; nieces Linda Miller of Tiffin; Vickie Freeman of Marion; Vicky Debes of Dubuque; Debra Macke of Marion; and cousins Erma Joleen Friederich and Clifford Allan Friederich of Marion. Also surviving are a host of great and great-great nieces and nephews.   

The family expresses special and deep gratitude to Mary Witt and Frank and Carolin Phippen for always being there for Elaine through the years. They have been, and always will be, true friends of the family. Also, the family thanks all of her many friends throughout Elkader and beyond who touched her life and were also touched by her.

Donations in Elaine’s memory may be made to the charity or organization of one’s choice. 

Due to state and federal guidance on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family will not have a public memorial at this time.

Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader is assisting the family with arrangements.

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