March 7, 1936 December 21, 2019 Elaine Voss, age 83 of Blaine, MN died on December 21, 2019. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Gordon (Gordy) O. Voss, parents, Spencer and Elvina Voldsness of Eau Claire, WI, and sister Sharen Hoepner of Eau Claire, WI. She is survived by her adoring family, son Gregory (Kathleen) Voss of Apple Valley, MN, daughter Kirsten Voss (Charles Rottinghaus) of Minnetonka, MN, grandchildren Taylor (Matthew) Bettes, Rachel Voss, and Carmen and Erik Rottinghaus; sister Dianne (Ron) Powers of Eau Claire, WI; and many nieces and nephews. Elaine was born and raised in Eau Claire, WI. She graduated from Eau Claire High School in 1954, and went on to pursue her passion for helping others at Bethesda Hospital School of Nursing, St. Paul, MN (RN 1958), and the University of Minnesota (BS Education 1960). She met the love of her life, Gordy, at the University of Minnesota and they remained an inseparable, devoted force until his death in 2017. An unwavering theme in Elaine's life and career was service to others, either directly or through public service. Elaine was drawn to and energized by jobs where she could help people. She was a registered nurse and nursing instructor at the Fairview Hospital School of Nursing (1960-68), Minneapolis Community College, and Anoka Ramsey Community College (1976-81). Her public service included the roles of Supervisor of Elections, Anoka County (1981-83) and Deputy Secretary of State, State of Minnesota (1983-99); a job she loved where she worked with a talented team committed to serving the people of Minnesota. In addition to her service through work, Elaine was actively involved in many community organizations, including serving on the boards of directors for more than 12 organizations. She served as a board member for more than a decade at Allina Health Systems, Mercy/Unity Hospitals, Rise Inc, Anoka County Community Action Council and State Board of Investment Advisory Council. During this time, she was board chairman for Mercy/Unity Hospital Board, Rise, Inc, and the Metropolitan Health Board's Task Force on Competition, Regulation, and Voluntary action. Her commitment to the community led to her appointment by Governor Rudy Perpich to commissions on legislative redistricting and executive appointments. Her energy and enthusiasm drove her to become a force in local politics with the Minnesota DFL, managing all of Gordy's campaigns, working on countless others and as a member of the state DFL central committee. Elaine stayed active in community organizations well after "retiring" from her position as Deputy Secretary of State. She left her last board position in 2017, so retirement was a foreign concept to Elaine. Throughout the decades, she forged lasting relationships that grew from her activities. Her nursing school peers were life-long friends, gathering regularly 60 years after graduation. She and Gordy's graduate school friends gathered annually to celebrate New Year's Eve for many decades, and the community activists she befriended throughout her life even formed a gourmet club to enjoy good food and lasting friendships. Personal relationships were vital to Elaine, however the most important relationships were with her family, especially her husband, Gordy. Elaine and Gordy were a unified force, equally matched and devoted to each other throughout their public and personal lives. They were each successful in their own right, buoyed and strengthened by their mutual support, shared interests and collaboration. Gordy and Elaine loved to explorethey visited every state in the US and traveled extensively across the globe. No place was more precious to them than their cabin where they spent many summers with their children and grandchildren. She was a truly devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, often acting as the hospital of choice for her grandchildren's countless stuffed animals, doll reconstruction and blankies. Christmas was Elaine's favorite holiday, bringing together her family to share traditions from her proud Norwegian heritage. Every Christmas celebration included Norwegian meatballs, lutefisk and homemade candy. Gordy and Elaine's partnership grew even more impressive in later years where they were relentless in the joint caregiving of each other. Elaine joyfully cared for Gordy as he faced myriad health issues in the last 15 years of his life and he, in turn, reciprocated care and support for her until his death in 2017. It is fitting that Elaine passed away just before Christmas. While our family grieves the loss of Elaine, we are comforted in knowing she has been reunited with Gordy to enjoy Christmas together. A visitation will be held 4-7 PM Wednesday, January 8 at Gearty Delmore Funeral Chapel, 15800 37th Ave N. (at Vicksburg Lane), in Plymouth. The Memorial service will be 11 AM Thursday, January 9, at Peace Lutheran Church, 20 Northdale Blvd NW, in Coon Rapids, with visitation one hour before service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Elaine's name be directed to RISE, Inc. (an organization that helps people who have disabilities access employment opportunities), 8406 Sunset Road NE, Spring Lake Park, MN 55432-1317, or go to rise.org. Donations may also be made to Peace Lutheran Church, where Elaine was a member for more than 60 years. Gearty-Delmore 763-553-1411 gearty-delmore.com
Elaine Voldsness Voss
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