Note: Elsie Pankratz (March 01, 1910-February 22, 2007) Goshen, IN, formerly of Mountain Lake, MN Interment at Mountain Lake Cemetery. Elsie Marie Penner was born March 1, 1910 in Mt. Lake to Abraham A. Penner and Aganetha Balzer Penner. She graduated from Mt. Lake High School in 1928 and attended the University of Minnesota for two years. She was baptized in the Bethel Mennonite Church in 1927 where she remained a member to the end of her life. On August 21, 1933, Elsie married Henry Pankratz in Mt. Lake. He died Oct. 3, 2006. They were blessed by a loving marriage of more than 73 years. She was a supporter of her husband's farming business. Throughout the years, in addition to raising a family of four children, Elsie was active in the community and church. She served on many committees in the Bethel Church where she taught Sunday school, Mennonite history to high school youth, sang in the choir, and was a member of Bethel Mission Society. She was a member of the Tuesday Study Club. She worked with her children and other area youth on 4-H projects and was one of the first women to join MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) of which her husband Henry was an early member. She and Henry, together with others interested in the history of their community, started the Mt. Lake Heritage Village Museum. She enjoyed art, music, quilting, handwork and flower gardening. Influenced by missionaries and teachers who visited in Elsie's home when she was a child and by the many books she read, Elsie and Henry became interested in other peoples and cultures and traveled throughout the world. They also hosted many friends and family in their home, both from their community and from countries abroad. They served as host family for a young Mennonite refugee from Russia, Justina Neufeld, in 1948, a Rotary International exchange student from Indonesia, several "Fresh Air" children from the Chicago, Ill. area, and numerous international guests. After selling their home on the south edge of Mountain Lake, Henry and Elsie moved to Greencroft retirement community in Goshen, Ind. in September, 1992. She is survived by three daughters, Lenore (James) Waltner of Goshen, Ind., Louise (Emil) Kreider of Beloit, Wis., Barbara (John) Fast of Harrisonburg, Va.; a son, Stanley (Eileen) Pankratz, Minneapolis; ten grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; two step-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Mabel (John J.) Pankratz. She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry; a brother, Albert Penner; and two sisters, Hulda Rich and Martha Unruh. Memorials may be designated for Bethel Mennonite Church, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), or Mt. Lake Heritage Village Museum. <http://www.sturmfh.com>
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