Elaine Boettcher, 92

Elaine Caroline (Seltz) Boettcher, age 92, of Wisconsin, and formerly of Howard Lake, passed away Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018.

She was born Jan. 18, 1926, in St. Paul, the daughter of the Rev. Carl G. and Alvina Johanna (Hoppenstedt) Seltz. Elaine was baptized at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake Feb. 7, 1926, and was confirmed in the Christian faith at the same church April 10, 1938. She was the last person to whom her father performed the rite of confirmation during his long ministry.

Elaine attended Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, and was a graduate of Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN.

Before marriage, she taught at Rush City High School, and in Lutheran high schools in Chicago, IL, and Racine, WI.

Elaine was a math teacher at Howard Lake High School from 1949 to 1952. During high school and while teaching in Howard Lake, she served as assistant organist at St. James Lutheran Church.

Elaine and the Rev. Fred Boettcher of Waukesha, WI, were married July 7, 1955, at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake. The Lord blessed this marriage with five children: Fred L of LaJunta, CO, Miriam (Bruce) Behselich of Waukesha, WI, Paul (Christine) of Frisco, CO, Beth (Rev Mark) Palmer of Bonduel, WI, and Kristen (Curt) Kolell, of Menomonee Falls, WI.

Elaine and her husband were further blessed with 11 grandchildren: Carolyn (Dan) Deutschendorf, Jake and Mike Boettcher, Emily (Joshua) Schimmels, Erica (Michael) Reep, Isaac, Anna, Abigail Palmer, and Nicholas, Hannah and Elizabeth Kolell.

Elaine was a grateful recipient of God’s gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Out of that faith, she gladly served the Lord and others in many ways: as a Lutheran high school math teacher and librarian, as church organist, beginning as a high school student, in congregations in almost all of the communities where she resided, including 15 years at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Waukesha, WI, where she faithfully recruited instrumentalists from the congregation and from Carroll University to accompany worship services.

Elaine was a substitute teacher in the Waukesha High School system for 15 years. She also taught Sunday school for many years, as well as the Bethel Bible Series with adults. She served as a past vice-president of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League of South Wisconsin District.

In retirement, Elaine found a niche of teaching service in St. Petersburg, Russia during the two semesters her husband taught at the Koltushi Lutheran Seminary, 1994-96.

Elaine’s special interests and services included being a supportive pastor’s wife, a caring mother, creating greeting cards, sewing, quilting, gardening, camping, world traveler (30 countries), floral arranging, and hospitality to visiting missionaries, relatives, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers: Rev. Alfred Seltz, Rev. Euguene Seltz, and Rev. Martin Seltz; and her sisters, Irma Grimm, Doris Seltz, Laura Seltz, and Paula Schroer.

Elaine is survived by her husband of 62 years, the Rev. Dr. Frederick Boettcher; their five children; Fred, Miriam (Bruce) Behselich, Paul (Chris), Beth (Rev. Mark) Palmer, Kristen (Curt) Kolell; and their 11 grandchildren.

Her funeral service took place Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 11 a.m. at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Waukesha, WI, with visitation from 9 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Interment was at Sunnyside Cemetery. Arrangements were with Harder Funeral Service in Brookfield, WI.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be designated to Beautiful Savior Lutheran School or The Lutheran Hour (St. Louis).

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