GOLKE; Else Pauline
Her family mourns the passing of Else (Elsie) Pauline Golke (nee Kwiram) on the morning of January 3, 2015 in Abbotsford, BC. She was born on September 1, 1923 in River Hills Manitoba, to Rudolf and Wilhelmina Kwiram within a few weeks of their arrival from Germany. Elsie was raised on the family farm in the pioneering tradition (ie: lots of hard work), during a period including the Great Depression, and several particularly harsh winters. She was an apt student at the local one room school but was unable to attend beyond the 6th grade, in order to devote more time to the many chores needing attention at home. At age 18 she was married to Arnold Golke. They spent the next 43 years (until his untimely death in 1985) as partners in an expansive farming enterprise in River Hills, including a prize-winning dairy operation which Elsie ran for twenty years. Elsie and Arnold were pillars of the community and their home was always a beehive of activity. The Golke home was synonymous with hospitality, and there was always a place at the table for one more guest. Elsie was the primary force in the local Adventist church until she moved to B.C. in 1995. She served for several decades as the pianist, secretary and treasurer of the congregation. She was beloved by her children, siblings and members of the extended family who all admired her boundless energy, generosity, quick wit and sense of humour, while maintaining a steady and even-tempered persona. Her hands and mind were never idle and when the day’s work on the farm and the family evening meal were done, she was invariably found knitting, crocheting, doing needlework or crossword puzzles. After moving to BC, she spent much time over the ensuing years with daughter Morna and her family, in Auburn WA. She helped support the household, raise two grandchildren, and grow a vegetable garden; while Morna worked at her teaching job and completed a M.Ed. degree. In her eighth decade she produced some 250 quilts, mostly for children, which were distributed all over the world. Her work was of superb quality and family members especially treasure these keepsakes. Elsie’s son Bruce passed away in 1996 at age 48. Older siblings, Martha Kuhn (Beausejour, MB) and Rudy Kwiram (Abbotsford) predeceased Elsie. She is survived by son Bill of Cobble Hill, BC, daughter Morna Bahnsen of Enumclaw, WA, brothers Ben (Kelowna, B.C.) and Alvin (Shoreline, WA). Tragically, daughter Darleen Golke (Abbotsford, BC) predeceased her by two weeks. Elsie took special pleasure in her grandchildren, Neil Golke (San Jose, CA), and Kyle and Raena Bahnsen. (Enumclaw, WA). The matriarch of the family has gone to rest. A memorial service will be held in February or March, at the Abbotsford SDA church, and interment will be at River Hills in summer 2015. Online condolences may be sent to www.wiebeandjeskefh.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.