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Elsie L. Kalskett, 88, of Moorhead, Iowa, passed away on Sunday, March 10, 2019, at Burgess Health Center in Onawa, Iowa.
Funeral services will be 11:00 A.M. Friday, March 15, 2019, at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Moorhead, with Pastor Steve Pera officiating. Burial will follow in Spring Valley Cemetery in rural Moorhead. Visitation will be 5:00 – 8:00 P.M. Thursday, March 14, 2019, with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M., at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of Rush Family Care Service in Onawa.
Elsie Lorene was born on October 27, 1930, in Danbury, Iowa, to Clarence and Tracy (Miller) Moltsau. She grew up in the towns of Danbury, Onawa, and Moorhead, and graduated from Onawa High School. Following graduation, she worked for Masters and Masters Egg Hatchery and for Pearson Funeral Home. She helped her parents, who owned and operated the Moorhead Café. One day at the café, a handsome gent came along that could take a flying leap right over the counter. On February 8, 1952, Elsie married that boy – James Allen Kalskett.
Elsie and Jim moved into a farm house near Moorhead and began farming. Elsie spent her days renovating the old farm house, milking cows, raising livestock, and planting and harvesting the crops. They filled the farm house with six children: Gary, Terri, Jeanne, Susan, Craig, and Rita. They experienced sorrow along the way when they lost a set of twins in infancy in 1953: a boy, Larry Douglas, and a girl, Lisa LeAnn.
After the kids were grown and out of the house, Elsie found a passion in childcare. She started as a teacher at Headstart in Moorhead, and then pursued her education and became the first woman in Iowa to receive her Child Development Associate Degree. She then owned and operated her own preschool, The Kangaroo Pouch in Soldier, Iowa. Along with this, Elsie was offered a position of traveling to many states as a Child Development Associate Representative. She licensed preschool facilities and approved staff completing CDA requirements.
Elsie had a busy and fruitful life. She and Jim lived in the farm house for over 50 years before retiring and moving into Moorhead. Her life changed dramatically when Jim passed away in 2010, but with most of her children and grandchildren living nearby she never had a dull moment. She always gave 110% to everything she did. She loved orchestrating Bible school activities and sponsoring Luther League at the Moorhead Bethesda Lutheran Church. Her church floats for the annual Community Days were always a step above.
Elsie was generous to a fault, and found great pleasure in giving whatever she had to family, friends, and neighbors. She was always there for us no matter what, and a piece of our hearts goes with her.
Elsie’s family circle consists of six children and their spouses, Gary (Diane) Kalskett of Moorhead, IA, Terri (Gary) Savery of Onawa, IA, Jeanne (Doug) Nelsen of Soldier, IA, Susan (Bill) Kirlin of Modale, IA, Craig (Peg) Kalskett of Leland, IA, and Rita (Gary) Utman of Modale, IA; twenty-one grandchildren, Wade Kalskett, Mary (Josh) Mauch, Tara (Dave Praim) Savery, Garett Savery, Gavin Savery, Bobbi (Cory) Johnson, Leslie (David) Perrigo, Lindie (Luke) Truitt, Josie (Bob) McClure, Kathryn (Jeremy) Muff, Annette (Chad) Hoins, Jamie (Mike) Lynch, Carly (Max) Grady, Trey Kirlin, Jeff (Julie) Bormann, Anna (Dan) Tague, Lorena Bormann, Andrew Bormann, Cole (Jessica) Utman, Krista (Laramie) Shaffer, and Kayla (Brock) McCoppin; forty-four great-grandchildren; and one sister, Norma Byers of Sergeant Bluff, IA.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Jim Kalskett; infant twin children, Lisa and Larry Kalskett; parents, Clarence and Tracy (Miller) Moltsau; two brothers, Loren Moltsau and Wayne Allen Moltsau; one brother-in-law, Paul Byers; and her parents-in-law, Winston and Florence (Mahler) Kalskett.
Condolences may be left online for the family at www.rushfamilycareservice.com