Cover photo for Elsie Emma Becker's Obituary
Elsie Emma Becker Profile Photo
1912 Elsie 2016

Elsie Emma Becker

January 24, 1912 — June 22, 2016

Elsie Emma Sophie Becker took her first breath of life on January 24, 1912, her last on June 22, 2016, and joined her Lord Jesus in heaven.

She was the seventh child born to Carl and Doris Dorathea Margarethe (Fortkamp) Bartels, and the first one born on her parents’ new home site on the Ough Divide in Dundy County, Nebraska (south of Enders). As a youth, she herded cattle on horseback and was an avid horse woman.

Elsie was baptized as a baby and confirmed in 1925 in the Christian Faith at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (rural Nebraska), she was a faithful member of the congregation her entire life. As a member of the church band, she played the alto horn. Elsie played the pump organ for German and English services and accompanied the choir. She also sang alto in the choir for many years. The church band played for services and at various community events. She was a member of the Ladies Aid, and a charter member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. Elsie held various leadership positions in these organizations, and on her 100th birthday she was honored by the LWML as the sole surviving charter member of the organization at St. Paul’s.

After two years of high school in Enders, she was unable to continue her studies and graduate as she was needed at home to help care for her niece, Bonnie Crosson. In 2008, she received an honorary diploma from Enders School at the alumni banquet in Wauneta.

Elsie married Otto Becker of Iowa on December 18, 1939. To this union two daughters were born: Doris Marie, October 1940 and Evelyn Ann, October 1945. Elsie and Otto farmed and ranched in Dundy and Chase Counties. In 1960, they received the conservation award for good stewardship of their land. As a “farm wife” Elsie was actively involved with all operations from truck and tractor driving to running elevators and augers during wheat harvest to milking cows and delivering and doctoring calves. She was bit by a horse (luckily she had on a heavy coat or she may have had a chunk taken out of her upper arm), and dispatched several rattlers (one on her front porch).

Elsie raised flowers (often supplying arrangements at St. Paul’s for Sunday services), gardens and preserved fruit and produce. Several apricot trees and a white peach tree provided fruit to be enjoyed during the year. Yum!

After Elsie moved to Wauneta, she enjoyed caring for her lawn and flowers. She had a riding lawn mower by then and would not allow anyone else to use it for fear they would tip over on the sloped lawn or run it off the curb and end up crashed. Of course, she never had an accident with it. One of her granddaughters recalled “She was a woman possessed when driving her car, but never got a speeding ticket!”

Some of Elsie’s other interests included crocheting, sewing, quilting with the ladies at St. Paul’s and playing the piano. She was a member of Erma’s Hot Shots and played her triangle at the Senior Center and at various other venues. Until early in 2016, she played her triangle at Sing-a-longs at Sunrise Heights, keeping accurate time. For many years Elsie volunteered to play the piano at heritage (now Sunrise Heights) for their sing-alongs and some church services. She gave her time generously to others.

Elsie saw two World Wars, the Dirty 30s and experienced German prisoners of war working on her farm. She lived the Industrial Revolution and all those which came after. She was two and a half months old when the Titanic sank. Elsie saw a lot, from horse and buggy days to a man on the moon.

On a trip to the Pacific Northwest, Evelyn, Doris and Elsie had a road trip to see the California Redwoods. As a school girl she had read about these big trees and was so excited to see them in person and walk amongst their glory. They also visited Crater Lake National Park on that trip, another beautiful spot on God’s Green Earth.

Another subject she had read about in school was the Oregon Trail and the pioneers who traveled it. With Evelyn’s move to Oregon she traveled often along that route and enjoyed the history. Once when visiting Doris and traveling down the highway, she learned that she was on the DLD (Denver-Lincoln-Detroit) highway she’d also read about years ago and was thrilled. It was the only paved road between the cities, it is now known as Rd Q in Morgan County, Colorado.

Elsie was a dedicated mother, teaching her daughters to sew, cook and how to be excellent citizens. She supported and encouraged her daughters through years of 4-H and thrilled when blue or purple ribbons were the payoffs. She was what a Christian Woman should be and was an excellent role model for many nieces and nephews as well.

She is preceded in death by her parents (Carl – 1952 and Doris – 1971); husband, Otto (1987); son-in-law, Darrell (Dee) Craig (2002); eight brothers: Arnold (1999), Otto (2005), Reinhold (1992), baby boy (1907), Alfred (1998), Gustaf (2008), Walter (1984), Reuben (1964); sisters: little girl (1922) and Frieda Crosson (1928); step-granddaughter, Sonja Johnson (2014) and great-grandson, Finn Alexander Jacobs (2014); sisters-in-law: Louise, Ida and Wilma Bartels; nieces, Betty (Bartels) Morgan and Virginia (Bartels / Sandman) Beman; nephew-in-law, Lee Glover; great-nieces and nephews: Guy Morgan, Sarah Bartels, Tracey (Morgan) Lickliter, Kim Cooper, RaeJean Bartels, Kelly Nekola, Carl J. Bartels, Rickie Dunham, Garret Wicki, Linda (Long) Hawkins, David Long, Jim Long and Paul Bartels; great-niece-in-law, Marilyn (Curtis) Bartels and great-nephew-in-law, Lamont Neverve.

Her Family consists of:
Daughters, Doris Craig of Fort Morgan, CO and Evelyn Madison (Randy) of Lebanon, OR
Sister-in-law, Margie Bartels of Imperial, NE
Four grandchildren: Monica Longhofer of Fort Morgan, CO; Jegg Craig (Gina) of Aurora, CO; Karla Williams (Jim) of Sammamish, WA; and Jason McAfee (Kelly) of Redmond, OR
Step-grandchildren: Rae Lynn Johnson (Travis) of Calimesa, CA and Clayton Madison (Libby) of Genesee, ID
Great-grandchildren: Emily Jacobs (Eric) of Denver, CO; Jillian Longhofer of Indiana; Vaughan Williams of Sammamish, WA; Kaylin, Brody, Neueah and Delaney McAfee of Redmond. OR
Great-grandson, Otto Finn Jacobs of Denver, CO
Step-great-grandchildren: Kayli Galluzzi of Aurora, CO; Morgan, Riley, Carter, Walker and Levi Johnson of Calimesa, CA; Cienna, Caylee and Caden Madison of Genesee, ID
Niece, Bonnie (Crosson) Majors (Don) was like a sister to her and Elsie said that “Bonnie and her family are very special to me and help me at a moment’s notice”. Many other great, great-great, and great-great-great nephews and nieces survive.

A special Wauneta Breeze article about Elsie’s life is found in the April 4, 2002 issue written in her 90th year. If interested, an archival copy is available through the Wauneta Breeze.

Funeral Services for Elsie Becker were Tuesday morning, June 28th, 2016, 10:30 A.M. (Mountain Time) at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Rural Wauneta with Pastor Keith Wellman officiating. Interment will follow at St. Paul’s Cemetery.

Visitation was Monday afternoon, June 27th, 2016, 2:00-6:00 P.M. (Mountain Time) at the Funeral home in Wauneta.

Memorials have been established to St Paul’s Lutheran Church, Mercy Meals of Southwest Nebraska (P.O. Box 474, Wauneta, NE 69045), The Lutheran Hour Ministries (660 Mason Ridge Center Drive, St. Louis, MO 63141) and KNGN Christian Radio (38005 Road 717 - McCook, NE 6900).

Online condolences can be left at

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, June 27, 2016

2:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Liewer Funeral Home - Wauneta

75 East Wichita Street, Wauneta, NE 69045

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

St. Paul's Lutheran Church

33851 726 Road, Wauneta, NE 69045

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