- About Us
Elaine (Koepsell) Schwader, age 89, of Winfred was welcomed home by her Lord on Friday, March 2, 2018. Elaine Victoria Koepsell was born Sept 18, 1928 in Canova to John and Lydia (Wobig) Koepsell. She grew up in the Canova area and graduated from Canova High School in 1946. Elaine then attended General Beadle in Madison, SD where she obtained her teaching certificate and began teaching at Sun Prairie #2 near Sun Prairie Baptist Church, rural Salem.
On Dec 20, 1953 Elaine was united in marriage to Robert (Bob) Schwader. They lived northwest of Winfred where Bob and his two brothers farmed together for many years. Their marriage was blessed with four children, and the family grew: Dianne (Jim) Larson and sons, Daron (Ann) and their children, Mitchell, Katie, Liza and Lauren, Derick (Patti) and their children, Emmerson, Calla, Gracie and Jacoby, Brian (Mikayla) all of rural DeSmet; Nelda Schwader and her dog, Jack of Sioux Falls; John (Dani) Schwader and their sons, Wyatt, Lucas and Tate, Winfred; and Lois (Mike) Schwader-Sebert, of Howard, and their son, Jason, of Peoria, AZ.
Active members at Ramsey Baptist Church, rural Montrose, and later Sun Prairie Baptist Church, rural Salem, Elaine was passionate about sharing the gospel and what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Elaine directed the choir, was part of the Women’s ministry, taught Sunday school, and helped with Vacation Bible School. She led friendship Bible coffees and Christian Women’s Club. She participated in many outreach events and was always willing to give her time and talents to help and serve others.
Elaine was passionate about being outside tending to her yard, flowers, gardening and having her hands in the soil. She would tear out fences, clean shelter belts, saw dead branches off trees, make burn piles and as her husband would say with a smile on his face, “Your Mother mows in places she doesn’t need to;” yet, knowing how happy it made her he was always willing to fix the lawn mower, so she could continue!
Bob also referred to his loving, devoted wife as “The Hostess with the Mostess” because she could entertain a house full of guests at a moment’s notice. The door to their home was always open and it never required an invitation to be welcomed.
After their children were grown, Bob and Elaine became more active in serving the needs of Prairie Village at Madison, SD. In addition to planting trees and flowers every spring, Elaine was an active member of the Prairie Village Women’s Auxiliary for 25 years. Each year in August during the Jamboree weekend she passionately served with other members of the Auxiliary in the Village kitchen, preparing for and organizing the menus and volunteer staff to serve many meals throughout the event. Many long-time family friends were made during these years.
Bob and Elaine enjoyed dancing and were members of the Town & Country Squares dance club and they also participated in many dances at the Senior Citizen Centers in Madison and Sioux Falls.
Following a car accident that took Bob’s life in September of 1997, Elaine remained on the family farm for 12 years before transitioning to independent living at Good Samaritan Village in Sioux Falls, SD, Bethany Meadows, Brandon, SD and finally the Howard Good Samaritan Center. The family is very thankful for the kind, compassionate, and wonderful care she has received as a resident of Howard Good Sam.
In addition to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, Elaine is survived by her brother Lowell and his family, and many, many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Bob, and her parents. Blessed be her memory.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Sun Prairie Baptist Church Missions (Salem), or the Union Gospel Mission (Sioux Falls).