Obituary for Elaine Butler Klund

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E. Elaine Butler Klund, 98, died of natural causes Monday, December 5, at Bethany Riversideafter 5 years of care. Born in Eau Claire, WI, Nov. 15, 1919, to the late Samuel Boyd Butler and Myrtle Fry Butler, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Eau Claire State Teachers College, and later a Master’s Degree from UW-LaCrosse.
She married James S. Klund,Jr. and they had four children. Jim was transferred to La Crosse in 1947 where he was the local F.B.I. agent for 14 years.Elaine was widowed in 1961 at age 42 and raised and supportedher family on her own by teaching music for one year at Campus School and then English and Speech at Central High School, retiring in 1982. In 1993 she moved to Sun City West, AZ and lived there until 2012 when she moved back to La Crosse to assisted living and then to Bethany Riverside nursing care facility.
Elaine was a talented Soprano and part of a college quartet which had a half hour radio program in Eau Claire.While in college, she was the soloist in her choir which performed for Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House. She continued to perform as a soloist with the La Crosse Community Choir, the First Congregational Church and in several La Crosse Community Theater musicals.In addition to her singing, she played the piano and flute. Elaine acted in numerous productions with the La Crosse Community Theater, including her role as Mrs. Levi in The Matchmaker, their first production in 1963 held at Longfellow Junior H.S. She was recognized with two Dionysos awards for her performances in the Music Man and Mornings at Seven.
She was active in Music Study Club, American Association of University Women, Chapter BI of P.E.O, and Antique Study Group. Her interests and hobbies included opera, music, theater, reading, bridge, sewing, needlepoint, quilting, travel, art history, and cooking. She was an animal lover all of her life and supported the Humane Society and PETA. She shared her knowledge and interest in quilts and Imari dishes with programs presented to various groups.
Elaine’s greatest joy came from her family; she was a Cub Scout den mother, a junior church choir director, and involved in P.T.A. when she was raising her family. She encouraged and helped all four of her children to earn college degrees and continue with post graduate studies. Becoming a grandmother and a great-grandmother were some of the highlights of her life; she doted on all of the children in her life. Her friends and family wereentertained by her wit and wonderful sense of humor. There was always a joke to be told from her humor file. Her laugh was infectious .
She is survived by her daughter, Pamela (Bruce) Walters, La Crosse, sons Timothy (Evelyn) Charlotte, NC, and Jamie of Reno, NV, grandchildren Jason (Louisa) Walters, Aaron Walters, Steven (Nicole) Klund, Elena Klund, Jake and Nick Klund and great-grandchildren Jack, Calvin, Samantha, Sydney, Isaac and Luke. She is also survived by her “adopted” daughter Linda Schleiter Sherwood. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, sister Elizabeth Spalding, and son Jeffry.
The family thanks the Bethany Riverside staff for their attentive care.
Memorial services will be held on Wednesday, December 27th at 11:00 a.m. at English Lutheran Church, 1509 King Street. Pastor Roger Grow will officiate and burial will be in the Oak Grove Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family on Wednesday at the church from 10:00 a.m. until time of services. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The La Crosse Community Theater,the Humane Society, or Gundersen Foundation Cancer Fund. The Dickinson Family Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.