Elinor Hilma (Miller) Zielkie, 79 years old, passed away at The Bluffs of Lake City Elysian Senior Living facility on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, Elinor was born September 2, 1941 in Oakland, Nebraska to Richard and Hilma (Hedquist) Miller.
Elinor attended school in Oakland, Nebraska and furthered her education at Luther Junior College in Wahoo, Nebraska. And later graduating with a Bachelor degree in Business and Music, majoring in Organ music from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas in 1963.
After graduating she worked as a secretary for two years at Trinity Lutheran Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Her passion was to be an organist at a church which was first gained as a part time organist at First Lutheran Church in Brainard, Minnesota (1965-1968). Her next job was at the American Lutheran Church, Division of Social Service in Minneapolis, MN (1968-1972) serving as secretary and part time organist at various Lutheran Churches in the area.
It was at this time, that Elinor met her husband, Leroy Zielkie at a local roller-skating rink. Leroy and Elinor married July 29, 1972 and they started their life on Leroy's farm in Bay City, Wisconsin. During this time, she was full time organist at United Lutheran Church in Red Wing, MN that lasted for 22 years. She also enjoyed playing in the Bell and Choral choir. Music was Elinor’s passion, she enjoyed making that organ dance. During her spare time, she spent time at the church playing some of her favorite pieces, just for herself. But anyone visiting the church during those times, had a treat to listen to Elinor’s talent. She was an avid reader of books and magazines, especially in history and travel. She would take a book with her to Baypoint Park, next to the Mississippi River in Red Wing and read during the afternoons when she was not working. Elinor’s best magazine was the National Geographic. She always would say “I grew up with this magazine, looking at the pictures before I could read”. In her retirement years, Elinor enjoyed group travels to foreign lands including Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland and Australia as well as travels to Alaska and many United State National Parks and other special locations the US has.
In January of 1987 Elinor and Leroy moved to Red Wing. In July 1995 Leroy died and her job as organist ended in 1998. This did not mean Elinor was going to sit still. She jumped into a job in the Diploma Customer Service Department at Josten’s. In 2004 Josten’s, in Red Wing, started to downsize and Elinor found herself unemployed. But with Elinor’s strong work ethics, she found part-time positions at Hallmark and later at Target. Elinor never found herself bored. She did beautiful needle work and enjoyed time with activities at the church and also was a Chair Sponsor for the Sheldon Brass Band at the Sheldon Theatre for many years. She had a standing aisle seat in the balcony on the Right Side for all of her favorite events. She would never miss the Sheldon Brass Band events or the High School Musical each spring.
In January of 2016, as health issues came upon Elinor, she moved to The Bluffs in Lake City. She felt very proud to be one of the first residents of a new Senior Living Facility and was very happy that she did not need to cook her meals anymore.
Elinor is survived by Sister, Virginia Follstad of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Brother, Norman Miller and his wife Sharon of Wake Forrest, NC. Several nieces and one nephew and a dear friend, Cindy Patton of Lake City. Preceded in death are her stillborn sister, Linda Ruth; her parents, Richard and Hilma Miller; husband, Leroy; and most recently brother Stanley Miller of Ridgecrest, California. Sisters-in-law Irene Miller and Christina Miller; and brother-in-law Merle Follstad
A memorial will be held at a later date with Elinor being laid to rest next to her husband at Hartland Methodist Cemetery in Bay City, Wisconsin. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com
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