Beverly Jane Elsinger of Guttenberg passed away suddenly at the age of 83 on September 18, 2022 at UIHC. Beverly, Jane to those who knew her, was born July 31, 1939 to Donald Hunt and Marguerite (Dorl Hunt Palmer) in Guttenberg. She graduated from Guttenberg High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College before teaching at several area grade schools. Jane married her lifelong love, Frank Elsinger, in Guttenberg’s St. Mary Church on April 25, 1964. They farmed on Garber Road for 40 years until Frank’s death on March 30, 2004. Together, they raised their family. Jane continued to make her home on the farm until early 2022, when she moved to River Living Center, Guttenberg.
Jane devoted herself to the tasks of family life on a farm. Having grown up in town, she was grateful to the extended Elsinger family for guidance, especially mother-in-law Irene. Tending large vegetable gardens, canning tomatoes, freezing corn, pitting cherries, and managing the needs of 5 children born within 7 years of each other. She cooked countless delicious and wholesome meals, even though cooking was not a favorite pursuit. Clean up afterwards together with a different child each evening was valued one-on-one time to stay connected with each child.
Jane always loved to draw and expressed her artistic talents throughout her life. She decorated cakes with skillfully piped roses that none of her children can match, made wood crafts, and particularly enjoyed painting. In 1976, she sewed for the whole family colonial outfits in celebration of the bicentennial. Her children cherish her crafted tree ornaments at Christmas time.
Jane and Frank enjoyed special trips to Alaska, Hawaii, and Germany. She had a life-long passion for houses and built a guest cabin with her own hands. She maintained delightful flower gardens. She volunteered at the Guttenberg Hospital gift shop. She was a major contributor to the St. Mary Fall Festival craft tent and her festival dinner pies, her children would argue, were the best ever. She was very proud to have played a central role in turning the vision of Guttenberg’s current public library into reality.
Jane valued education and was proud to see all of her children achieve college degrees. It was joked her grandson only learned to read under her gentle, persistent, after-school tutelage. She loved to read; she was never without a book. She enjoyed a good cup of coffee. She loved animals, especially dogs. So many fortunate dogs through the years enjoyed whole-hearted love and gentle care from Jane.
Jane is survived by her children Lisa (John) Finch, Laura (Chris Schoen) Elsinger, Dianna Elsinger, Scott Elsinger, and Jenny Elsinger; grandchildren Marcus (Megan) Susice, Craig (Joanna) Finch, Alex (Ashley) Finch, Austin (Stephanie) Finch; great-grandchildren Jaymz, Grayson, and Raina Susice, Anabelle, Aidan, Will, Emi, Claire, Nolan, and Quentin Finch; her beloved dog Harley; as well as a large extended family of brothers and sisters-in-law, and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and sister Patricia Roberts.
The family would like to extend their heart-felt gratitude to the caring staff and the other residents at River Living Center, who welcomed Jane. The family requests those who wish to express sympathy, to consider making a donation to the Guttenberg Public Library or Dubuque Humane Society in Jane’s name.