Elaine Inez Nelson Renfrow


Elaine I Renfrow, 102, died Jan 9, 2024, at Augusta Place Nursing Home, Bismarck, ND. She was one of the first residents at that new facility in 2010. Cremation has taken place and family graveside services will be held at Turtle Lake Cemetery on a warm spring day per her wishes. Honorary  pallbearers will be her grandchildren Layne, Cory, Penny, Renee, Kristie, Gwen, Rod, Regan, Ranie, Shawn, Pam, Jay, Sandy, Melanie, Jessie, Justin, Shannon, Brandon, and Amber.

Elaine Renfrow was born November 10, 1921, in Turtle Lake, ND to Norman and Beulah (Jackling) Nelson. She grew up on the farm north of Turtle Lake, ND. She came down with polio at age 4 years old, and that defined her life thereafter.  She attended country school near their farm and graduated from Turtle Lake High School in 1939. She had been the oldest living graduate until her death.

Elaine married Merle A. Renfrow on August 3, 1940, they made their home in rural Turtle Lake until 1942 when they moved to Bremerton, WA, where Merle worked at the shipyards. In 1945 they returned to the Turtle Lake area and raised their family.

She is survived by four daughters and 2 sons, Luann Renfrow, Lynette (Elray) Sondrol, Linda (Dennis) Bauer, Les (Angie) Renfrow, Lyle (Debra) Renfrow, LaRae (Ferlin) Johnson; daughter-in-law, Cynthia Renfrow; 19 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren and great-great grand children.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Merle, who died in 1996; daughter and son-in-law, Loetta and Gene Hovland; son, Larry Renfrow; daughter and son-in-law, Leatrice and Roger Schilling; infant daughter, Louise Renfrow; great grandson, Tanner Renfrow; sisters, Norma and Dale Hanson, Irma and Dan Branesky, and Eloise and Gene Ferruzza; brothers, Virgil and Evelyn Nelson, E Duane and Clarice Nelson, Bruce and Barbara Nelson.

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A kind and beautiful lady