In Memory of



Obituary for Elsie Saunders

Elsie M. Saunders, 81, of Fremont died peacefully Thursday, February 9, 2023 at Dunklau Gardens with her family by her side.

Elsie was born on January 31, 1942, in Colome, S.D., to Lyle A. and Hazel M. (Barnett) Kyler. She grew up in Winner, S.D., with her nine brothers and sisters. On January 12, 1962, Elsie married the love of her life, Thomas O. Saunders, in Lake Manawa, IA. The two settled in Fremont where they raised their two children, Mericke Christensen and John Saunders.

In 1978, Elsie completed her GED and went on to earn a certificate in practical nursing from Metropolitan Technical Community College in 1980. Elsie dedicated two decades of her life to nursing and spent time in various departments of the Fremont hospital including pediatrics, med-surg, laboratory, and assisted living.

Elsie lived a life of service and dedicated many years to numerous organizations including Girl Scouts, Salvation Army, The Banquet at First Lutheran Church, Habitat for Humanity, and LifeHouse. Elsie and her husband also opened their home and hosted foreign exchange college students. Elsie never knew a stranger and always welcomed everyone with open arms.

Adventure also filled Elsie’s days. She loved traveling and was part of the Good Sam Camping Club. Elsie traveled to many places including Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and all over the United States. Her love for travel influenced her knack for cooking, and she could often be found in the kitchen whipping up new dishes to share with her family and friends. She also loved to spoil her grandkids and great grandkids.

Elsie is survived by her daughter Mericke Christensen and her son John Saunders; special niece April (Jim) Kardisco who was like a daughter to Elsie; siblings James (Gina) Kyler, Eunice Cole, Sharon (Don Etherington) Totten, Carol Zvorak, and Nila (Dave) Lively; brothers-in-law Lyle Saunders and Gaylord (Pat) Saunders; sisters-in-law Peggy (Floyd) Harriger, Judie Kyler, and Linda Saunders; grandchildren Ashley (Justin) Johnstone, Brad (Jen) Christensen, Steven Stearns, Chrissy Blahak, Samantha (Mike) Bohanan, Kim (Eric McDunn) Blahak, and Zach Blahak; great-grandchildren Wyatt and Piper Johnstone, Kyle, Lakota, and Wilbur Stearns, Payden Blahak, and Bella Sulley and Beckham McDunn; close friends Butch (Roseann) Walker, Betty Walker, Ryu Ito, and Kory (Carolie) Rozell; and many nieces and nephews.

Elsie was preceded in death by her parents; husband; infant daughter Susan; parents-in-law John and Dorothy Saunders; brothers Willard, Roger, and Leroy Kyler; sister Vada Kyler; brothers-in-law Billy and Gary Saunders, Darrell Orel, and Sam Cole; and sister-in-law Pat Rolf.

Although a light has been extinguished in the lives of her family and friends, her loved ones find comfort in knowing that Elsie lived life to the fullest and enjoyed a lifetime that overflowed with family, friends, travel, and adventure that resulted in lasting memories that will be retold for generations.

A celebration of life will be 1:00 PM, Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Hazel Keene Camp Lodge in Fremont .

Nebraska Nurse Honor Guard will be present for the service.

Memorials may be directed to the Nebraska Nurse Honor Guard.

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