Elaine Little

Elaine Marjorie Little

1928 - 2020

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Obituary of Elaine Marjorie Little

Elaine Marjorie Little (Loney) passed away peacefully at the Inver Glen Heights Senior Living facility in Inver Grove Heights, MN on Christmas morning at the age of 92.

Elaine was born on February 13, 1928 in Roberts County, South Dakota to Carl Gerhard Loney and Margaret Ercink Loney She graduated from Lidgerwood High School in 1946, where she was the Salutatorian and Homecoming Queen of her class.  She attended Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen, SD. It was here that she met John (Jack) Little while seated alphabetically in a Psychology class.  They were married on August 1, 1951 and made their home in Austin, MN for over 50 years. They were married for 61 years before Jack passed away in 2012. After her children were all in school, Elaine worked as a substitute teacher for the grade school children in Austin. Elaine and Jack liked to travel and discover new antiques for their home, play cribbage, bridge, and attend community theatre productions with their close friends. Elaine found extreme joy spending time with her children and grandchildren, especially during the annual family fishing trip to Black Pine Beach Resort in Cross Lake, Minnesota. Elaine was an active and lifelong and member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church. She taught Sunday school, Adult Bible study, and she chaired the committee for the 125th Anniversary celebration, and baked many tasty morsels for whatever event may have needed some. Elaine had many passions, including ice cream and candy (chocolate being her favorite). However, Elaine’s favorite passion was reading. While the Bible was her favorite book to read, she had very eclectic tastes when it came to choosing a book. The Austin Public Library was a place Elaine visited on a weekly basis, and the staff knew her by her smile and her willingness to let them know if the book(s) she had read were good….or not so good. Elaine will be remembered for her quick wit, her famous cinnamon bread, and her deep faith in God. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and Aunt.

Elaine is survived by her children, Bruce Little (Phyllis) and Mary Hansen (Bill).  Seven Grandchildren, Andrew Little (Theresa), David Little (Nydia), Meghan Canono (Larry) and Erin Weaver (Matt), Hollee Hembree, Kellee Hembree and Alexee Hembree. Seven great grandchildren, Aliah, Bradley and Sophia Little, James and Annie Weaver, Raguel Hembree and Evelynn Hembree. Elaine is also survived by seven nieces and three nephews. Elaine was preceded in death by her husband, Jack, her daughter, Barbara, her twin sisters Mavis Schlotfeltd and Marlys Hansen, and nephew, Doug Hansen.                                                           

A celebration of life will take place when the snow is gone, the roses are blooming and the weather is calling for lots of sunshine. Elaine would always say, “Please don’t drive if the weather is bad. I want you to be safe so that I can see you again”. 

Condolences may be sent to the Cremation Society of Minnesota: Cremationsocietyofmn.com


The family would like to thank the kind and compassionate caregivers from Inner Glen Senior Living. The family is grateful and thankful for the team from St. Croix Hospice care, especially Chaplain Craig with his ability to just listen, and provide words of comfort when needed and Kathy Risser, RN for the care she provided for Elaine. The love and compassion she shared with Elaine and Elaine’s family will always be remembered.



I am standing upon the seashore,

A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength, I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of  white cloud just where the sea and sky come together to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!”

“Gone where?”


Gone from my sight. That is all.

She is just as large in the mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.


Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just as the moment when someone at her side says: “There, she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: 


“Here she comes!”