Elaine Stockdale
Elaine Stockdale
Following nearly four years of living at the Ostrander Care and Rehab Assisted Living, Elaine Stockdale moved into the nursing home in early fall 2012. In her assisted living apartment, often with the door open, she could be seen meticulously recording and tracking her family's history.

Elaine, born Sept. 19, 1917, was the oldest of five children of parents George ('Fred') and Ethel (Hultquist) Loucks. The four siblings included George (deceased), sister Merle, Gordon (deceased), and Donald. Elaine was baptized Dec. 31, 1917, at a Lutheran Church in Red Wing, her mother's hometown church.

The Loucks family farmed near Spring Valley, engaging sons and daughters in field work, livestock chores, and other farm work. Elaine's daughter Janelle recalls her parents speaking of living through "tough times" during the Great Depression years. Being located close to a railroad the family often fed unexpected hungry visitors who stopped by, even boarding a number of them for the night. Sometimes they were paid, this helping to support the growing family.

Elaine attended Spring Valley High School, driving horse and buggy to get to town. Sometimes she stayed overnight with an aunt and uncle. Following graduation from high school in 1936, she "hired out," doing housework and babysitting. On Sept. 1, 1937, she married Dale Stockdale, one of the boarders at her parents' home. Following their marriage, Elaine and Dale rented a farm (Doc. Halvor's farm) about seven miles from Ostrander, which became the home to a daughter, Janelle, and a son, Kenneth. They were born April 4, 1939, and Nov. 15, 1940, respectively.

Following a move to a relative's farm near Lime Springs, Iowa, for two years, the couple purchased a farm in 1945 in Mower County, five miles west of Ostrander. A daughter, Karen, had been born Nov. 4, 1943. In 1948 or 1949, electricity was brought in, easing their lives somewhat. Their last child, a daughter Juliene, was born Nov. 13, 1959.

Elaine always planted a large garden, canned fruits and vegetables, and baked a lot, especially pies and cookies. "She was a good cook," according to daughter Janelle. She made many quilts for her family and church. Elaine was active in a club called BI Club (Bright Ideas), an organization in which her mother had participated for many years.

She was active in Trinity Lutheran Church, serving on various boards and committees. As a couple, Elaine and Dale enjoyed dancing and traveling. They traveled to many states, often more than once, including a trip to Hawaii. They enjoyed charter bus rides trips to Niagara Falls and other places in the eastern United States.

She continued to live on the farm following Dale's death on Aug. 27, 2003, moving to the Ostrander Care & Rehab Assisted Living in September 2008. Elaine has 18 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.