Elaine M. Bierman, March 26, 1936 - May 16, 2019

Elaine M. Bierman
Elaine M. Bierman
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Elaine Bierman was made whole again in the presence of her loving Savior on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at Heritage Court in Eau Claire. Over the past several years, Alzheimer’s had been stealing her memory, words, and joy, when a fall on May 8 resulted in a hip fracture. Her daughters were with her in her final days and at her passing. 

Elaine was born on March 26, 1936 in Sparta, Minnesota to Finnish immigrants Joshua and Hilma (Herneshaho) Saari, the youngest of 11 children. She graduated from Gilbert High School in 1954, where she played the cornet in the marching band and was in the debate club. In 1958 she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a minor in English from University of Minnesota-Duluth. She taught at Midway School in Virginia, Parkville School in the Mt. Iron district, and Snail Lake School in New Brighton, MN. 

Elaine met her future husband, Orville, while attending the Central Lutheran Young Adult group in Minneapolis. They were married on June 13, 1964, and lived in Duluth, MN and Salt Lake City, UT before settling in Eau Claire in 1972. 

In addition to raising three girls and being an excellent homemaker, Elaine held various positions, including as a Welcome Wagon hostess, lead preschool teacher at Curiosity Unlimited, and Avon representative for more than 20 years. 

Elaine enjoyed many activities including acrylic painting, stitchery and crafts, and singing in the choir at Bethesda Lutheran Church, where she was a faithful member. She enjoyed attending music and sporting events and traveling with Orv. Elaine was very proud of her Finnish heritage and was an enthusiastic member of local Scandinavian circles. She belonged to the UW-EC Women’s Association, Christian Women’s Club, and UW-EC Host Friend Program until her dementia progressed. Elaine moved to Heritage Court Memory Care June of 2018. 

She delighted in entertaining, playing Upwords and doing word searches, and meeting new people. She loved clipping Ole and Lena jokes, words of wisdom, and recipes from the newspaper, and spending time at her home place on Ely Lake. 

Her daughters would like to thank the staff at Heritage Court and St. Croix Hospice and the many friends who have offered prayers and kindness to the family in this season of loss. 

She is preceded in death (by 57 days) by her husband, Orville; parents, Joshua and Hilma Saari; brothers Alphonse, Arnold, Howard, William, and sisters Helia, Helmi, Irma, Laura, Lillian, and Ruth. She is survived by daughters Kristie (Mike) Hochrein of Fond du Lac, Lori (Randy) Guse of Germantown, and Bethany (Jim) Krepela of Minneapolis, MN, and brother-in-law Arnold Sunnarborg of Edina, MN. Also surviving are grandchildren Arthur and Elaina Guse, Colin, Kaija, and Caris Krepela, and many extended family members. 

Funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at Bethesda Lutheran Brethren Church, 123 W. Hamilton Avenue, Eau Claire, with Pastor John Wile officiating.  Visitation will take place Tuesday, May 28, 2019 from 4-6 p.m. at Hulke Family Funeral Home, 3209 Rudolph Road, and Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service.  A lunch will follow in the church fellowship hall.  Committal service will take place at 1:30 p.m. that afternoon at Rest Haven Cemetery in the Town of Washington. 

Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Church of the Lutheran Brethren to support their Women’s Ministries.


  1. JAMES M ABENS May 26, 2019

    I'm sorry about Elaine's dementia & passing. I always enjoyed singing in choir with her. Jim Abens

  2. Sarah Chambers May 22, 2019

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Elaine was the most welcoming and friendly person I’ve met. Her smile lit up the room. How hard to lose your mother so soon after the loss of your father! My heart hurts for you and your families, Kristie, Lori and Bethany. May God hold you in the palm of His hand at this time.

  3. Joanne Stecker May 22, 2019

    May God strengthen and comfort all of you as you grieve for both of your parents.

  4. Pamela Warren-Armstrong May 21, 2019

    So sorry to hear about Elaine. She will always hold a special place in my heart. Our family first met Elaine in the fall of 1996 when our 4 year old, Klare started Pre-School at Curiosity Unlimited. We had just moved to Eau Claire and your mom was so welcoming. I have some of the sweetest pictures of Miss Elaine and Miss Vicky. Elaine was such a great teacher! The last time I chatted with Elaine and your father was at a MHS Basketball game when our son was on the team in 2012. They were both great supporters of local sports! Again, I am so sorry for your loss. Sincerely, Pamela

  5. Karen (Bluem) Derks May 21, 2019

    Kristie: It is so difficult to lose our parents. Know that I am thinking of you and your whole family at this time of sorrow. God Bless.

  6. Tanya Maas May 20, 2019

    What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady!!! I will always remember the way Aunt Elaine would love her family!!! She was a gracious entertainer and she always made us feel very welcome when we were lucky enough to visit Eau Claire and the Bierman clan!!!❤️❤️❤️ Love to you Kristie, Lori and Bethany as you’ve had to take on sooo many challenges this year with both of your parents health concerns. I know your mom and dad are celebrating up in heaven and they are very proud of their beautiful and amazing daughters who took such great care of their parents until the end. God bless you all as you grieve the loss of your wonderful mom❤️❤️❤️❤️????????????????????????????????

  7. Sarah Brandenburg May 19, 2019

    I loved your mother, & love you three daughters! The last time I saw Aunt Elaine she gave me a beautiful Avon necklace. I wear it often & will be wearing it on the 29th in her honor. I wish I could be there with you all. Much love!

  8. Meghan Dimick May 19, 2019

    Sending love and prayers for Kristie, Lori, and Bethany and your spouses and kids! May you remember the fun and healthy mom you had for many years! Thinking of Elaine and Orv being reunited whole again and healthy in heaven!
    Love, John, Meghan, Savannah, and Vanessa Dimick

  9. Tom and Sharon Wineinger May 19, 2019

    We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. May you remember only the good time and fun things you did with her. God bless you all.