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Ellen Mae Ziesche
(07-15-1921 - 03-15-2021)

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  Ellen Mae (Kelleher) Ziesche passed away suddenly at home in Elgin, Il, on March 15, 2021, age 99. She was born in Chicago, Il and was the oldest of her siblings, growing up in the “Back of the Yards” neighborhood on the South Side. Growing up during Prohibition and the Great Depression, she attended St. Martini’s Grammar School and graduated from Lindblom High School, Chicago, in 1939.
After high school and at the beginning of World War II, Ellen worked at the Ordnance Depot in Savanna, Il, where she met her husband, Edward F. Ziesche. She and Edward F. were married June 6, 1943 after Ed entered the U.S. Army Air Corps. During the war they traveled around the United States, stationed at Chanute Field, Rantoul, Il and March Field, Riverside, CA. Toward the end of the War, Ellen returned to Chicago ahead of her husband where her first son, Edward J., was born in 1945. After the end of the war, Edward F. was honorably discharged and rejoined Ellen in Chicago and they began to build a new life together.
Several years after the war, they found themselves moving around the country again, leaving Chicago to live in El Reno, OK in the early 50’s for a few years and then settling in Minneapolis, MN, where their second and youngest son, Richard Austin, was born in 1954. They eventually moved to Elgin, Il in 1965, with Richard in tow, where they lived the rest of their lives. Ellen worked outside of the home more often than not, working as a key punch operator in data processing. She worked at Piper Jaffray & Hopwood, a financial services company in Minneapolis, and after moving to Elgin she worked at Shakeproof Division of Illinois Tool Works (ITW) eventually retiring from Shakeproof at age 65. After taking some time off and running out of things to do around the house, Ellen went to work for a local Elgin bank, retiring a second time 10 years later.
She then decided it was time to enjoy some traveling. Including spending time with her grandsons who lived in Minnesota and Northern California, she traveled to Las Vegas and throughout the west, stood in front of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State, stood on Glacier Point on the rim of Yosemite Valley in California, and traveled to the Middle East, Europe and Alaska, always fascinated with the historical significance of the places she visited.
At different times throughout her life Ellen also enjoyed many activities including golfing, bowling, and long walks. She especially loved dancing to the swing/big band music of her generation. She was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge #799 in Elgin since 1973, spending many Friday nights there playing cards and “lightning,” and rarely missed a New Year’s Eve party. She was a member of Good Shepard Lutheran Church, Elgin since 1965, teaching Sunday School for many years at the Van Street location and later volunteering her time for the church in local nursing and assisted living facilities helping to reach those unable to make it to regular church services.
Ellen was preceded in death by: her husband, Edward F. Ziesche in 1986; her father and mother, John Leonard Kelleher and Anna Kelleher; sister, Mary Louise “Red” Lukowski; brothers William (Bill) Kelleher and James (Jim) Kelleher, nephews Robert (Bob) Kelleher and John Kelleher. Survivors include: her sons, Edward James Ziesche (Susan Mirabito-Ziesche) of Minneapolis and Richard Austin Ziesche (Barbara Molinari-Ziesche) of Santa Rosa, CA; Grandsons, Alan Ziesche (Sarah Mraz) of Minneapolis and Steven Ziesche of Santa Rosa, CA; great grandchildren, Maxwell and Mila Ziesche, both of Minneapolis, sister-in-law, Donna Flick, Buffalo Grove, Il, longtime special friend, Florence Schmidt, Menomonee Falls, WI, and many nephews, nieces.
Ellen was loved by many, both old and young. She will remain an inspiration to those who witnessed her ability to remain positive in her outlook, her generosity to others, and her independence in the later half of her life. She always looked forward and encouraged others to do the same. We will continue to love her and remember the many funny and interesting stories which she was a part of.
Visitation will be 9:00am – 11:00am, Thursday, April 1st, 2021 at Good Shepard Lutheran Church, 195 Nesler Rd, Elgin, Il, with services and celebration of her life to follow at 11:00am. Private interment will be at Elm Lawn Memorial Park, Elmhurst, Il at a later date. Arrangements are being handled by Laird Funeral Home, Elgin.
Special thanks to her caretakers, Jean Schabb and Angela Flintz of Assisting Hands Home Care, who helped Ellen remain in her home and remain independent. If you wish, a donation in her memory may be made to Senior Services Associates, Elgin Office, 101 South Grove Av, Elgin, Il 60120, or, Moose Charities, Inc., 155 S. International Dr., Mooseheart, Il 60539-1100. For information call 847-741-8800 or www.lairdfamilyfuneralservices.com

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