Elsie Skaar Fagerholm


Elsie Marie Skaar Fagerholm was born April 5, 1922, on the family farm north of Hayward, MN, one of four siblings, to Peder J. and Elsie (Lunde) Skaar. She died peacefully September 5, 2013, in Rochester, with her family at her side. 

Elsie was baptized and confirmed in the Hayward Lutheran Church. She attended country school before graduating from Albert Lea High School in the class of 1940. Elsie was active in the Hayward 4-H and brought many projects to the Fairs, including her Minnesota State Fair  Championship  heifer. 

She attended the University of Minnesota, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1945. She married Robert K. Fagerholm on June 13, 1947, in Hayward MN. They farmed with their young family near Wykoff before eventually moving to Rochester, MN in 1962. 

Elsie turned from farm wife to a career as lead technician in an internationally known research laboratory at the Mayo Clinic, retiring in 1992.

Elsie was a gifted home crafts artist, providing, among many other things, a multigenerational legacy of quilts. She gently succored and nurtured every manner of creature, diapered, feathered or furred. Always gentle, kind, caring, curious, reading. She valued learning and was proud to see her five children all pursue postgraduate educations. In her later years she lovingly and skillfully cared for her husband at home for 11 years following his disabling stroke.

Survivors include her husband, Robert K Fagerholm of Rochester; sons Peder Fagerholm of Kennesaw, GA; Thomas (Marie) Fagerholm of Edmonds WA; Robert J (Sandy) Fagerholm of Elkader IA; daughters Margaret (Mark Ehrlich) of Madison WI; and Katherine (Dennis) Burbank of Kasson MN; 11 grandchildren including Thomas K. (Rita) Fagerholm of Hacketstown NJ, and Katherine J Fagerholm of Portland OR; seven great-grandchildren, and a sister Solveig Sorenson of Geneva MN. She was preceded in death by her parents, an infant son, a brother, and her twin sister.

  Following a private service at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Spring Valley MN, she was interred at the Spring Valley Cemetery.

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