Elberta Agnes Huinker

Friday, October 13, 2017 8:08 pm

Elberta Agnes Huinker, 84, of Calmar, passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her family Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 16, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Calmar, with Rev. Robert Gross and Rev. Donald Hawes. Organist was Jeanette Dietzenbach. Cantor was Brandi Hemesath. St. Aloysius Choir sang. Prelude, Ashokan Farewell (Carley Sullivan and Dane Huinker). Opening hymn was “Be Not Afraid.” Other hymns were “You are Near,” “You are Mine,” “Ave Maria” and “Here Am I Lord.” Lectors were Lynn Macal, Roger Huinker and Wayne Huinker. Mass servers were Jamison, Joshua and Jacob Meyer. Eucharistic ministers were Thomas Timp, Roxanne Huinker and Mary Meyer. Offertory gift bearers were John and Dorothy Mashek. Casket bearers were Lee Huinker, Steven Huinker, Alex Timp, Nolan Timp, Jim Kircher, Dane Huinker, Rex Huinker, Ben Tressel, Daniel Sullivan and Dennis Tressel. Interment was at St. Aloysius Catholic Cemetery, Calmar. Arrangements were handled by Schluter-Balik Funeral Home, Calmar.

This beautiful, faith -filled woman is cherished by many—a loving wife, caring mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, relative and friend to many. She died one week after an injury from a fall.

Elberta was born Feb. 25, 1933, in Ossian, daughter of Frank and Christina Moellers. She grew up on a farm near Ossian and helped deliver milk for the family business, Silver Springs Dairy. In her own documented words, Elberta said, “we lived a very family-centered life. Life was work-filled yet balanced with simple pleasures and family fun. [My parents] were very religious about church attendance but taught us so much by example about loving God and neighbor. For all the ethics and faith and goodness that our ancestors … passed on to us, I am very grateful.” She graduated from DeSales High School in 1950, attended Viterbo College in La Crosse, Wis. and graduated from Mt. Mercy College in Cedar Rapids in 1953. She taught grade school in Toledo and Ames.

She married the love of her life, Dennis Huinker, June 18, 1956, at St. Francis DeSales Catholic Church in Ossian. They farmed near Decorah. Elberta was an integral part of the family business, Huinker Durocs, including managing the financial affairs. Elberta was passionate about creating family meal-time with delicious homemade food that provided the setting for many joyful family occasions. As a couple they raised eight children and enjoyed spending time with friends and family, singing, dancing, playing cards, traveling, wintering in Arizona and attending sporting and cultural events of their children and grandchildren.
Elberta was active in her church and community by serving in multiple roles. She helped plan ecumenical church services, enjoyed singing in the church choir, was a eucharistic minister and lector. She also was a member of the Rosary Society, Catholic Daughters of America, Treasurer of the American Legion Auxiliary, and served on the Depot Outlet and Pork Producer Boards.

She was both a life-long learner and teacher with many interests, talents and hobbies. She enjoyed book club, playing piano, writing, playing cards, cooking, baking and quilting. Hallmarks of her personality include her kindness, generosity, strength and resourcefulness. Elberta was a woman of excellence who lived a rich life, yet also lived by the mantra “everything in moderation.” She has had a positive impact on countless lives, and will be missed dearly.

She is survived by her husband, Dennis; children: Wayne (Roxanne) Huinker, Decorah; John (Ruth) Huinker, Decorah; Mike (Kim) Huinker, Decorah; Ann (Dennis) Tressel, Dubuque; Ed Huinker, Decorah; Jeanie Sullivan (Jim Kircher), Iowa City; Becky Huinker, Chicago, Ill.; son-in-law, Thomas Timp, Dubuque; grandchildren: Julie (Drew) Rotschafer, Emily Huinker, Lisa (Jason) Rude, Lee (Kristy) Huinker, Jackie (Michael) Henning, Danielle (Noah) Balik, Steven (Courtney) Huinker, Hannah (John) Schroeher, Lydia (Brian) Black, Dane Huinker, Ben (Adrienne) Tressel, Elizabeth Tressel, Rex Huinker, Christina, Carley, Daniel and Claire Sullivan, Nolan, Alexander, Sydney and Samuel Timp; great-grandchildren: Jackson and Mason Huinker, Aunika and Tate Balik, Mara, Shea, Sloane and Evie Henning, Lauren and Ben Rotschafer, Nora and Tenley Burge, Landon and Riley Rude, Jack and Danial Schroeher, Levi and Will Black; sister, Imogene Macal, Decorah; brother and sisters-in-law: DeEtta Hemesath, Decorah; Gladys Elsbernd, Decorah; Dave and Martha Huinker Ames; and Dorothy Huinker, Garner; and many nieces and nephews.

Elberta was preceded in death by her daughter, Kathleen Timp (Aug. 4, 2017); infant grandchild, Cory Huinker; parents, Frank and Christine Moellers; sister, Linda Moellers; brother, Sylvester (Virginia) Moellers; father and mother-in-law, Edmund and Mathilda Huinker; brothers and sisters-in-law: Paul (Georgina) Huinker, Leona (Jim) Watt, Alvin Huinker, Alphonse Hemesath, Roger Elsbernd and Roy Macal.

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