Elizabeth Jane Rimpau

December 6, 1927December 28, 2012
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She was born on December 6, 1927 in Lansing, MI and passed away December 28, 2012 in Lansing, MI. She was the daughter of Lyle E. and Catherine Needham Severance. She leaves to cherish her memory her daughter, Joy Rimpau of East Lansing; four siblings: Rosemary Severance of East Lansing, Helen Darnow of New Fairfield, CT, William Severance of West Grove, PA, and Alice Woodall of Spanish Fort, AL; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; and many friends from her vocation and avocations. She was preceded in death by her parents, infant brother John, Joy’s father George Rimpau, feline companions Kitzen, Blackie, Yellow, and Whitepockets, and grand-dogs Daniel and Yukon. She attended Everett Schools until 1944 (before they were part of the Lansing School System), and graduated from Lansing Sexton High School in 1945. She received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with high honors from Michigan State University in 1949, and a Master of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Southern California in 1952. She began her career as a lab technician at Michigan State University in 1956, working in the Soil Science, Forestry, and Animal Science departments until her retirement in 1993. She was a proud MSU Spartan and always enjoyed watching Spartan Football. She attended the 1966 Rose Bowl game and many other games in person. She was also a wonderful band mom, attending all of the MSU home games when Joy was in the Spartan Marching Band. She maintained her ties with her high school friends and attended annual reunions with the Sexton class of 1945 and monthly luncheons as well as formal reunions with the Everett class of 1945. She enjoyed gardening and was a member of the Lemon Verbena Herb Society. She had been a member of Edgewood United Church since 1987 and particularly enjoyed participating in the Adult Sunday School class. She also enjoyed visiting Joy’s church, St. Thomas Aquinas, on Christmas Eve, Mother’s Day and Easter, and other occasions when Joy was playing in the brass ensemble there. She enjoyed live performances of theater, dance, classical music, and country music. She attended many such performances at the Wharton Center with Joy or with friends. She also saw many of Nashville’s finest in concert around the country, as well as plays and musicals at the Stratford Festival every summer since 1992. Although born early in the 20th century, she embraced the technology of the 21st century, including her iPhone 4S, on which she enjoyed emailing and texting. She was blessed with many opportunities to travel throughout her adult life. She went to Europe with a group in 1972. Later she traveled extensively with Joy. They visited England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Hawaii, Alaska, eight Canadian provinces and the Yukon Territory, and Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. In 2006 they took a 3-week cruise/tour of Australia and New Zealand. Some of their favorite travel memories include snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii; coastal drives around the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec and the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia; seeing icebergs and moose in Newfoundland; crossing the new Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island; flightseeing in Denali National Park, Alaska and Kluane National Park, Yukon; canoeing on Lake Louise and Lac Beauvert, Alberta; seeing bison, bears and elk up close in Yellowstone/Grand Teton; and visiting the majestic Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia. They also enjoyed Michigan travel, including the Lake Superior Circle Tour, Isle Royale National Park, Copper Harbor, and of course the family cottage on Green Lake, Interlochen where they enjoyed hiking, swimming, canoeing, and just hanging out with family. Their last trip was a two-night stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in October 2012. She had recently renewed her license and looked forward to more traveling. Instead, she has embarked on her final trip home. Her warm smile, sweet nature, and quiet strength were much loved and will be missed by all who knew her. Safe travels, Mom/Elizabeth as you continue on your journey! The family will receive friends Thursday, January 3, 2013, 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 1730 E. Grand River Avenue, East Lansing. Services will be held Friday, January 4, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at Edgewood United Church, 469 N. Hagadorn, East Lansing, followed by a graveside service and interment at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Lansing, MI. Contributions may be made to the church in memory of Elizabeth. The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing, Michigan. On line condolences may be made at


  • Visitation Thursday, January 3, 2013
  • Visitation Thursday, January 3, 2013
  • Funeral Service Friday, January 4, 2013

Elizabeth Jane Rimpau

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January 28, 2013

Joy, I'm sorry to learn of your loss. Your mother and my father (Joe Stevenson) were first cousins and I remember hearing Dad share stories about his Needham cousins. We've lost so many of that generation in recent years... My thoughts are with you during these difficult times. Cynthia (Stevenson) Stevenson

Jane Lott

January 9, 2013

Don't know if you'll remember me, Joy, I was a year behind you in East Lansing schools. I'm sorry to read of your mother's passing. You and your mom had a special bond just like my mom and I did (my mom died in 2008). My mother knew your mother, and Mom thought your mom was a very nice lady. My condolences to you; it's hard to lose a cherished parent.

January 4, 2013

"Joy, I am so sorry for your loss. Your Mother sounded like a wonderful person. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely Sue Savage"

Bonnie Reemsnyder

January 3, 2013

So sorry to hear of your loss. You and your mother had a special relationship. She will live on in your memories. Know that you are in my prayers.

January 3, 2013

I knew Elizabeth since 1944. She was very intelligent, but unassuming and always kind. We had many joyful times together. I considered our friendship to be a gift. She loved you so much, Joy. You were lucky to have her for a mother. And she was equally lucky to have you as her daughter. Elizabeth lived the golden rule. She was a unique and wonderful person. Those who knew her will not foget her. Edythe Reineke, Corunna, Mi

Tom Gillette

January 3, 2013

While I never got a chance to meet your mother, I saw her reflected in you, and admired/often envied the strong bond the two of you shared. Your mother's journey is complete, and your personal journey may have hit a rocky place for a time. So my prayers are for you, that you get through this time with your typical grace, good humor, focus and trust in He who called your mother home.

January 3, 2013

Please accept my deep sympathy. She was a remarkable character and an always caring person.

Dieter Krogmeier (Bergen, Germany)

January 2, 2013

Aunt Obit (Elizabeth) was a kind and sweet person. She always had a smile and laugh, especially with kids. One time she took me to her biochemistry lab and explained her experiments. She was working with DNA, which was quite novel at the time. I was impressed with her patience!

Condolences to Joy and family.

Nephew John

January 1, 2013

Joy, my prayers are with you.

Debbie Lewis

Marilyn Severance-Schaefer

January 1, 2013

So sorry for your loss. Your Mom was a very good person and will be missed.