Elaine A Lewis
February 6, 1919 – April 27, 2021
On a cold winter’s night, Feb. 6, 1919 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Elaine was born to Henrietta and John Kourt. She was baptized Elaine Adell Nov. 8, 1919, into the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church in Brownsville, Wisconsin. She was brought up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Elaine was three years old when her mother died at age 26, four months after the birth of Elaine’s sister, Vera. The baby was brought to a children’s home. Elaine and her father went to live with her aunt and uncle. At Christmas time, the baby was brought home to live with the extended family until she was eight and Elaine was eleven. At that time their father married Myrtle Braatz, a young woman who was devoted to the Lutheran Missouri Synod. She proved to be an outstanding mother to the girls for 54 years. The girls were teenagers when a sister, Shirley, was born. The girls dearly loved her and doted on her.
Elaine was confirmed at Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church (M.S.) on March 20, 1932. Elaine was active in Walther League and both English and German choirs. She graduated from both high school and Finishing School.
She married George Lewis, a Chicago Commercial Artist, on June 24, 1944. The couple was blessed with three sons and two daughters. They were all members of Lutheran Memorial Chapel in Shorewood, Wisconsin. Church was five blocks away from their home and every Sunday they walked to church.
Her husband George fell seriously ill shortly after the birth of their youngest child. During his long illness both Pastor Jesse and Pastor Fischer of Lutheran Memorial were both very supportive of the young family. Pastor Jesse went on to become the Dean of Men at Concordia St. Louis and Pastor Fischer eventually became pastor for a church in Bellingham, Washington. Coincidentally, Elaine’s son Greg later taught at Concordia Portland for over 20 years, and her daughter Tera was married to Louis Waldon by Pastor Fischer over 50 years ago.
After George passed away Elaine moved her five children, ages 3 to 11, to Portland since her sister Vera lived here with her family. But just one short year later, Vera’s family moved to California for work, leaving Elaine to support and raise her children on her own. She had audited college courses in Wisconsin and continued to do so in Portland. She also enrolled in a prominent modeling school. She worked as a model and at a variety of other positions as she raised her children, but always kept her eyes on The Lord and remained faithful to the Lutheran Church. Initially they were members of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Portland but transferred to Zion Lutheran nine years later.
Besides being a loving, caring, and devoted mother, Elaine lived a very busy, interesting, and diversified life. Her work experiences sometimes brought her into contact with important and interesting people. Her jobs ranged from running the downtown USO to modeling to helping older workers obtain employment.
Elaine has been an active member of Zion Lutheran Church and its Guild for over 55 years. She loved Zion and its congregation dearly. Even though her later years forced her to take on a less active role, she has always been a strong “prayer warrior” for its members and for so many others both inside and outside the church. Her life is a wonderful example for her descendants, her church family, and all the lives she has touched in her time with us.