Donald H. Elfstrom, a nearly fifty year resident of Wheaton and recently of West Chicago, died November 3 at the DuPage County Convalescent Center after a long illness following a fall at his home in May 2008.
He was born July 1, 1930 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the son of Wendell Christy Elfstrom. He attended school there and graduated from Coe College in Cedar Rapids in 1952. He was part of the school's R.O.T.C. program and entered the United States Air Force after graduation. A first lieutenant, he was assigned as the Base Photo officer at Smoky Hill Army Air Force Base near Salina, Kansas. The Korean War ended before he was sent overseas. He was honorably discharged and later received a Masters Degree in Eduation and journalism at the University of Iowa in 1958.
Don met his wife of 57 years, Marjorie, at her church in Salina, Kansas. She was the summer organist there, and he had been asking to sing a solo. They began dating and were married there in 1955 after Marge graduated from KU at Lawrence, Kansas. A move to Iowa was next; Don worked in a photography store, and Marge taught school. Don then earned his Masters Degree at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City.
In 1958 Don, Marge and new baby Kristin moved to Wheaton, IL. Three more children were born in Wheaton, Rebecca, Eric and David. Don began his thirty-year teaching career in the District #200 School system. He taught English and journalism; he was in charge of the yearbook for many years and sponsored students to England during spring breaks several years.
He was an active member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wheaton since it began in 1959. The church was an important part of this family's life - baptisms, confirmations and weddings happened there. Singing in the choir was Don's special joy. He also sang supporting roles in musicals presented by Wheaton Drama, Inc. He became a member and soloist in the Silvertones, a Wheaton Park District singing group.
Travel, photography, collecting stamps and books were his serious hobbies - these along with music, remained his interests all his life. He loved camping with his family and took them on many trips out west, throughout Michigan and Illinois, and to the Smokies and Florida. His main joys were just being with his wife, children, and grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife Marjorie; four children, Kristin (Craig) Tiernan of Dubuque, Iowa, Rebecca (Doug) Slagell of Hampshire, Illinois, Eric (Kelly) of West Chicago, and David (Marlo Oostmeyer) of West Chicago. He is also survived by grandchildren, Christian James, Ashlee, Zachary, Cameron, and Keghan Tiernan, Kyle and Collin Slagell, Sean and Tessa Elfstrom, and Theresa, Lynette and Kaylyn Oostmeyer.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Wendell and Christy Elfstrom and a little four year old brother, David in 1940.
Visitation will be held at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church 802 E. Geneva Rd. in Wheaton on Saturday, November 10 from 9:30 to 11:00. The funeral will follow there at 11:00. Interment is private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Wheaton Drama, Inc., DuPage County Convalescent Center.