Her parents, Amanda and Magnus (“Mike”) Knutson, were Swedish immigrants, marrying later in life.
Elsie was the youngest of four children and born when her mother was 46 years old!
Elsie grew up speaking Swedish, which she retained for all of her life.
Elsie met Gilbert Graham, the love of her life, when they were both working at Centennial Mills in Spokane in the summer of 1948.
Elsie was a test baker, creating breads, cakes and pies from sample batches of flour.
Gilbert’s nose and stomach drew him frequently to Elsie’s side, and they married on June 4, 1949.
Their fairy tale wedding delighted Graham family, as Gilbert was an adored youngest child of seven and had many nieces and nephews, many of whom survive her.
Elsie was a wonderful wife, mother to Michael and Susan (Bill) Wernecke, and homemaker.
But her greatest role may have been as grandmother to Susan’s four children.
Despite the distance of over 1,700 miles, Elsie made frequent trips to visit her grandchildren, and was very engaged in their day-to-day lives.
Her spirit will live on in the grandchildren who loved her: Ellen, Claire, Maxwell and Chloe Wernecke.
Memorials should be made to the Rockwood Residents’ Assistance Fund, 2903 E. 25th Avenue, Spokane, WA 99223.