16 November 2014

Elsie Tina Marguerite (Hopken) Reinsch

1911 — 1999


Elsie Marguerite Reinsch was born to Christ and Anna Oellien Hopken on May 25, 1911, near Bruning, 1  the youngest of 12 children in the family.  She passed away at the Fillmore County Hospital on Feb. 7, 1999, at the age of 87 years, 8 months and 12 days.

Elsie was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at the Evangelical Lutheran Church near Ohiowa. 2   She attended Prairie Grove School District No. 37 for 8 years and then started Strang High School in 1924, graduating in 1928 as valedictorian of her class.  She planned on going to Normal Training, but due to the dry years and tornado destruction on her father's farm it was not possible at this time.  She took up domestic work such as cleaning, sewing, wallpapering, laundry or whatever work she could find.

On Aug. 18, 1931, she was married to Ernest J. Reinsch and they were blessed with two sons, Richard and Dean.  They farmed near Ohiowa, Geneva, and Strang. 3   In September of 1939, her husband Ernest died, leaving her with the boys.  She was helping her mother and brother take care of her father at that time.  Her father passed away in 1940 and in 1942, she moved in with her mother and brother, Christ Hopken, Jr.  She remained on the farm until 1965, when she built a new home and moved to Geneva.  She remained there until her health failed about a year ago.

Elsie was a member of Belle Prairie Extension Club for 70 years, a former 4-H leader, enjoyed sewing and gardening.  She was a member of the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and taught Sunday School for many years.  She was appointed assessor of Belle Prairie Township in 1947, and remained at this post until 1953, when she was called to the County Assessors office as clerk, under the direction of Margaret Johnson.  After the election of 1954, she worked for Charles Miller for one year and upon his resignation she was appointed to fill the vacancy as County Assessor.  She was elected County Assessor in 1958, and held this position until 1986, when she reluctantly retired.  Elsie was a very dedicated elected County Official and developed many lasting friendships with County and State officials.  She enjoyed traveling, especially a trip to Germany, and eating out with her many friends.  Many hours were spent doing crewel, crocheting or any other handwork.  She had received several ribbons at the County Fair for her efforts.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Christ and Anna Hopken; her husband, Ernest J. Reinsch; son, Richard L. and daughter-in-law, Joann Reinsch; brothers, Henry, John Christ, Ben and William Hopken; and sisters, Lizzie, Anna, Frieda, Bertha, Martha and Alma. 4 

She is survived by son Dean and wife Darlene of Bruning; grandchildren, Richard E. (Rick) Reinsch and wife Michelle, Rebecca Glad and husband Mark, Rhonda Borowiak, Renee Cousino and husband Ken, Kathleen Philippi and husband Kurt; great grandchildren, Josef, Ryne and Paul Philippi, Michelle and Christina Borowiak, Emanuel Reinsch, Ben Brooke and Brittany Cousino; sisters-in-law, Alma (Mrs. William) Hopken, Helen Biegert and Lavina Reinsch; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Her family was dear to her and she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  She always had concern for others and was willing to lend a helping hand when needed.

Funeral services were conducted from the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Geneva at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10, 1999, with Pastor Vern Barlow officiating.  Shaunna O'Brien accompanied Delwin V. Myers who sang "Softly and Tenderly" and the congregational hymn "How Great Thou Art".

Casket bearers were Thomas E. Biegert, Rod Heinrichs, Mike O'Brien, Robert Ohnesorge, Kenneth Peterson and Waldo Schinzel.

Interment was in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Geneva with the Farmer and Son Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. 5 

Memorials are directed to the family.

Source: The Nebraska Signal, of Geneva, Fillmore County, Nebraska; 17 February 1999. This transcription was provided by Jane Michel.


  1. Bruning is a village in Thayer County, Nebraska.

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  2. According to a transcription by Sharlene K. Miller of baptismal records from Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church (volume 1, page 78, entry 275): Else Tina Margarethe, child of Christian Hopken and Anna Oellien, was born on 25 May 1911 and baptized on 13 August 1911. Her sponsors were Tina Leenertz [sic], Margarethe Leenerts [sic], and Kate Hulse.

    Source: NEGenWeb. Fillmore County, Nebraska. Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. Baptisms Records Volume 1. 7 January 2005. Accessed November 2014.

    St. John's German Lutheran Church, located about two miles south of Ohiowa, Franklin Township, Fillmore County, Nebraska was founded in 1887 by 15 German pioneer families. In 1945, services in the German language ceased and the congregation dropped "German" from the name, becoming St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1954, the church re-organized and took the name Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.

    Source: NEGenWeb. Fillmore County, Nebraska. Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery. 23 December 2004. Accessed November 2014.

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  3. These are all municipalities in Fillmore County, Nebraska.

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  4. Elsie was preceded in death by all eleven of her brothers and sisters.

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  5. See the memorial for Elsie Marguerite Hopken Reinsch at FindAGrave.com.

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Brief Genealogy

Elsie Tina Marguerite Hopken's family

Ernest John Reinsch's family

Reinsch - Hopken family

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