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Obituary: Elsa M. Strayer

As received from Antila Funeral Service:


Elsa Marie (Riipi) Strayer, warm and beloved mother, friend, and wife, age 73, died on Saturday, July 18th with her children by her side, after a short battle with cancer.

Memorial services will be held outdoors at 3pm, Thursday, July 23, 2020, at Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church, 1010 Madeleine Street in Houghton, with Pastor Kevin Bender officiating. Services will be held on the lawn; please bring seating and masks. Visitation will be from 2-3pm immediately preceding the service. For those unable to attend in person, the service will be streamed via Zoom (Meeting ID: 995 1033 6231, Password: Elsa). In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Simply Kindness for Youth, 809 Hecla Street, Hancock, MI 49930.Arrangements are being handled by the Jukuri-Antila Funeral Home of Hancock, Antila Funeral Service, Inc.

Elsa was born in Hancock on March 21, 1947, the daughter of the late Ernie and Mildred (Lexson) Riipi of Liminga. She graduated from Houghton High School in 1965 and earned a bachelor of arts in History and French from Michigan State University in 1969. From 1969-1975, she was a computer programmer at General Motors where she met her now late husband Jeff Strayer of Grosse Pointe. The two married in Southfield on December 19, 1970. Elsa later taught mathematics at a community college in Flint, and she was an active volunteer with the Flint

Institute of Arts, and a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Grand Blanc. Since returning to the Copper Country, Elsa was an active member of Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church, a proud board member of Simple Kindness for Youth, and a twenty-year volunteer with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, where she was a volunteer coordinator and completed thousands of tax returns for the elderly and others in the community. Elsa cared deeply for her friends and family, loved New York City, and enjoyed traveling the world, immediately befriending people wherever she went.

Elsa is survived by her son, Adam of Brooklyn, New York; daughter, Lauren of Washington, D.C.; brothers, Matt (Linda) Riipi and Rich (Georgia) Riipi of Marquette; sister-in-law, Julie Strayer of Macomb; dear friends, Barb Knuth of Macomb and Beth (Jim) Graham of Grand Blanc; and numerous other relatives and close friends. Elsa was also preceded in death by her half brother, Alfred (Ruth) Dawe.

Elsa would want everyone to stay safe during this pandemic. She strongly believed everyone should wear a mask and social distance when in public.

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