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Memorial for Olene Erliss Peckham

Born in Jackson County, Minnesota on Jul. 5, 1923
Departed on Nov. 22, 2016 and resided in Sugar Land, TX.
Service: Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016
2:00 pm
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Olene Erliss Peckham
  
Olene Erliss (Flatgard) Peckham, 93, died peacefully Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at Brookdale Sugar Land Assisted Living Center in Sugar Land, TX.

She is survived by her daughter Pamela Marshall, her son; Lt. Col. (ret.) Brian (Linda) Peckham, her grandchildren, Dr. Dawn (Roy) Westfall, Mark Thompson, Jennifer Auston, Rachael Peckham, Jason Peckham, Ryan (Samantha) Peckham, 15 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren. She also had many close nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She is preceded in death by her husband of 69 years Arthur H. Peckham.

Born on the family farm near Bergen, Minnesota on July 5, 1923, Olene was the tenth of eleven children born to Julius and Jensine (Ellefson) Flatgard. She spoke fondly of growing up in her large, Norwegian family and was considered a tomboy, much preferring to be outside with her brothers roaming the farm rather than inside with her sisters. However, she still managed to become an accomplished seamstress, a pastime she enjoyed throughout her life. She graduated from Windom High School in 1941. During high school, she worked at the local general store pumping gas for customers. During World War II, she moved to Detroit with two of her sisters, Polly and Mae, and her best friend Ihlene Stockel to work in a factory for the war effort. She married her long-time sweetheart Art in her family's front sitting room while he was on leave in 1945. Soon after their honeymoon on Lake Okaboji, the war ended, and they moved to Cedar Rapids to begin married life. After her children entered school, Olene began working for the Cedar Rapids Community School District. She was the head cook at Hiawatha Elementary School and then worked as a production aide at John F. Kennedy High School, retiring in 1983.

Olene and Art participated in a many activities over the years including square dancing, playing cards, camping, hiking, and bowling. They particularly enjoyed camping with family and friends and took many trips to national parks all over the country. They were able to visit their son's family in Europe and at age 80, they took the "trip of their lifetime" by cruising the Alaskan peninsula and touring Denali National Park. Olene was also very involved in her Lutheran churches and was currently a member of St. Martin's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sugar Land, TX.

After retirement, Olene and Art spent time in Mechanicsville and Solon, IA, Apache Junction, AZ, Fredericksburg, TX, and, Sugar Land, TX. In her later years, Olene's greatest joys came from sewing quilts, swimming, spending time on the patio with Art drinking coffee, and visiting with her family and many, many friends. She passed on her Norwegian heritage by teaching her granddaughters how to make lefse and saying grace at meals in Norwegian. She loved to attend the activities of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and was extremely proud of their achievements. She was loved dearly by all and will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Martin's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1123 Burney Rd. Sugar Land, TX 77498. Attendees are invited to wear red, Olene's favorite color. Memorials may be sent to St. Martin's.

  

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