Winona Elliott was born May 14, 1922, to Emma (Ring) and Daniel Baker in her grandparents’ home near Womer, Kansas. She was baptized in the Womer Church and recalled to family some great memories of participating in church programs. Her love of the outdoors led her to become an adept gardener and her shelves were always lined with canned goods. Especially well loved by her family were her famous strawberry preserves. When she was a very young girl her mother was plagued with multiple health problems. This left Winona to often be in charge of feeding the family and also the farm help. She became a very skilled cook and baker that friends and family have thoroughly enjoyed over the years.
Although life was very hard during the 1930’s, there was always time made for entertainment. Winona was very athletic and excelled in many sporting activities. She was on the Womer girls basketball team in school, played baseball and ran every chance she got. The Deshler nursing home was the last place she lived and she was challenging other residents to races in the hallways as recent as two weeks ago!
On June 23, 1938 she was united in marriage to Francis “Jack” Elliott. To this union three children were born, Bill, Tamara and Cheryl. They farmed for several years before she took a job at the Ammunition Depot in Hastings during the Korean War. Winona put her culinary skills to use by working in the Royal Hotel cafe, even owning it for several years. In 1966, Jack and Winona started another adventure by building a house in Grand Island and working up there. While Jack was often working on the road, she was a waitress and during horse racing season, a mutuel teller at Fonner Park. They both worked hard and were frugal with their savings, which allowed them to retire comfortably. Dancing was a favorite activity and they spent many New Year’s Eve dancing the night away. Traveling was also a shared passion, making Arizona a winter destination each year.
Preceding her in death were her parents, daughter Tamara Gestring and son-in-law, Larry Gestring, and siblings Bernard, Darlene and Marilynn.
Left to cherish her memory are son Bill (Karen) Elliott, daughter Cheryl (Dennis) Wilson, grandchildren Rick Gestring, Scott (Allison) Elliott, Bob (Laura) Gestring, Dean (Kim) Pegg, Jill Elliott, Dana Pegg, Tara (Scott) Keetle, Amber (Erian) Laperi and Kelli (Pat) Daly; 15 great grandchildren, a sister Velda Wilson and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral services were Wednesday, 10:30 am, December 29, 2021 at the First United Methodist Church in Red Cloud with Rev. Rod Rose officiating. Interment was at the Red Cloud Cemetery.
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970
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