Chesterton Tribune

Elsie C. Bolinger (nee) Franzen

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Burns Harbor, IN: A beautiful, yet complex woman with a catching sense of humor and generous soul entered into eternal rest on Monday, June 30, 2008 at the age of 84. Elsie C. Bolinger was born on February 29, 1924 in Gary, IN to Gottfried and Ninnie Franzen.

In 1941, after attending Emerson High School, Elsie married her high school sweetheart and star athlete, Richard F. Bolinger, Sr. A long-time resident of Burns Harbor, IN and member of Augsburg Evangelical Lutheran Church in Porter, IN, she was a charitable person who translated books for the blind and volunteered as an assistant Girl Scout leader. An entrepreneur, Elsie turned her gift for acquiring fine objects into a charming collectibles shop aptly named “The BEE-Hive”. Those who knew Elsie best will fondly remember her as an ethical woman who would always keep a secret and give an honest opinion. She was a sincere listener, talented seamstress, and guardian of family traditions,

Elsie loved Mickey Mouse, flowers, and bumblebees; swooned for Elvis; and though she traveled internationally, she preferred to be in Las Vegas seated masterfully at a slot machine. She took great pride in her family, her home, and her friendships. A natural redhead, she was mischievous and strong-willed; a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She had a need for order in all that she did which was usually a blessing, but sometimes a curse.

Elsie’s parents, and sister, Margaret V. Eriksson of Miller, IN, preceded her in death. She is survived by her two brothers: L. William (Martha) Franzen of Valparaiso, IN and Carl R. Franzen of Munster, IN; her loving husband of 67 years; three children: Richard F. (Jolene) Bolinger, Jr. of Crown Point, IN; Michael G. (Linda) Bolinger of Toledo, OH, Pamela J. Kennoy of Michigan City, IN, and Michael L. Dillon of Burns Harbor, IN, whom she loved like a son and is like a brother to her children; eight grandchildren: Kristen (Scott) Radwan of Munster, IN, Rebekah (Kevin) Matokar of Dyer, IN, Jason Bolinger of Toledo, OH, Darren Bolinger of Lansing, MI, Kimberly Bolinger of Toledo, OH, Tonya (Steve) Hiscox of Chesterton, IN, Beth Purdy of Michigan City, IN, and Amy (Joe) Beyer of Maple Valley, WA; five great-grandchildren: Alexander, Logan, Branden, Trae, and Samantha; and numerous nieces & nephews.

Friends may visit with the family at Geisen Funeral Home, 7905 Broadway, Merrillville, IN on Sunday, July 6, 2008 from 2:00 to 8:00 P.M. A funeral service to celebrate Elsie’s life will take place at the funeral home on Monday, July 7, 2008 at 10:00 A.M. with Rev. Eric Bernth of Augsburg Evangelical Lutheran Church officiating. Internment will follow at Calumet Park Cemetery, Merrillville, IN.

Memorials in Elsie’s name may be made to Augsburg Evangelical Lutheran Church, 100 N. Mineral Springs Road, Porter, IN 46304. To share a memory, please visit the guest book section on the obituary page at:



Posted 7/3/2008