Elaine Ann Chandler of Hixton, WI, passed away June 27, 2024, at Meadowbrook Nursing Home in Black River Falls at the age of 81.

     Elaine was born to Esther (Larson) and Gilbert Nelson Nov. 21, 1942, in Black River Falls. As the only daughter out of six children, she learned at a young age to be independent and strong-willed. Growing up, her favorite thing to do was ride her horse. After chores, she would ditch her brothers and ride off to who knows where. Sometimes she wouldn’t return for days. She liked horses more than most people.

     Anyone who has ever had a conversation with Elaine will know that she is opinionated. She did not hold back, and you always knew where you stood with her, good or bad. Usually, she could find a way to make you laugh. She was stubborn and proud of it. If she got something in her head that she wanted to do, you could not dissuade her. She was a force.

     Elaine was very talented in the arts. Drawing, painting, leatherwork and writing the occasional little limerick, she did it all. From painting beautiful scenes on saw blades or canvases to an array of stamped leatherwork, she was always working on something. The leatherwork she did was for a hobby and also for sale. She made belts, wallets, vests, saddlebags and chaps. Once she even made the most incredible saddle for her favorite horse.

     She loved to read and her bookshelves show it. Elaine could have filled a library. The house is filled with puzzles and games. She liked things that challenged her.

     At Christmas, there was always cookies, banana bread and other treats for everyone to take home when the day was done. Almost everyone in the family has received at least one handmade quilt from her, sewn with love and sass. She was well known in the Hixton area for her amazing lefsa during the winter months.

     Her family will miss her dearly. The house is quiet without her. You can feel her absence, but her spirit is free to ride horses all day, enjoying the sun on her face and the wind in her hair.

     She is survived by her husband, Lyle Chandler; her children, Peggy Stutlien, Melanie Bolen, Tom Chandler and Lynn Crawford; the granddaughter that she raised, Shelby Chandler; plus several more grandchildren and great-grandchildren; her brother, Loren Nelson; and good friend Bonnie Walton who was there with her when she passed. 

     She was proceeded in death by her parents and brothers Cy, Merle, Dale and Glen Nelson.

     Visitation was held July 8, 2024, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home in Hixton, WI. A funeral service was held Tuesday, July 9, at 2 p.m. at the Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home, followed by a burial at the York Pigeon Creek Cemetery. Pastor Elden Simonson officiated. 

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Black River Falls, WI 54615

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