Elaine Cordes

Elaine Dorothy Nestingen Cordes, 92, passed through death into eternal life on Friday, June 7, 2019.  She was born on April 23, 1927, in Whitehall, Wisconsin.  She was the sixth of 9 children born to Ingar Jens and Malla Antoinette Ambrosen Nestingen.

Elaine began her education in Westby, Wisconsin, before attending Onward School, a one room school house in Coon Valley, Wisconsin, from third to 8th grade.  She graduated from Westby High School in 1945 and attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, graduating in 1949 as a math major with a minor in Latin.

Elaine taught Latin and served as school librarian in Hutchison, Minnesota, for two years before marrying Robert Lloyd Cordes in Blair, Wisconsin, on June 24, 1951. 

The couple lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, during their first year of marriage while Robert completed studies at Luther Seminary.  They moved to Parshall, North Dakota, in June, 1952, where Pastor Cordes served First, Lucky Mound, Robb & Wabek Lutheran congregations until 1958.  A move to Texas followed where Pastor Cordes served Oslo Lutheran Church in Gruver and Faith Lutheran in Spearman.

Other moves in Texas where Pastor Cordes served Lutheran congregations included St. Paul in Yorktown (1966-75), St. Paul in Mason (1975-79), Faith in Weimar (l979-87), and Faith in Seguin (1987-89).

Elaine was a very devoted wife and mother with deep love for her family.  Her heart rejoiced when the family could gather together for events.  Having an inviting home for her children’s friends where the meal table always grew longer and having friends visiting over a cup of coffee at each of the parsonages where she and Robert lived brought Elaine much happiness.  She attended Bible study, taught Sunday School, participated actively in Church Women and served as District President, quilted for Lutheran World Relief, substituted in area schools, and volunteered for the local RSVP program in Seguin.  She also enjoyed activities at Texas Lutheran University and attended area symphony concerts. Music, more specifically hearing the hymns of her faith tradition being sung by college choirs, was a love of hers.  In addition to annual family vacations to the Midwest, she travelled with family members overseas, visiting Norway, Germany, Egypt and Israel.

She is preceded in death by her husband (1989), parents, and 8 siblings: Irv, Joyce, Myron, Evangeline, Don, Dale, Wallace, & Marlene.

Elaine is survived by 7 children (spouses), 19 grandchildren (8 spouses) and 9 great grandchildren: Lael Cordes-Pitts and husband, Larry, of Midland, Texas (Lindsey, Lori, & Logan); Loren Cordes and wife, Cathy, of Seguin, Texas (Luke/Felicia & Joe/Molly Seagraves); Leah Matocha and husband, Pastor Barney of Victoria, Texas (Matthew/Monica, Scott/Maggie, & Amanda); Naomi Doerr & husband, Pastor Nathan  of Littleton, Colorado (Kevin/Jenn, Perek/Leah Lundquist, & Brian Minor/Andrea Doerr); Rebecca Guengerich and husband, Steve, of Austin, Texas (Lauren, Ben/Lauren, & Andrew); Deborah Ealy and husband, Steve, of Moulton, Texas (Kirsten, Shannon, & Justine); and Joel Cordes and wife, Kim of Santa Barbara, California (Sam & Kyle). 

Great grandchildren are Lake Cordes, Mason & Madden Matocha, Maisie & Jack Matocha, Kellen & Micah Doerr, and Joram & Jolie Lundquist.

Other survivors include Elaine’s sister-in-laws, Kathleen Drew, Cleone Currence, and Ruth Nestingen and her brother-in-laws, Bob Behanna and Evan Currence, along with many nieces and nephews and other extended family members.

Visitation will be held on Monday, June 10, 2019, from 5 to 7 pm at Tres Hewell Mortuary.  A celebration of Elaine’s life will be held at the Chapel of the Abiding Presence on Texas Lutheran University Campus on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at 10:00 am.  Officiating will be Rev. Megan D. Elliott, Pastor Nathan Doerr, and Pastor Barney Matocha.  Pallbearers will be Elaine’s grandsons with honorary pallbearers being her granddaughters.  A reception will follow at the Fritz House on campus with a private family burial to be held later at Guadalupe Valley Memorial Park. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be gifted to the Texas Lutheran University Robert & Elaine Cordes Scholarship Fund (Texas Lutheran University Development Office, 830-372-8030, development@tlu.edu, 1000 W. Court St., Seguin, TX 78155). 

Arrangements are under the direction of Tres Hewell Mortuary, 165 Tor Dr., Seguin, Texas, 78155, 830-549-5912.  You are invited to sign the guest book at www.treshewell.com.

The family would like to give special gratitude to Shady Oaks Nursing and Rehab Center in Moulton, Texas, where Elaine lived her final years of life with the staff giving attentive and loving care.

Elaine lived her faith as a Christian woman ...” passing through death into eternal life.”