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L. Elaine Brolander

September 23, 1925 ~ September 3, 2020 (age 94)


Lois Elaine Brolander entered into eternal life just shy of her 95th birthday.  Born in Omaha, NE, the daughter of Rev. Palmer & Florence Nestander, Elaine spent her childhood in Alta, IA and graduated from high school in Manistique, MI. She is a proud alumna of Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, graduating with an Economics major in 1947. A cherished memory is singing in the Augustana Choir. She worked at Mandel Brothers in Chicago, and later as an Executive Secretary at John Deere & Co., Moline, IL.  

In 1950, Elaine married Melvin Schmidt, who passed in 1957.  Two years later, she married Glen Brolander, and they joyfully celebrated 54 years together, until his death in 2014.

Elaine and Glen lived most of their married life in Rock Island, IL, retiring to Keowee Key, SC. They delighted in their beloved Stuga on Washington Island in Lake Michigan.  For the past 18 years, they enjoyed being part of the Boutwells Landing Senior Community in Stillwater. They were passionate about involvement in Lutheran church congregations wherever they lived.  Elaine treasured her loving P.E.O. chapters. Throughout her life, she was a willing volunteer and humble leader, serving as president for several organizations: American Assoc. of University Women, Augustana Endowment, Moline Lutheran Hospital Auxiliary and various Orchid Societies in IL and SC.  Her lifelong love for Augustana College involved activities relating to Glen’s career there, often sharing her gracious and elegant hospitality.  She was honored to serve on the Augustana Alumni Board.

Proud of her heritage, Elaine was known for her Swedish and Norwegian cooking specialties, especially elaborate Christmas smörgåsbords.  She excelled at Rosemaling and Scandinavian needlework.  Her green thumb cultivated beautiful orchids and gorgeous garden flowers.  She delighted in music of all kinds, especially attending an orchestra or choral concert, a Bluegrass show, or a Scandinavian folk dance.  Glen and Elaine loved to travel the world, and valued the opportunity to learn about global cultures and remote destinations.  Pillars of her life were values of contentment, gratitude and generosity, integrity of character, heartfelt encouragement and kindness toward others.  

Ever dear to her heart, her family was her joy. Elaine is survived by children Randall (Donna) Brolander and Sheryl (David) Johnson; grandchildren Yvonne, Hanna, Tryg, Lars & Britta; great grandchildren Ethen and Logan; brothers Wayne (Merle) Nestander and David Nestander; niece Ann and nephew Ben.  In addition to her parents and husbands, she was preceded in death by sister-in-law Linnea Nestander.  

A private family service will be held on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 at the Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center, Stillwater.  Live Stream at 10:00 am; also recorded for viewing at  Memorials preferred to Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), Trinity Lutheran Church, Stillwater or designation of choice.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of L. Elaine Brolander, please visit our floral store.


Live Stream
September 11, 2020

10:00 AM
Bradshaw Funeral Home and Cremation Services
2800 Curve Crest Blvd.
Stillwater, MN 55082

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