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home : obituaries : obituaries May 28, 2016

11/24/2012 7:30:00 AM
Elaine Boanshick

Elaine Boanshick, (Hat Lady) age 74, on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, fell asleep here on earth surrounded by her caregivers and woke up in heaven. Elaine was known for the many hats she always wore to church. Elaine was born on May 25, 1938, in Chicago, the daughter of Irene and George Boanshick.

She graduated 25th in a class of 359 from Tuley High School in Chicago. She studied ballet for nine years and was an avid figure skater. She taught figure skating at Michael Kirby's studio in Park Ridge, Ill. She was a ballroom dancer, and her partner owned a Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Chicago. She was awarded the Chicagoland 100 Award, in 1971, for meritorious service to Chicagoland, for her volunteer work. Her volunteer service consisted of 10 years at St. Vincent's Home for Infants in Chicago, and 17 years at Misericordia Home for Handicapped, where she worked with Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy children. She also volunteered with seniors in nursing homes. She had an advanced management degree from the University of Chicago, and retired after 32 years from the Continental Illinois Bank and Trust Company of Chicago, as administrative aide to the Chairman of the Board. In 1947, while still living in Chicago, the family purchased land in Rhinelander and built a summer cottage, which later was winterized and used year-round for vacation weekends and trips to enjoy the many activities of the Northwoods. She liked to ice skate, ski and snowmobile. In 1991, she built another year-round home and made this her permanent residence. In 1979, she created a non-profit corporation and was CEO of Lilac Villa, Inc. The purpose of the corporation was to build a Continuum Care Retirement Community on 40 acres of owned land in Rhinelander. After retirement from the bank she continued to work with children at AERO School for Exceptional Children, in Burbank, Ill. While working there, she was recruited by the owner of a new company in the area that needed someone to create and develop a Customer Service Department. Knowing she was going to be moving to Rhinelander, to fulfill her life-long dream, she told them she would have to do this in a two-year period and she did. After moving to Rhinelander, she was contacted by the USDA Forest Service and asked if she would help them part-time. She became the Office Administrator at the Forestry Sciences Lab and retired from there after seven years of service. From 1992, to the present, she had been the director and match coordinator for Kinship of the North, Inc, a youth mentoring program in Rhinelander, and member and secretary of the parish Women Club.

She leaves six devoted nephews, Frank (Linda) Plewa, Richard Plewa, James (Laurie) Plewa, Jack Plewa, Michael (Janice) Clancy, Timothy (Debbie) Clancy; 10 great-nieces and nephews; two great-great-nieces and two great-great-nephews; and many dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, George Boanshick; mother, Irene Boanshick; brother, Michael Clancy; and sister, Bette Plewa; and sister-in-law, Susan Clancy.

Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, at 11 a.m. at Nativity of Our Lord ~ St. Mary's site, with Father Thomas Thakadipuram officiating. Entombment will follow at Northland Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation will be Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, from 4 until 6 p.m. at the Hildebrand Russ Funeral Home. Hildebrand Russ Funeral Home is assiting the family with arrangements. All are invited to light a candle and leave an online condolence at

Related Links:
• Hildebrand - Russ Funeral Home

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Article comment by: Rachel Rodriguez

I missed my best friends her and her mother. I pray everyday. God bless her and mother. I live in Chicago, when something happen to me she communicated by online and she say "Don't worry. We pray to my mother she help us."

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: Lisa Zarda

I got to know Elaine when she came over to my house to interview me to try to find a match for me in the Kinship program. Through her, I was matched with a wonderful young girl for over two years and still going strong. Elaine had such a big heart and she will be missed.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Gaylor Rehfeldt

Elaine was a beautiful soul! I have had a wonderful kinship match for many years thanks to her efforts. She will be dearly missed. Rest in peace dear one.

Gaylor Rehfeldt

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Abbey Dall Lukowski

Elaine was a dedicated small-business customer, and very supportive of her community. I first came to know Elaine when I worked as a high school busser at Tula's, and from that point forward, with any new success I achieved, Elaine was always, quietly supporting. She will be missed here on Earth, but so very loved in Heaven. Sending prayers for strength as you heal.

Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Ann Kalkofen

I have missed Elaine in church. I knew she was ill. Always enjoyed seeing her and her beautiful outfits. God bless her.

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