Cover photo for Elmer I. Menage's Obituary
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Elmer I. Menage

January 4, 1939 — January 9, 2024

Luverne

Elmer I. Menage

Elmer Isaac Menage, son of Peter and Vivien (Strait) Menage, was born January 4, 1939 in Rock Rapids, Iowa. Elmer grew up and received his education in Rock Rapids. He had a lifelong love for sports. Music was also an interest as Elmer was proud to play the triangle in the band. He and high school sweetheart, Karen, won at the state level performing 1 act plays. Elmer excelled in football, basketball and track. He set the 100 yard dash record of 10 seconds flat during the 1957 State Track meet. After graduation in 1957, Elmer continued his athletic career at Morningside College in Sioux City where he earned his degree in history and physical education. Playing running back and kicker for the Morningside Chiefs, Elmer was selected to the All North Central Conference team. He also was an NAIA All-American and was chosen to the Methodist College All-American team. He graduated in 1961.

On June 25, 1960 Elmer married Karen Anderson, his 1st love. Elmer would often tell the story of coming home from Kindergarten to tell his mother that he was going to marry Karen. Now celebrating 63 years! Elmer’s coaching and teaching career brought the couple to Nashua, Garner and Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Elmer also earned his Master’s degree in Education from Kearney State in 1965. Elmer and Karen are mom and dad to 3 kids, Kristin, Jeffrey and Thomas. In 1967 the Menage family moved to Luverne. Elmer loved Luverne and often would say that he has 2 hometowns, Rock Rapids and Luverne. Elmer worked at Luverne High School teaching physical education and driver's education, head football and track coach, and later became Luverne’s athletic director. He also officiated basketball with other coaches in the area that led to many untellable tales. Elmer taught and coached generations of students and treasured the relationships he had with each student, parent and staff. He cherished all of these lifelong friendships.

During Elmer’s career he was privileged to serve on many committees and received many valued honors. Elmer was a member of the Minnesota State Coach’s Association, Minnesota Athletic Director’s Association and District 8 & Region 3 State Football Coaching Association. Elmer was one of the 4 coaches of the South Team in the 1975 All Star game. He also served on the State Football Advisory Committee and Medalist Sports Clinic Committee as well as numerous high school league committees. Elmer was named Morningside Alumni Coach of the Year in 1984, District 8 Football Coach of the Year in 1974, Region 2 Football Coach of the Year in 1974, Region 3A Activities Director of the year in 1991-1992, Minnesota Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2000 and Minnesota Athletic Director Hall of Fame in 2015.

Elmer was strong in his faith as a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Luverne where he served in many different capacities. Elmer was also a member of the Lions Club, Optimist Club, Toastmasters Club and a Charter Member of the Luverne Booster Club. Elmer filled his retirement days starting in 1998 as a substitute teacher. He also volunteered for RSVP working for senior dining, delivering meals and driving local folks to various appointments. His love for golf and coffee time with the guys was a highlight of many days. His calendar was always filled with equal times allotted to each of his 6 grandkid’s activities. He enjoyed playing bridge with friends, reading, listening to music and traveling with Karen and family. Family vacations were the highlights of most summers for Elmer and the entire Menage clan. A few of his favorites were Gulf Shores, Okoboji and Glenwood, MN.

Elmer’s family was his pride and joy. You would often see him at the countless events of his 6 grandkids; football, basketball, cheer team, prom march, volleyball, golf, jazz band, music concerts, church events, birthday parties, the list goes on and on. Grandpa made his presence known with a quick signature whistle. Each grandkid recognized the whistle and would quickly pick their head up and know that Gramps was in the gym. Weekly phone calls to each grandkid just to check in, maybe give a bit of advice, but not to bother, will be dearly missed. He became GG’pa in 2021 to Mace(r) and Brynn(y) which added to Elmer’s joyful heart.

On December 26, 2023, Elmer suffered a spinal cord injury after a fall on the ice. With Karen by his side, Elmer fought a 2 week battle which ended peacefully on Jan 9, 2024 as heaven cheered his arrival.

Elmer never met a person that he didn’t make feel special. He had a natural ability to make a person feel heard and important. Elmer was quick witted and full of one-liners. His love and lessons will live in our hearts forever. He will be remembered for his sweet love for Karen, his dad wisdom, his grandpa fun and GG’pa playtime.

“Alright, better let ya go. Love ya, see ya, ok, love ya, bye”

Elmer is lovingly survived by his wife, Karen of Luverne; his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, Kristin (Randy) Kuechenmeister of Blue Earth, Minnesota, and their children, Joe and Katelyn (Blake) Boran [and great-grandbaby, Brynn]; daughter-in-law, Julie Menage of Springfield, Minnesota, and her children, Jacob and Jordyn; and Tom (Amy) Menage of Rock Rapids, Iowa, and their children, Peter (Shaylee) Menage [and great-grandbaby, Mace] and Paige (Brady) Panhoff; and other relatives and friends; He was preceded in death by his son, Jeffrey; parents; two sisters, Shirley Roach and Jeanne Rohde.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Grace Lutheran Church, Luverne Education Legacy Fund (L.E.L.F.) or to a charity of the donor's choice.

 

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Visitation

Sunday, January 14, 2024

2:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

Grace Lutheran Church - Luverne

500 N. Kniss Ave., Luverne, MN 56156

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Funeral Service

Monday, January 15, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Grace Lutheran Church - Luverne

500 N. Kniss Ave., Luverne, MN 56156

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