Elma (Syrja) Hage


Elma (Syrja) Hage passed away of natural causes December 23rd at Viewcrest Nursing Home where she had resided for over 5 years. She was 6 weeks shy of her 104th birthday.

She was born in Superior, Wisconsin, and grew up in Wentworth. She lovingly referred to Wisconsin as “God’s Country”. A staunch Packer and Brewer fan, a highlight of her life was visiting Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Elma, her daughter, Mary, and granddaughter, Kelli, would take annual vacations in “God’s Country” visiting various family and locations. She especially liked going to visit her daughter, Nancy, and son-in-law, Dick, along with her grandkids, Sarah and Mike, in LaCrescent.

Elma was fiercely loyal to her family. She shared a birthday with her first granddaughter, Julie, and loved when she, Jane, Jim, and Jennifer visited (Judy and Earl Patton’s children). She also enjoyed talking sports with her grandson Nick (Tracy Jr and Deb’s son), and all her great- and great-great grandchildren brought her joy.

She loved to polka and had annual birthday parties at her residences with the Blue Water Big Band playing the music she loved so she could dance at least one polka. Her most recent polka was for her 103rd birthday February 2020.

Elma was loved by many and accepting of all. She was a liberal Democrat and was proud to vote in the recent election.

Elma was a volunteer at “St Mary’s” until age 94, thanks to the assistance of her friend, Kathy Seguin. She was a daycare mom for several children in the West Duluth area as well as her own grandchildren. She loved to watch ball games at Wheeler Field and was her grandson Jerimy’s biggest Esko basketball fan.

She was kind and generous and although she never had wealth, she would share whatever she had with anyone, including her famous “biscuit” and coffee. She had faithful visitors and friends in Vivian and Butch Jampsa, her old Finnish friends; Bev Larson, who not only visited but did requested ironing for her while at Viewcrest; and Loren and Laura Lilyquist, friends and distant relatives through her daughter Mary’s husband, Jerry.

Elma was preceded in death by her parents, Matti and Wihelmiina Syrja, husband Tracy Sr, and children Judy (Earl) Patton, Nancy (Richard) Listiak and Tracy Jr (Deb) Hage. She is survived by her daughter Mary (Jerry) Hallsten as well as 9 grandchildren and many great- and great-great grandchildren.

A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, May 23, 2021, at the Shrine Auditorium 5152 Miller Trunk Hwy Hermantown with visitation at 12:30, service at 1:00 followed by lunch. Masks and social distancing are required.

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