Ella Mae Seifert (Kaufman) died December 19, 2013, at Hilltop Lodge in Beloit, Kansas.  She was 86 years old, and lived most of her life in Russell County in Kansas.
Ella Mae was born January 20, 1927 near Dorrance, Kansas the daughter of Walter & Lena (Herbel) Kaufman.  Ella Mae started country school when she was just four years old because her older sister Berniece would not go to school without her.  They went through all twelve years together.  Ella Mae graduated valedictorian and her sister salutatorian of their class at Dorrance High School.  Ella Mae began teaching elementary school at the age of sixteen.  She continued that career until 1949.  On May 18, 1947 she and Clinton “Butch” Seifert were married.  Together they ran Seifert Sundry Shop complete with a lunch counter and soda fountain from 1947 to 1951.  Ella Mae was an active partner in the family businesses of Clinton L. Seifert Construction Company and the “Camper Corral” a camping supply and recreational vehicle dealership.  Ella Mae and Butch were blessed with five daughters:  Kathy, Annielaurie, Jeanine, Dinah, and Tammy.  Ella Mae was a busy mother and active in church and civic undertakings.  She served as a Girl Scout Leader and Neighborhood Chairman, touching the lives of many young women with her love of camping.  Ella Mae was involved in Christian education on a variety of levels.  She taught the 8th grade Sunday School class at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Russell for 9 years.  Her love of camping included spending weeks of her summers at Camp Wa-Shun-Ga and Camp Tomah Shinga of the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  Her devotion to Christian education inspired her to serve many years on the Central States Synod Christian Education Committee.  She taught the Menninger Bible Class for 14 years.  As her daughters left home Ella Mae expanded her civic and Christian education activities through a variety of pursuits that she shared with Butch.  She was President of a Branch of Lutheran Brotherhood (now Thrivent) through which many families in need were supported.  She provided resources for homes for women who were victims of spousal abuse.  She assisted with building a home through Habitat for Humanity.  Ella Mae campaigned for the rights and opportunities of developmentally disabled adults.  She organized the quilt making group at St. John’s Lutheran Church, which provided hundreds of quilts to Lutheran World Relief.  Through her sewing machine “mission” she equipped numerous families and charitable groups with machines.  Ella Mae served as a member and president of the “Germans from Russia” organization and actively participated in the Roustabouts Campers and Hikers Association.  Ella Mae was known for the Christmas candy she made and baking of cinnamon rolls, bread, and decorated cakes.  She was also an avid bridge player.

Ella Mae was preceded in death by her husband of over 54 years, Butch, in 2002. 

She is survived by her daughter Kathy Bean and her husband Dennis Bean of Solomon, Kansas, her daughter Annielaurie Seifert and her husband Bill Modrzynski of Lawrence, Kansas (grandchildren:  Rachel Loder, her husband Caleb and their children Moira and Oscar; Joshua Modrzynski ; Sarah Modrzynski and her husband Bradford Kates), her daughter Jeanine Arrighi of St. Louis, Missouri (granddaughters Juliana and Kelsey Arrighi), her daughter Dinah Heidrick and her husband Steve Heidrick of Beloit, Kansas (grandchildren:  Trever Heidrick, his wife Jessica and their children Xander and Jocelyn; and Kendra Zimmer, her husband Jim Zimmer and their daughter Makenzie), and her daughter Tammy Albertson, her husband Mark Albertson of Petaluma, California (grandson Austin Albertson).  She was preceded in death by her sister Berniece, and is survived by her sisters Carol Salber of Lawrence, Kansas, and Norma Wood of Lake Katrine, New York and several nieces and nephews.

Viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with family visitation 5-7 p.m. on Monday, December 23, 2013, at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Russell, Kansas.  A Memorial Service will be held on January 20, 2014 at St. John Lutheran Church of Russell at 11 a.m.  A memorial has been established as the Ella Mae Seifert Memorial.  Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell.

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