2017-11-30 / Obituaries

Elsie Wessels

In loving memory of Elsie Rose (Cordes) Wessels, who passed away in her home in Mariposa on Nov. 20, 2017 at the age of 90.

Elsie was born April 12, 1927, the youngest of three children of parents Alfred Carl Cordes and Elsie Rita (Kellinghausen) Cordes of New Long Island City, N.Y. Elsie grew up in Long Island City and attended William Cullen Bryant High School where she graduated top of her class of over 1,000 students.

Her first job was in an executive office in the Empire State Building in New York. She later moved to Fresno, Calif., where she met her husband, George Henry Wessels. They married Aug. 30, 1952 in Carmel, Calif. and made their home in Chowchilla, Calif., where George had established a photography business. They raised a family of seven children and were married for 62 years.

Elsie had a talent for artwork and assisted her husband by hand coloring portraits he had photographed, as they did not have colored film in those days. She enjoyed crafts, crocheting, crewel stitching and later painted pictures in oil, watercolor and chalk which she entered in the local fair in Mariposa County and shared with friends and family.

She was also involved with the Mariposa Art Gallery and volunteered her time there. Her favorite things were butterflies, birds and collecting miniature glass vases. While raising a family, Elsie continued to maintain an active career outside the home working in the medical arena in various clerical positions and did not retire until the age of 80. Elsie and George moved to Mariposa (Bootjack) around 1985 and built a home on top of a hill with a view overlooking neighboring mountain ridges.

Elsie is survived by her children Ellen Nicks (husband Morris), Gene Carol, Frances Thatcher (husband Donald), Karen Mann (husband Larry), John Wessels (wife Glori) and Patty McDowell (husband Roy); 10 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, George Wessels, her son, Earl Carol, Jr., and her siblings, Frances Loretta (Cordes) Castatuta and Alfred Joseph Cordes.

Graveside services will be held at the National Cemetery in Santa Nella, Calif. on Monday, Dec. 4 at 11:30 a.m.

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