Coralouise Zaffke, 90, of Rochester, a former longtime Crookston resident, died unexpectedly Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester.
Coralouise was born in Walker, on May 6, 1923, the daughter of Warren and Rena (Culver) Hill. She grew up in Backus and graduated from Backus High School in 1940. She went on to attend St. Olaf College in Northfield and, in 1945, earned a bachelor's degree in music education and a minor in English. For the next year she taught music in the Backus public schools. On June 23, 1946, Coralouise was united in marriage to Clifford H. Zaffke, also of Backus. She remained in Backus while Cliff completed his studies at the University of Minnesota
. After Cliff received his degree from the University, the couple moved to Karlstad, and he taught in the school system there. Cliff was a World War II U.S. Army veteran and, in 1950, he was called back to active duty during the Korean War. He rejoined Coralouise a year later, and they returned to Backus, where he worked in the Zaffke family-owned Backus State Bank. Cliff's career in banking took the family to Thief River Falls in 1956 and then to Crookston in 1958. While Cliff would soon become the president of the Polk County State Bank, Coralouise led a very busy life as a wife and mother to six children.
Coralouise and Cliff were very devoted members of the Trinity Lutheran Church, where she directed the children's choir for 19 years, served on several church committees and was a member and past president of WELCA. She was an active member of the Crookston Civic Music League for many years. Coralouise substitute taught in the English Department of Crookston's Central High School throughout the 1960s and '70s. She and Cliff spent many years traveling, with one of the highlights being a trip made with the Mission Observer Team of the American Lutheran Church to Papua New Guinea. Coralouise's favorite pastimes included reading, crocheting, knitting and doing needlepoint. Much of her hand-work was accomplished while she and Cliff were traveling. Cliff passed away on Sept. 23, 1987.
Coralouise continued to make her home in Crookston, comforted by her family, faith, and friends. Fellowship with dear friends over coffee and hosting family and friend gatherings at the lake, remained an important part of her life. She also retained her sense of adventure, demonstrated by continued traveling, including trips to Norway and Alaska. In September 2009, she moved to Rochester and had been a resident of Shorewood Apartments. Coralouise's family and friends will remain forever grateful to have shared in her life.
Loving family members include her six children, Noel (Virgil) Olson, of Alvarado, Minn., Warren (Bette) Zaffke, of Moorhead, Naomi (Paul) Brown, of Rochester, Nan (Harold) Watson, of Kettering, Ohio, the Rev. Lane (Mary) Zaffke, of Spring Grove, and Lynn (Debra) Zaffke, of Jacksonville, Fla.; 18 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
The funeral service and celebration of the life for Coralouise Zaffke will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston, with visitation for one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow in the Oakdale Cemetery.
The Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home is assisting with funeral arrangements.
Coralouise will be remembered at a coffee hour to be held at the Shorewood Senior Campus, 2115 Second St. S.W. in Rochester, on Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, from 2 to 3:30 pm. stenshoelhouske.com