Elaine Sophia Robertson

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99, died peacefully with family and friends by her side on February 25, 2016, at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California.

Born August 25, 1916 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, she was the daughter of Thomas A. and Sophia Bertina Tallackson Swiggum.

She attended Grand Forks High School and graduated from the University of North Dakota. Elaine was President of Delta Gamma Sorority and YWCA, Honorary Cadet Colonel of the R.O.T.C., first woman to be named Business Manager of the University newspaper, one of three students to break a 50-year record of high scholastic averages (standing third in the class), and Who's Who in American Colleges. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa Society and Mortar Board.

Upon graduation in 1938, Elaine was awarded an advertising scholarship at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and worked in the Advertising Department of Marshall Fields. She was awarded a Master of Business Administration in 1939.

While attending the University of North Dakota, Elaine met the love of her life, Donn J. Robertson and on July 29, 1940, she married Donn, a 2nd Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps, in Little Church of the Flowers, Glendale, CA.

Elaine worked for the "Downtown Shopping News" selling retail advertising and writing a household column. In addition, she was part-owner and editor of "Navy Town Talk" while Donn was on his first tour of duty overseas. She later performed volunteer work with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, American Red Cross, Altar Guilds, and was active in Marine Officers' Wives' Clubs and Ladies Golf Associations wherever they were stationed. The Board of Managers of Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society presented Elaine the Meritorious Award, its highest for volunteer service.

During 33+ years of military service and raising four children, the family traveled frequently. Duty stations included Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Honolulu, HI; San Diego, CA; Camp Pendleton, CA; Quantico, VA; Camp LeJeune, NC; and Washington, D.C. Elaine was active in all phases of her children's activities including Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League baseball and school. However, her most challenging and admirable years occurred while Donn was overseas serving our country in World War II, Korea, and two 13-month tours of duty in Vietnam.

Elaine enjoyed bridge, cribbage, backgammon and horseback riding, but her true passion was playing golf. She was actively involved with ladies golf for over 75 years, scoring 2 holes-in-one and continued to play until she was 96.

Elaine lived an amazingly fruitful 99 years and inspired her family by her inner strength, compassion and love. She was a guiding light and admired by those whose lives she touched.

Elaine is lovingly remembered by her children Donn John, Jr (Jack) and his wife Susan of San Diego, Tom of San Diego, Tamara and her husband Jim of Santa Barbara, and David Lean and his wife Laura of Santa Rosa; grandchildren Donn III, Nicole, Sean, Patrick, Alexandra, and Andrew and great-grandchildren Allison, McKenna, and Amanda.

Elaine will be buried with her beloved husband of 59 years, Lt General Donn J Robertson, at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial services to be announced at a later date.

Remembrances may be sent in honor and memory of Elaine S Robertson to the University of North Dakota Foundation for the Thomas A and Sophia B Swiggum Endowment, 3501 University Ave, Stop 8157, Grand Forks, ND 58202-8157.

Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from Mar. 18 to Mar. 22, 2016
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