Elke (Kannecht) Olivier, age 75 of Pipestone, MN, died Friday, October 22, 2021 at Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. She was born on January 21, 1946 in Söhren, Germany to Hedwig Fischer of Lubeck, Germany. She was the 3rd child of 5 in her family.
In her early childhood years, she moved to Stockholm, Sweden where she attended elementary and graduated high school. She was baptized and confirmed at the age of ten in a Pentecostal church and rededicated her life to Christ in 1987. She was a faithful believer and became a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Pipestone, MN.
Elke came to the USA at the age of 21 and became an American citizen in 1967. On July 1st, 1971 Elke married Duane Pankratz from Freeman, SD. They met in Geschendorf, Germany when Duane was a Veterinary major at Ames, IA. They lived in Orange City IA and Ames, IA. They moved back to Duane’s family farm in 1971. They were blessed with 5 children: Heidi Roth, (Freeman, SD), Michael Pankratz (Sioux Falls, SD), Lance Pankratz (Freeman SD), Sterling and Steele Pankratz.
She spent her early years raising her children. In 1984, she attended art classes at Augustana College in Sioux Falls focusing on drawing and sculpting. She eventually went on to own a clothing business; the Carriage House in Freeman as well as having other jobs that she loved.
Elke married on August 7, 1999 to Gary Olivier from Slayton, MN at Silver Lake near Freeman, SD. She enjoyed dancing and that is how they met. She found adventure in the times that she could accompany Gary on his trucking trips. They lived in Slayton for a few years, and spent the rest of her years in Pipestone, MN.
Elke’s greatest joys were being around her children and grandchildren. Her favorite hobbies were oil painting, reading and bowling. She was creative and she had the knack to make every holiday extra festive. Elke endured many health issues throughout her lifetime, but her fiery spirit kept her thriving through God’s grace. Elke’s positive view of life and pleasant personality were a joy to all who knew her.
Preceding her in death was her mother, Hedwig Fischer; two sons, Sterling and Steele Pankratz; three siblings, Elgon, Elfridda, and Manfred.
To cherish her memory are her husband, Gary; one daughter, Heidi Roth, (Craig) and their children Cody (Haley), Cailey, and Dayna; two sons, Michael (Amy) Pankratz and their children Isabella, Sterne and Lincoln; Lance (Jeanna) and their children Kaytlin, Logun, and Emmalin, and one brother; Wolfgang Kannecht. Also surviving are Gary’s children: Mike (Jessica) and their children Chloe and Colton; Lori; Danny and Jeremy (Jiyeoun).
Services are at 2:00 PM on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Pipestone, MN with Pastor Tim Johnson. A Celebration of Elke’s life will also continue at the Freeman Missionary Church in Freeman, SD on Saturday at 4:00 PM with Pastor Stephan Roussos. A private interment will be at the Missionary Church Cemetery in Freeman SD.
Chandler Funeral Association and Dingmann Funeral Home are assisting the family.
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