Elsa Marie Grayson “Bedstemor”, 87, of New Washington, IN passed away on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at Traditions at Hunter Station in Sellersburg, Indiana after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Elsa was born January 6, 1933 in Berkeley, CA to Kristian and Else Meyer Thomsen. She is an alumnus of Grandview College in Des Moines, Iowa and obtained her Nursing Degree at Samuel Merritt Hospital in Oakland, California. Elsa was a retired registered nurse and worked at Clark Memorial Hospital in Labor and Delivery. She was also a retired funeral director and was co-owner of Grayson Funeral Homes, Charlestown Monument Company, Superior Vault Company, and Superior Crematory. She was a member of The New Washington Christian Church, Blazing Bright Eastern Star Chapter 596, the Indiana Funeral Director’s Association, and the National Funeral Director’s Association. She was a founding member of the Charlestown Excellence in Education Foundation.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Kristian and Else Meyer Thomsen; her stepfather, Iver Poulsen; her husband, James R. Grayson; and her sister-in-law, Joan Thomsen.
To her grandchildren, Elsa was known as “Bedstemor”. Bedstemor is Danish for best mother, a term she held dear. Elsa was a first generation American whose parents immigrated from Denmark. She was very proud of her Danish Heritage, teaching her children and grandchildren the Danish language and traditions. Friends, family and those attending the Annual Memorial Service at the Funeral Home enjoyed Kransekage (Danish Cake), Aebleskiver (Danish Donut Holes), Vanilia Kranser (Danish Cookies), and Danish coffee cakes, along with anything dipped in chocolate.
Elsa enjoyed traveling, especially taking cruises, baking cookies and was known for her quiet demeanor, while working behind the scenes to complete Jim’s projects.
She is survived by her sons, Chris and his wife, Karen; Jeff and his wife, Vickie; Paul and his wife, Jo Lynn all of Charlestown, IN; brother, Paul Thomsen of Castro Valley, CA; brother-in-law Buddy Grayson and his wife, Margaret of Sellersburg; her grandchildren, Michael (Nicole) Grayson of Charlestown, Michelle (Clint) Cecil of Shepherdsville, KY; Gabriel (Kasey) Grayson of Charlestown; Nicholas (Tiffany) Grayson of Charlestown; Stephen (Katie) Grayson of Monticello, IN; Kaleigh and Kendra Grayson, of Charlestown; her great-grandchildren, Kaden Grayson, Tyler Ralston, Christian Grayson, Leah Bonnell, Shayla Grayson, Reagann Grayson, Aidan Grayson, Grayson Cecil, and Ella Marie Grayson, Greer Grayson, Wesley Grayson, and Beckham Cecil.
Life Celebration Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at Grayson Funeral Home in New Washington with burial in Crown Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday morning from 9 am to 11 am.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to: The New Washington High School Alumni Scholarship Fund (please note in the memo section “James and Elsa Grayson Scholarship”), PO Box 13 New Washington, IN 47162. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
We would like to thank Traditions and Amedisys Hospice, along with their staff, for the great care provided to Elsa.
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