Elaine Heusinkveld Soerens was born, under a laughing star, on her family's farm in South Dakota, the first-born child of Garret and Edith Heusinkveld. Her brother, Daryl Heusinkveld and sister, Gretta Weigandt, remain among her closest friends and flew in to celebrate her 80th birthday less than a week before she went home to be with her parents.She attended a one-room country schoolhouse through the eighth grade where she developed her love of reading and writing. After graduating high school, she attended Central College in Pella, Iowa, where she met the love of her life, Carl Soerens. They were married in 1959 and moved to Wisconsin shortly after.She is a mother to Susan De Graaf, Thomas and Kelly Soerens, and Andrew and Ellen Soerens, and grandmother to Hanna, Katherine, Stephen, Lucy and Isaiah, Garret, Denise, and Evangeline and Abigail.She was "mom" or "mama" to more people than can be counted, from her kids' friends to women in prison to anyone who she felt needed love. She never met a stranger nor withheld her friendship (or her advice, whether asked for or not) from anyone from any walk of life or culture. In Wisconsin, she was a popular Bible teacher, speaker, and writer, active in the Jesus movement and served in leadership of Women's Aglow Fellowship. She was a counselor, confidant, and mentor to many. She and Carl then moved to Texas where they ministered at the women's prisons in Gatesville and taught a Bible class together. Elaine wrote a humor column for the Dallas Morning News, a novel, and many articles and poems.Although she spent a lot of time in prison, she was only arrested once, outside an abortion clinic, alongside her late son-in-law, Bryan. It was but one example of her living her beliefs. There was only one Elaine and no pretense.Elaine and Carl traveled all over the world and especially loved cruising. She had an abiding love for "big water", whether the Gulf of Mexico or our home sea, Lake Michigan.Elaine's handle was "Grateful" and she was in awe of her own journey from the tiny house on the prairie to visiting five continents and acquiring a beautiful diverse collection of friends and honorary family.She lived and loved well. Her legacy is her love story with the man she prayed for, her beloved children, and the countless lives of those she befriended, taught, counseled, and mentored. She guided many from darkness and despair into hope and light. It is in that light and hope that we mourn and celebrate her. We are Grateful!Visitation will be held on Monday, October 7, 2019, from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm at the First Reformed Church of Cedar Grove. A service will follow at 2:00 pm at church. For online condolences and additional information please visit
.The Wenig Funeral Home of Oostburg (920-564-2771) is serving the Soerens family with arrangements.
Monday, October 7, 2019 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
First Reformed Church - Cedar Grove
237 SouthMain Street Cedar Grove 53013, United States