Emma Louise Griffith

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Emma Louise (Mather) Griffith was born December 21, 1915, in Minneapolis, Minn. and died February 16, 2015, at the Elkader Care Center, Elkader, Iowa.

A memorial service was planned at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 20, 2015, at Peace United Church of Christ In Elkader.  Friends gathjered and greeted family beginning at 10 a.m. until service time. A private inurnment in East Side Cemetery will be planned at a later date.

Louise was the second child of Paul Vettie and Alma Ruth Emily (Anderson) Mather. The family moved many times in the struggle to earn a living because of the depression. She graduated from Forest City High School after attending five different high schools. She attended Luther College in Wahoo, Nebraska, for one year and then transferred to the University of Iowa. She returned home a semester short of graduation to help care for her five-year-old sister after their 46 year old mother died suddenly.

While at the University, she met and fell in love with Harold Sherman Griffith, a journalism student. They married June 26, 1936, in the Methodist Church at Kanawa, Iowa. They raised four children: Louise’s sister, Patricia Ann Mather (Kenneth, deceased) Breitsprecher, John Mather (Julie), Robert Paul (Jane) and daughter Nancy Ruth (Gary) Kuehl.

Louise worked actively with Harold from 1937 until 1978, publishing The Clayton County Register, a weekly newspaper in Elkader that had been owned and operated by the family since 1880. For 17 years she also owned and operated “Nancy’s”, a ladies and children’s clothing store in Elkader.

She dedicated her life to creating a loving and stimulating home. She loved the hills of Northeast Iowa and explored back roads with Harold and her children when time allowed. When she cleared the brush from the yard of the home they built in 1939, she transplanted all the wild flowers to a special part of the hillside and relished the riot of blossoms every spring.

She believed in leading by example. She was a 30-year volunteer for the American Cancer Society, raising funds and driving people to cancer treatments. For her efforts, the Society awarded her the Iowa Service Award. She was active in the Elkader Historical Society where she helped organize the purchase of the Carter House Museum and was a member of the Central Music Boosters when the first Music Booster’s Carnival was organized. She served many years on the Northeast Iowa Regional Library Board. She and Harold hosted several foreign students and were members of the Elkader delegation that traveled to Mascara, Algeria, to inaugurate the Elkader-Mascara Sister City connection. In 1992, she was named Elkader’s Outstanding Citizen by the Elkader Lions Club. She kept current with local, national and international events as long as she was able.

Louise was an active member of Peace United Church of Christ, Elisha Boardman Questers, Central Community Hospital Auxiliary and other committees and organizations as she saw the need arise. She was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood Chapter BZ from 1939 and the Order of Eastern Star.

She, like her husband Harold, has donated her body to the University of Iowa Medical School.

Survivors include her children; her sister Patricia; grandchildren Brian (Shannon) Griffith, Bruce (Ronnie) Griffith, Virginia Griffith, Timothy Kuehl and Christine Kuehl, Paul (Beth) Kuehl, Rachel (Darrell) Jaster, Joseph (Chasity) Griffith, Katherine (Reid) Koehn and 19 great-grandchildren.

Instead of flowers, Louise requested that memorials be given to Central Community Hospital Auxiliary, The Elkader Library, the Carter House Museum, Peace United Church of Christ or other similar organizations.

Leonard Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left with

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