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William Elias

William Elias/Submitted Photo

William “Bill” Eugene Elias, age 83, of Adrian, died Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, at the Sanford Luverne Hospice Cottage.

He was born on Oct. 31, 1939, in Adrian to William and Lena (Thompson) Elias. He attended Adrian High School and graduated in 1957.

Bill married the love of his life, Carolyn Heitkamp, on Nov. 3, 1962, at St. Adrian Catholic Church where they have been members since. They were blessed with four children and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last November.

Bill started farming in 1957, shortly after graduation, where he was a grain farmer and raised hogs and cattle. In 1994 they moved to town and Bill continued to farm with his sons, Steven and Dean, up until his death. Bill was very proud that the Elias Farm has remained in the family for 143 years. 

Bill enjoyed many years of traveling with Carolyn to Texas and Arizona during the winter months. His love for golf started when he became a member of the Luverne Country Club in the ’70s, and later joined the Worthington Country Club in the early ’80s. The Adrian Country Club became his home course in 1994 when it was built.  Bill loved playing in all different types of tournaments, 2-3-4 man’s with friends and family, the Adrian Club Tournament, and the Interlaken Invitational in Fairmont. His favorite tournament was the Labor Day Classic in Worthington, where he competed for 47 years in a row. He won multiple times throughout the years but the best win was his 45th Labor Day Classic at the age of 78.

His love for golf has filtered into his entire family. The most important treasure in his life was spending time with his family and friends.  Bill was a special man who was loved by many. He will always be remembered for his quick wit, fun personality, generous heart and Hershey’s candy bars.   

Bill is survived by his wife, Carolyn Elias, Adrian; four children, Sandy Klein, Luverne, Steve (Terri) Elias, Adrian, David (Patty) Elias, Lakeville, and Dean (Stacie) Elias, Adrian; 12 grandchildren, Jessica (Dallas) Hamm, Alyssa (Mike) Amborn, Brandon Klein, Alex (Mackenzie) Elias, Justin (fiancée Alissa Schilling) Elias, Ryan Elias, Erica (fiancé Villi Paraskov) Elias, Lucas (Edda Perry) Elias, Jada (Dylan) Gyberg, Annika (Ben Rogers) Elias, Gracia Elias and Taya Elias; nine great-grandchildren, Samuel, Caroline, Evelyn and Bennett Amborn; Carter, Collin and Chandler Hamm; and Levi and Kolton Schilling; and a sister, Carolyn Lewis, Edina.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law Tom Klein; a sister, Wilma Leipold; and a brother, Leroi Elias.

Visitation was from 5-8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at St. Adrian Catholic Church in Adrian. Visitation was from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Monday, Oct. 16, at the Dingmann Funeral Home in Adrian. Funeral Mass was at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Adrian Catholic Church in Adrian, officiated by Monsignor Richard Colletti. Burial was in the St. Adrian Cemetery.

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