Obituary: Elva Jane ‘Lefty’ Power
Elva Jane “Lefty” Power was born Aug. 14, 1926, in Storm Lake, Iowa, the oldest child and only daughter of Otto Henry Woehler and Dorathea Schramm Woehler.
She grew up in Storm Lake and after graduation she became a telephone operator. Part of her duties involved handling calls for the Lake Patrol, during which time she became friends with a U.S. Marine Corps veteran named Robert Roy “Bob” Power. They were married on July 13, 1946.
Bob and Lefty welcomed their first child, Richard Dean, in 1947, in Iowa. They would add a daughter, Dixie in 1949, before moving to Minnesota. There they would add five more children to the family, Cynthia, Robert Kendal, Willis, Wayne and Merinda.
Lefty was a warm, loving mother, always a source of joy and the heart and center of her family.
Lefty suffered the greatest tragedy of her life on July 28, 1966, when her 19-year-old son, Richard, a U.S. Marine, was killed in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam.
This was a loss she never totally got over, but her strength carried the rest of the family through the terrible grief that followed. Richard is buried in the Shevlin Cemetery, Shevlin Minnesota.
The family moved to Mariposa, California, in 1970, and then to Prescott Valley Arizona, in 1982. Lefty’s husband, Bob, died on Dec. 29, 1985, and was buried in the Shevlin Cemetery. Lefty lived on her own for several years, then her youngest child, Merinda (Mindy), convinced Lefty to move in with her. Lefty lived there contentedly for eight years, showering Mindy, Mindy’s partner Greg, and a growing assortment of dogs with love (and advice). Despite failing health in the last years, and the death of so many of those she loved, Lefty never lost her own pleasure in life.
She died peacefully on Oct. 30, 2018, after Mindy told her, “I’ll be okay, Mom. I’ll be okay.” Lefty was buried in Shevlin alongside her husband, Bob, and her son, Richard, but in spirit, she will never be gone.
Lefty was preceded in death by her parents and stepfather, William B. Olson; her husband, Bob; and son, Richard; her three brothers, Leroy, Eugene and DeWayne Herman Woehler; and sisters-in-law, Shirley and Jean Woehler and Betty Elm (Bob’s sister).
She is survived by daughter, Dixie and husband, Jay Casero, of Las Vegas, Nevada; daughter, Cynthia, and husband, John Parker, of Caddo, Oklahoma; son, Robert, and wife, Maree, of Simi Valley, California; son ,Willis of Weatherford, Texas; son, Wayne and partner, Michelle Pearson, of Pflugerville, Texas; daughter, Merinda, and partner, Greg Emery, of Prescott Valley, Arizona; numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews; her sister-in-law, Dellene Woehler of Mesa, Arizona; and her little dog, Turbo.
Our lives are saddened by her passing, but we will hold dear the memories of this beautiful, remarkable woman for the rest of our time on earth.
Information provided by survivors.