Elise Lednum, 82, of Asheville, NC, died at her home on November 2, 2021, surrounded by her family. She lived a life of faith and service, and she was always very actively involved in the churches she attended. Most recently, she attended Asheville First Church of the Nazarene, where her funeral service will be held on Friday, November 5th at 5:30.
She is survived by her husband, Max; her children, David (Mary) Lednum, Sharon (Garroll ) Purvis, and Carolyn Lednum; and grandchildren, Nathaniel Jehlen, Rachel (Ian) McDermod, and Jamison Lednum. She is preceded in death by her parents, Frank L. Medlin and Della Belle Newton Medlin.
In recent years Elise has had declining health, and in the past year she had become mostly homebound. Soon after celebrating Max and Elise’s 60th wedding anniversary, the family decided to bring hospice care into the home to care for Elise.
Elise was born in Alexandria, Louisiana on July 21, 1939; after her father was drafted into the Navy in 1941, she and her mother moved to Doylene, Louisiana to live with her grandparents. In 1945, the family, including her grandparents and Aunt Elise, moved to Mountainair, New Mexico. In 1951, her parents both secured teaching jobs in Ketchikan, Alaska, and the family again moved thousands of miles to a territory that would become a state during the time they lived there.
She returned to the southwest for high school, going to Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona for three years before returning to Ketchikan for her senior year of high school. It was at Verde Valley that she learned Spanish, which she later used in ministering to Spanish-speaking populations. Verde Valley’s strong service orientation, which focused on the Native American populations to the north of Sedona and the Spanish-speaking population across the border to the south, stayed with her for the rest of her life.
After high school, she went to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, to study nursing, again building on the service focus begun in her youth. In Indiana she met Max, whom she married on August 5th of 1961, a little over a month after finishing nursing school, and a couple of weeks after her 22nd birthday.
Elise and Max settled down on Max’s farm in Noblesville, Indiana, and she started her nursing career with the Visiting Nurse Association in Indianapolis and at the hospital in Noblesville. During this time her three children were born: David in 1965, Sharon in 1966, and Carolyn in 1969.
In 1972, Elise’s connection to the western U.S. pulled on her again, and she and Max moved with their three young children to Durango, Colorado, where they owned and operated the Alpine North Motel. As strong as the pull of the west was, the pull of service was stronger, and in 1975, Elise and Max, through the Christian Service Corps, went to Peru for two years, where her Spanish and her nursing were put to good use.
The family returned from Peru and stayed in Durango for another two years before moving to Asheville, North Carolina in 1978, where Elise and Max have remained. She worked as a nurse at Memorial Mission Hospital; at Ben Lippen School, where her children attended high school; and at Brentwood Nursing Home.
In addition to her professional nursing, Elise was involved in ministry with Child Evangelism Fellowship and was instrumental in starting a ministry to Hispanic immigrant families while a member at First Alliance Church in Asheville, and she faithfully supported ministry and missions work both here in the U.S. and around the world.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Southwest Indian Foundation.
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