Elfriede T. Claassen, born on May 31, 1927, in Würzburg, Germany, and a longtime resident of Beatrice, Nebraska, passed away on July 1, 2024. Elfriede was known for her cheerful spirit and her passion for life. She devoted her life to the service of others, both in her professional capacity as a nurse and supervisor at the former Mennonite Hospital and at the Nebraska PEO Home in Beatrice, and in her personal life as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She was a homemaker that believed in cleanliness of the highest standard. Her hobbies included cooking, sewing, playing cards, driving her car, and shopping in Lincoln – and did we mention cleaning?

Elfriede was a beacon of strength and love for her family. She was married to Arthur Claassen on October 2, 1948, and moved from her native Germany to the United States that same year, building a life filled with love and dedication to her family. She was an active member of the former Beatrice Mennonite Church in Beatrice, where her faith and community were cornerstones of her life. In the words of Helen Keller, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart." This quote encapsulates Elfriede's spirit, as what mattered most to her was spending time with her family.

Elfriede is survived by her daughter, Sylvia Elia of Omaha; her son, Mark Claassen and his wife Julie of Lakewood, Colorado; 8 grandchildren, Peter Elia and his wife Amy, John Elia, Tony Elia and his wife Heather, Heather Claassen, Joshua Claassen, Charissa Claassen, Adeline Claassen and Quentin Claassen; as well as 9 great grandchildren, Andrew Elia, Marianna Elia, Tristan Elia, Evie Elia, Isaac Elia, Ethan Elia, Sami Elia, Tobyn Claassen, and Fiona Hanbrick. She is preceded in death by her parents, Andreas and Maria (Reinhart) Kramer, her beloved husband, Arthur Claassen in 2005, and her son-in-law Frank Elia in 2018.

A funeral service will be held for Elfriede on Saturday, July 6, 2024, at 2:00 PM at the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel, 708 North 6th Street, Beatrice, Nebraska, 68310. For those unable to attend in person, the service will be live-streamed at www.ghchhapel.com. Burial will be in the Mennonite Cemetery, Beatrice. Memorial donations can be made to the Beatrice Community Hospital Foundation with the funeral home in charge.

In remembering Elfriede, we encourage you to leave cherished memories and upload photos and view her video tribute and service on her memorial page at www.ghchapel.com. In sharing these moments, we keep her spirit alive and celebrate a life well-lived.

These services have been entrusted to the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice.