Lela Mae Paulsen, daughter of Henry and Elsie (Jager) Baumeister, was born November 24, 1927 in rural Hartley, IA. She grew up in the Hartley area, and being an only child, was a great help to her mother with the usual household chores and cooking that goes with life on a farm.
Lela Mae received her education at the local country school through the 8th grade, then graduated from Hartley High School. A real highlight was being part of the basketball team that qualified for the state tournament her senior year. After graduation, Lela Mae attended National Business Training College in Sioux City, IA for one year. When she came back home, she began working at the Security State Bank in Hartley.
On September 4, 1949, Lela Mae was united in marriage to Eldon Emmett Paulsen in Hartley, IA. The bulk of their life together was on a farm near Hartley, where they raised their two sons: Jeff and Greg. Having grown up on the farm, Lela Mae knew all about pitching in with work outdoors, and how to feed a hungry trio of men. In the fall each year, you could always find her running the grain cart until harvest was done. Her expertise in the kitchen came in handy whether she was bringing dinner to the field, taking brownies to various events, or making and decorating Angel Food Cakes for various family members or friends. It was what she loved to do!
Lela Mae very much enjoyed sporting events and was a faithful follower of her children and grandchildren's sporting events. She also enjoyed playing cards - especially 500, which she enjoyed and continued doing her entire life.
In 1980, Lela Mae and Eldon left the farm and moved into the town of Hartley. They were both members of Trinity United Church of Christ where Lela Mae was a member of Dorcas Society and helped with youth activities. She was also an active member of P.E.O. After Eldon’s death in l998, Lela Mae continued living in their home until April of 2011 when she became a resident at Hartley Community Memorial Health Center. She passed away there on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, at the age of 90 years.
Preceding her in death were her husband Eldon; her parents, Henry and Elsie Baumeister; and her grandparents.
She is survived by her children: Jeff and Linda Paulsen of Laurens IA, and Greg and Colleen Paulsen of Hartley IA; four grandchildren: Erin (Chris) Vegter of Windsor CO; Caitlin Paulsen (Mac Christensen) of Grand Junction CO; Nicholas Paulsen of Long Beach CA, and Zac Paulsen of Hartley, IA; six great-grandchildren: Andrew, Alex, and Ella Vegter; and Eden, Ezekiel and Easton Christensen; three step-grandsons: Joseph Ahlers of Laurens, IA, Dean (Tracy) Ahlers of Sterling IL; Paul Ahlers of Ft. Dodge, IA; seven step-great-grandchildren: Benjamin, Kate, Grant, Olivia, Alexandra, Christopher, and Nate Ahlers; brothers-in-law: Wayne (Janet) Paulsen of Fostoria, IA and Curtis Paulsen of Spencer IA, other relatives and many friends.