Elna was born November 18, 1929 in Powers Lake, North Dakota, the youngest of 8 children born to Charley and Lizzie Olson. She grew up on the family farm until the age of 4 when her father died. Following his death, she and her mother moved into Powers Lake. One of her favorite memories was a trip to California with her brother, Ralph, her sister, Laura, and her mother to visit another sister. Music has always been a huge part of her life. Elna started taking piano lessons at a very young age from a woman who stayed with Elna and her mother in exchange for payment of the lessons. Her daughter, Paulette, was born in Williston, North Dakota and soon after the family moved to Miles City where her second child, Carter, was born 4 years later.
Upon arriving in Miles City, they joined First Lutheran Church where she met many lifelong friends. She was a stay at home mom until her children were in grade school. She then went to work for Mountain Bell becoming a service representative. After taking early retirement, she learned to play bridge and golf. She was honored to be a member of the Miles City Music Club. One of the greatest joys in her life was when her granddaughter, Megan at the age of one year old moved with her parents to Miles City. Megan and her grandma had a special bond and did many activities together. Eventually, Elna moved to Billings and lived with her daughter, Paulette, who had moved to Billings from Texas. Shortly thereafter, Carter, Betsy and Megan moved to Billings where Elna was able to continue her special bond with Megan, attending all of her high school activities. Megan was the light of her life! Elna had a very active life in Billings playing bridge with her friends, volunteering at the First United Methodist church, playing the piano as a volunteer in the cafeteria at Billings Clinic and going for walks with her dog. The last year of her life was spent at Highgate Senior Living where she continued her love of cards playing with friends. On the morning of February 22, she passed away peacefully. Her family was blessed that she was pain free throughout the last year of her life. Throughout her life she survived many battles with cancer and attributed part of her survival to being a stubborn Norwegian and her positive attitude.
She was preceded in death by her parents, all of her brothers and sisters except her closest sister, Laura. She also lost a baby boy at birth. She is survived by her daughter, Paulette Mollgaard, son and daughter-in-law, Carter (Betsy) Mollgaard, and her granddaughter, Megan (David) Model and many nieces and nephews.
A private family service will be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. at the Billings Clinic Chapel in Billings. Interment will follow in the Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park Cemetery in Billings. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.
Memorials may be made to the Billings Clinic Foundation or the charity of one’s choice.