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Elaine M. Arpke

Sep 28, 1937 - Jun 17, 2020


Elaine M. Arpke, age 82 of Sheboygan, passed away on Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 at Sunny Ridge Health Care & Rehabilitation Center. She was born in Sheboygan on September 28, 1937, the daughter of the late Erwin and Esther Justus Thiel.
Elaine attended Sheboygan schools. While in grade school she made a scrapbook of Gen. Douglas McArther. Later she found out her late husband was McArther’s Jeep driver. Elaine and her husband Ralph made lots of friends, as they lived in many area’s in North Carolina, Louisiana, Park City, Illinois, and Sheboygan Falls.
Elaine’s last job was before her marriage, it was a memorable one. She worked at the Foeste Hotel on North 8th Street in Sheboygan as an elevator operator which was run by water and had to end up in the basement and her riders then would have to take the stairs, to her embarrassment as it had a weight requirement. She had a whole chorus of young men who ended up taking the stairs. Her real thrill was when President John F. Kennedy and Jackie, his brothers, Robert and Ted and Hubert Humphrey were all campaigning in Sheboygan and lots of secret service would use her elevator. When Elaine explained it to the president, he took it good naturedly and just a few at a time would be taken to their floor, after much joking and teasing with Elaine. She at one point went to the woman’s restroom to talk to Jackie who was pregnant with John John, until Elaine’s elevator went by itself to the 4th floor. Jackie was very nice too.

Elaine went down to marry the love of her life in Jacksonville, North Carolina as Ralph was a Marine at Camp Le Jeune on March 1st, 1962. They honeymooned in North Carolina and later when Ralph was discharged, they went to Leesville, Louisiana before returning to Sheboygan. After their son Steven was born in 1963, they moved to Park City Illinois. They made lots of friends from other states in their community and lasting friendships. Ralph preceded her in death on December 11, 2004 in Sheboygan.

Elaine belonged to St. Luke Lutheran Church in Sheboygan Falls and to Tops in Sheboygan. She loved writing letters to so many friends, especially hundreds at every Christmas that was her greatest joy and being a fan of country music on 93.7 FM in Sheboygan.

Elaine is survived by her brother and sister, Keith (Julia) Thiel and Shirley (Jerry) Heibel; grandsons, Steven (Aimee) Arpke and Brandon Arpke; granddaughter, Amanda Keesey, and many great/great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Elaine and Ralph enjoyed seeing their favorite stars at the Sheboygan County fair, like Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty. Elaine and Ralph before he died enjoyed Daniel O`Donnell and Mary Duff on CD’s and traveling to California and Las Vegas. Elaine would like to thank her lifelong doctor, Dr. Warren Brauer, and dietitians at St. Nicholas Diabetes Center and so many others at St. Nicholas Hospital as well as everyone from Woodland Manor.

A Memorial Service for Elaine will be held at Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home, 1535 S. 12th St., Sheboygan, on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. until the time of Memorial Service at 1:00 p.m. Committal prayers will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 6706 Superior Ave., Kohler, with Rev. Elizabeth Jaeger Officiating.

The family would like to thank anyone who has ever helped or supported Elaine. She loved and appreciated everyone that was there for her during her time on this earth.

“Please be happy for me, not sad for I am once again in my loved one’s arms. Together hands joined in from our Lord.” Elaine M. Arpke

The Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at


Date: Tuesday Jun 23, 2020
Time: 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Location: Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home [map]

Memorial Service

Date: Tuesday Jun 23, 2020
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home [map]



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