Family Login:


Share This Obituary


Memories & Candles

“I met Elsie in Washington State as a child, as I was told by my mother the late Myrna Jorgensen. Myrna was the daughter of Toby Jorgensen, whose...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: Joan Wilder - Cedarpines Park, CA

“Dear Derald, Nancy, Maureen & Patrick,Kenny & I send our love & prayers to your families. What a Great Tribute to a 'Great Lady'We met...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Sandy Richardson

“Elsie is my "great aunt". She lived up to that name. Edna Elder is my grandmother and her sister. What an amazing woman she was. She will be truly...Read More »
3 of 4 | Posted by: Beth L. Leibu

“No relation, but what a lady. RIP Elsie. ”
4 of 4 | Posted by: Dick Culver


Elsie E. (Hansen) Culver, 96, of Polson, died in her home from complications related to cancer on Saturday, November 2, 2013. Elsie was the oldest of three sisters [Edna (Hansen) Elder and Emily (Hansen) Lau, both passed away in 2012] born to Minnie and Emil Hansen, both Danish Immigrants. Elsie and her sisters were raised on a farm northwest of Pablo and attended Ronan High School. Elsie had a rich, full, active and adventurous life. She was an avid downhill skier most of her adult life and she spent many days in her later years skiing at Whitefish Mountain and Blacktail ski areas. She made her final ski run at age 90 with 4 generations of her family alongside her at Whitefish Mountain. She first married Les Smith (1934-1944) and had two children, Hazel and Derald. In 1945, Elsie married Les Hartley and moved to a farm in Valley View. In 1949 Elsie separated from Les Hartley and moved herself and children to Missoula. There she worked as a secretary at Johnson's Flying Service from 1949 to 1969. The airport was a very stimulating and exciting place for Elsie: she learned to fly, garnering a private flying license and other flying certifications. She often served as a flight attendant while transporting University of Montana sports teams and other charter flights that took her to every state in the country. In 1951, she partnered with and eventually married (1963) Bob Johnson, CEO of Missoula Snow Bowl ski area. However, Bob died unexpectedly in 1964. In 1970 she married Bob Culver, a pilot at Johnson's Flying Service, and shortly thereafter they left Missoula for Anchorage, Alaska, and later Juneau. There she worked for the US Forest Service, and he headed the Alaska office for the Federal Aviation Administration. In Juneau they purchased a 70-foot three-decker twin engine yacht and lived on it while moored at the docks in Juneau. On weekends they fished and explored the many fjords of SE Alaska. In 1981, they retired, bought a lakeshore home and cherry orchard on Big Arm Bay of Flathead Lake and settled in for many years before Bob Culver passed away in 1988, leaving Elsie alone, yet again. In 1990 she met Bob Cooley of Dayton Montana at a Senior Dance in Polson. Elsie and Bob were life partners for more than 20 years. Eventually orchard work became too onerous, and they moved to Polson in 2002 to spend their remaining years. For many years Elsie and Bob Cooley were active in the seniors dances at the Elks Club, the bowling program, and Elsie in skiing. Bob Cooley passed away in 2012. Flying airplanes and downhill skiing were Elsie's great outdoor passions. Elsie's only daughter, Hazel Foley, an artist and art instructor who lived in Missoula, was married to Bob Jones, but she succumbed to cancer in 2001. Surviving Elsie are her son Derald, a retired professor from the University Calgary, and wife Nancy, living in Calgary, Canada; two grandchildren by daughter Hazel – Maureen Foley Ammondson an art instructor at Valley Christian High School, her husband Greg and son Zoe, living in Florence, MT; and Patrick Foley a commercial real estate developer, his wife Amy and their two children Kell and Colin (Elsie's great-grandchildren), living in Seattle; and son-in-law Bob Jones, living in Missoula. Two other great-grandchildren, Bryan and Jennifer Foley from Elsie's deceased grandson Kevin Foley, also live in Missoula. According to Elsie's wishes, her remains will be cremated and ashes scattered on Polson Hill south of town. A memorial service for Elsie will be held on Saturday, November 16 at 1:00- 3:00 PM at Grogan's Funeral Home, 101 Sixth Ave. East, one block south of the Lake County Court House, in Polson. After the memorial service a reception will be held in Elsie's home (39514 Lakeview Drive). In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made directly to a charity of your choice.