Elna Louise Loska, (nee Thorsen), 94, of Schaumburg, IL, passed away peacefully on October 2, 2019 in her apartment at Charter Senior Living in Hoffman Estates, IL. She was born on May 26, 1925 to Aage and Anna (Madison) Thorsen in Davenport, IA. She grew up in Davenport and attended Augustana College in Rock Island and Augustana School of Nursing in Chicago, IL. She earned her BSN from Augustana in 1948 and later in life received her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University in 1979, while working full-time and raising 7 children.
Elna married Stephen J. Loska, Jr of Chicago on May 14, 1949. She was a loving stay at home mom until the youngest of her 7 children started school, when she returned to work as a nurse. Her career took her to Holy Family Hospital, Lutheran General Hospital, and eventually to Westinghouse Vocational High School in Chicago, where she taught Health Occupations for 2 years. She became the Assistant Director of Nursing and eventually Director of Nursing at Bethany Methodist Hospital in Chicago, and later took a job as a Nurse Surveyor for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organizations. Her work at JCAHO involved traveling all over the country inspecting hospitals, and for a time, Steve and their 5th-wheel trailer went with her.
When Steve died in 1989, Elna moved to Schaumburg and became very active in St. Marcelline’s Catholic Church, volunteering in many capacities, serving as president of the Women’s Club, and was ultimately chosen as their Woman of the Year in 2001.
Elna loved to knit, crochet, and sew, creating beautiful things for family and friends. She loved to host large family parties on holidays and in the summer, and she loved to read and tend her gardens. She also loved spending time with her 16 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Later in life, she took up the piano, and especially enjoyed playing hymns.
Elna is survived by her children: Ted (Linda) Loska of Boston, MA, Stephen Loska III of Covington, LA, Anna (Kevin) Meenan of Cherry Valley, IL, Andrew (Donna) Loska of Hanover Park, IL, Phyllis Sagan of Schaumburg, IL, and Amy Thomas of Des Plaines, IL. She is also survived by her brother James Thorsen of Yale, MI,16 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her parents, her sister Elizabeth Nave, and her son Ernest Loska.
Visitation Sunday 2:00 – 8:00p.m. at the Countryside Funeral Home and Crematory 1640 Greenmeadows Blvd. (at Barrington Rd.) Streamwood/Schaumburg. Funeral Monday 9:15a.m. to St. Marcelline Church. Mass 10:00a.m. Interment All Saints.
Donations made to Alzheimer’s Association to www.alz.org would be appreciated. (630) 289-8054 or www.countrysidefuneralhomes.com.