PORTAGE—Lorena J. McElroy Bystol, age 94, of Portage, passed into the presence of Christ her Savior on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.
Lorena was born on March 25, 1925, in Hecla, South Dakota, the oldest of five children of Claude and Ruby (Zeller) Hersey. The family moved to a small farm near Montello in 1929. She graduated from Endeavor High School, then attended Vocational Business School in Fond du Lac before being hired as a secretary for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in Montello. In 1944, she became chief clerk of the Marquette County Draft Board in Westfield. In 1947, she was hired as secretary for the Marquette County Welfare Department in Montello. During her employment in Montello, she cared for the needs of her paternal grandparents until their deaths.
On May 31, 1952, Lorena Hersey and Dean McElroy were united in marriage, and took up residence in Portage. They lived in the same home throughout their 51 years of marriage. Dean went to his Heavenly home May 7, 2003. Lorena McElroy and Martin Bystol were united in marriage May 20, 2008, at Faith Baptist Church, in Portage. The Lord chose to take Martin to Heaven on October 13, 2008.
Besides being a devoted wife and mother, Lorena worked for the Columbia County Welfare Department, various law firms (including Howard Latton and William Smiley) and Columbia County Clerk of Courts. In the fall of 1952, she began teaching Bible classes for children in homes (known as Good News Clubs and 5-Day Clubs) and for 50 years coordinated the ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship in the area, which included a fair ministry for 30 years with the assistance of many able helpers. As an active member of Bible Baptist Church, Lorena enjoyed serving her Lord in music, Sunday School, Children’s Church, Awana, church treasurer, and missions. She was active as a member of Faith Baptist Church, Portage, until her passing. Lorena trusted Christ as her personal Savior while young and dedicated her life to serving Him as He led and enabled. Her heart’s desire was always for the welfare of family and friends, longing to see each place their faith in Christ Jesus for forgiveness of sins and His gift of Eternal Life.
She is survived by three sons, David (Prima) McElroy, Kaukauna, Wis., Donald McElroy, Portage, Wis., and Stewart (Robin) McElroy, Madison, Wis.; one step-son, Marvin Bystol, Rio, Wis.; five grandchildren, Ross and Cara McElroy, Madison and Alezandra Lintag, Aubrey (Lintag) Aquinde, and Aramco Lintag, all of California; one great-grandson, Elijah Lintag, Hawaii; seven step-grandchildren; sisters, Jeanette Dalton, Mountain Grove, Mo., Margaret Becker, Portage (who passed away on Friday, February 14, 2020), Ida Price, Pardeeville, and Constance (Roger) Peck, Florida/Colorado; numerous nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; her dear husbands; stepdaughter, Phylis Bystol; brothers-in-law, Roger Becker, Stanley Dalton and Roger Price; and many near relatives.
The Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, at North Scott Baptist Church, with the Rev. Jonathan Robertson officiating. Burial will follow in Marcellon Cemetery, rural Pardeeville. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, at the Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home, in Portage (www.pmmfh.com), and from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Saturday at the church.
A memorial fund is established through the family c/o Stewart McElroy, 1314 S. Thompson Dr., Madison, Wis. 53716, for evangelistic missions dear to Lorena, as well as the mission fund of Faith Baptist Church, 311 E. Wisconsin Street, Suite 105, Portage, Wis. 53901.
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