Elsie Louise Hege of Hope died peacefully on June 21, 2022 at Miller’s Merry Manor surrounded by her loving children. She was 92 years old, born on February 21, 1930 to Lester “Duke” Whittington and Hazel (Bowers) Whittington.

Elsie married George F. Hege on June 12, 1948, and he preceded her in death on March 18, 1970.

Elsie loved unconditionally with the most generous heart. If she knew you loved something, you would have it in every style available and she certainly bought it on sale. Everyone in her family had an assigned “color” and the strangest gifts were always accompanied with the comment, “well, it was in your color” even if it was two sizes too big or thong underwear. She was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend to everyone.

Like her siblings, Elsie lived a full life with a long list of accomplishments. In 2020 she was recognized as a 20-year breast cancer survivor in the Pink Ribbon Connection calendar- she waited 89 years for her debut as a centerfold calendar model. In 1999 she was named Democrat of the Year, along with her sister Mary Glasson; lifelong members of the Democratic party. In 1993 Elsie was chosen as County Employee of the Year by the Bartholomew County Commissioners. Mrs. Hege headed up the voter registration department in the county clerk’s office for 16 years, going to work in 1979 when all of her babies had graduated from high school. She was known throughout the courthouse for her sugar cookies and noodles, selling the noodles to purchase a Radio Flyer wagon for each of her grandkids and great-grandkids. Elsie operated the Hope license branch from 1961-1969 with an addition to the family home that became a fun place for her grandkids to play “office” during their many weekend visits. After the untimely death of her husband, Mrs. Hege watched children in her home, keeping a close eye on the orneriest of her children, Mark. The Hege house had the best snacks, was the most fun, and every kid wanted to be there. This provided the training needed for her to be the world’s best grandma to everyone.

Elsie was a public servant her whole life and was a 50-year member of the Esther Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star. She volunteered for many years at Columbus Regional Hospital. Mrs. Hege sent many cards for every occasion and was well known by local newspaper staff as she made sure everyone she knew received a birthday wish in the newspaper. She was very proud of her family and would tell any stranger about their most recent accomplishments.

She left us with advice that is still relevant today. “What this world needs is fewer politicians and more grandmothers.”

Elsie is survived by her daughter Cindy (David) Sturgeon of Indianapolis, son Mark (Tammy) Hege of Columbus; Grandchildren George Hege (Jenny Lonaker) of Columbus; Stacy (Trey) Tapke of Crestview Hills, KY; Charles (Taryn) Tyree of Danville, IN; Jacob (Beth) Hege of Rensselaer, IN; Cody (Rikki) Hege of Hope; Tiffany (Erik) Peterman of Midlothian, TX; and Aleesa (Casey) Dickerson of Hope; Great-grandchildren Elias Hege, Richard and Teddy Tapke, Briley and Emery Tyree, Owen and Hallie Hege; Brody and Andi Hege, Easton, Evie and Ella Peterman; and Graham and Tucker Dickerson; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and other relatives.

Elsie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband George Hege; brothers, Charles and Lester Whittington; sisters, Maxine Jackson and Mary Glasson; and son Vance Hege.

A funeral service for Elsie will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday June 24, 2022, at the Hope Moravian Church sanctuary located at 202 Main Street, Hope, Indiana with Pastor Andy Kilps officiating. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until time of service at the church. An Eastern Star service will be held 15 minutes prior to the start of the service. Burial will follow at Hope Moravian Cemetery.

Arrangements are being handled by Norman Funeral Home of Hope.

In lieu of traditional flowers, memorial donations can be made to Hope FFA, Hope Moravian Church Basement Renovations, or Our Hospice of South Central Indiana through Norman’s Funeral Home.