Neil Richard and Elayne (Hansen) Seirup
Married for over 70 years, and entering Heaven within four months of each other it seems fitting to write an obituary for our parents Neil and Elayne (Hansen) Seirup together. Elayne went to Heaven on Oct. 28, 2020 and Neil followed on March 2, 2021.
Neil was born April 25, 1929 and Elayne was born Nov. 7, 1926.
When Neil Seirup met Elayne Hansen in December 1949, it was apparent very quickly that this wasn’t just another love story. Elayne had traveled home to celebrate Christmas with her family in Minnesota from her job at the Naval base in Pensacola, Fla., but after meeting Neil, Elayne wrote to both her job and boyfriend and said she would not be returning to Florida. Three weeks after they met Neil proposed, and on June 23, 1950 they were married when Neil finally turned 21.
The youngest of five children of John Kai Seirup and Dorothea Nelson, Neil was born and raised in St. Louis Park, Minn. He grew up hunting and fishing loved reading, singing and acting, and was an Honor student at the University of Minnesota when he met Elayne.
Elayne was born to George Hansen, a Danish immigrant, and Ginny Navratil Hansen, and raised in Edina, Minn. She loved ice skating, having fun with her friends, and adventures which is what brought her to a job in Pensacola at the Naval Base. The youngest girl in a family of nine children, she was adored by her older siblings.
After Neil and Elayne married on June 23, 1950 they started a life in Minnesota, but in 1953 they couldn’t resist the lure of sunshine, palm trees, Hollywood and the beaches of California and moved with their one year old daughter Julianne, three of Elayne’s sisters and their families, and one brother to sunny Southern California.
Settling in Orange County, life was busy and satisfying. Neil had a job as an engineer at North American Aviation (later Autonetics) and worked on many of the spacecraft missions in the space boom of the 1960s. Continuing his education at California State University, Fullerton he took classes one at a time to complete his B.S. in engineering in 1975. Elayne decorated her home, cooked, raised the kids, and made many close friends. Life was good and family adventures common as they bought first a mountain cabin, then a cabin in Trabuco Canyon and another in Randsburg. The family would attend church on Sunday then set off on adventures to what seemed like every park in Orange County and beyond. Summers were spent at Newport Beach and keeping up with the busy family activities.
When Neil retired in 1988, they followed good friends to a place called Sun Lakes, a 55+ community with golf courses, tennis courts, many clubs and activities and for the past 30 years together they have participated in square dancing, golf, card groups and dinners, attended church at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Banning, with the myriad of friends met. They also began to travel in earnest, logging 29 cruises, and traveling throughout the United States with good friends; journeying each summer to Cancun, Mexico with family they met and many other friends who reunited each year to share more adventures.
Many of their friends have predeceased them, but until three years ago Elayne and Neil truly lived their lives well. They loved their churches, both St. Paul’s in Orange, and Our Saviors in Banning. They loved their lives, their children, and each other and their happiest times were the times they spent with their four children and their grandchildren. Their legacy will be one of love of family, faith in God and their commitment to marriage. On an anniversary lunch with daughter Julianne Stayner and her husband Dean in 2017 between the two couples they had been married a total of 99 years!
Elayne speaking to her daughters prior to her death said: “I know it will be sad when we’re gone, but think of the many, many good times we had and smile at the memories.”
They were predeceased by their daughter Sally Elayne in 2005, son-in-law Dean in 2018. They leave behind daughters Julianne (Seirup) Stayner and Wendy Seirup, son Nick and Susie (Woo) Seierup, seven grandchildren and a great- grandchild. Per their request there will be no service, but in their remembrance please remember to cherish the good times, be kind, and treasure your memories.