WATERTOWN

Elsie Gruber Devonshire


Elsie Gruber Devonshire, age 82, died peacefully in her sleep after a long illness. Elsie was born in Philadelphia to German immigrant parents and grew up in a German bakery. She was selected to attend The Philadelphia High School for Girls and then attended Ursinus College, where she majored in languages and graduated to teach German, English and Spanish.

This is also where she met her husband of 60 years, Donald.

Elsie and Donald originally settled in Pitman, New Jersey, and then moved to the midwest, living in Rockford, Ill., and Waukesha before retiring to Watertown.

Elsie was an accomplished musician and pianist. She was the church pianist at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church for 14 years in Waukesha and continued to delight family, friends and staff at Marquardt Manor with her playing until the time of her death. She composed a musical cantata, “Up from the Valley,” and many children’s songs. She could be seen throughout her life sitting at the piano with a blank sheet of music and a pencil, ready to compose. And she always organized a “family band” at family get togethers.

Elsie wrote, illustrated and published four books of poetry and short stories. A long time contributor to the Rockford Review-she participated in creative writing groups throughout her life.

She decorated her homes with painted murals on the walls of ballerinas, trains and German tales of folklore along with original paintings and crafts.

Elsie left teaching after a few years to raise her children but continued to stay active in her love and practice of all the fine arts. She always delighted in discussions of opera, art and literature and attending local theater and music wherever she lived.

Elsie is survived by her husband of 60 years, Donald Devonshire; her son, Mark; daughter-in-law, Cheryl; and grandchildren, Matthew, Sarah and Katherine of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; and her daughter, Lisa; and future son-in-law, Warren Sampson of Eden Prairie, Minn.

Her family was lucky to have been all together to celebrate Elsie and Don’s 60th wedding anniversary this past fall and to have had her presence for so long in our lives.

Elsie lived her life with a strong Christian faith and now resting in peace in heaven.

Funeral services will be held at a later date.

Schmutzler-Vick Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 920-261-3439, is serving the family. Online condolences may be left at www.svfuneralhome.com.