Elizabeth Ann Coolidge (formerly Whittemore), a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and 58-year resident of the Brainerd Lakes area passed away on Monday, January 11, 2021.
Elizabeth was born on November 27, 1940 in Rockford, IL, to James and Marian Novak. She graduated from Bishop Muldoon Catholic High School and married Gilbert J. Whittemore on October 4, 1958, in Rockford, IL. They moved to the Brainerd area in 1962 and started Jenkins Auto Sales in 1972. They raised four children and enjoyed twelve grandchildren. Elizabeth was a lifelong Republican, Pro-life activist, and vocal advocate for the rights of the unborn. She was active in the Republican Party attending numerous conventions and participating in various committees since 1964. Elizabeth was a strong believer in prayer and active among many prayer chains within her community.
After the passing of Gilbert in 2011, Elizabeth met Cecil L. Coolidge and they were married on June 4, 2013. They spent their time shopping, birdwatching, and tending to their garden. Elizabeth loved to stay in touch with family and friends on the phone as well as through visits from her brother, children, and grandchildren.
Elizabeth was survived by her husband of seven years, Cecil; her children: Gilbert S. Whittemore (LaVonne) of Milaca, MN, Scott G. Whittemore of Neenah, WI, Valerie Schulz (engaged Patrick Steffens) of Neenah, WI, and Chris Whittemore (Theresia) of Glendale Heights, IL; her brothers: James (Gwen) Novak of Rockford, IL, and Robert Novak of Rockford, IL; her grandchildren: Scott (Amanda) Whittemore of Brainerd, MN, Victoria Dillon of Menasha, WI, Brooke (Dene) Byers of Milaca, MN, David Dillion of Menasha, WI, Elizabeth (Robert) Bender of Hortonville, WI, Judith (engaged Mateo Ontiveros) Borgwardt of Appleton, WI, Rachel Hooey of Appleton, WI, Rebecca Hooey of Kaukauna, WI, Bailey (Michael) Bussmann of Foley, MN, Sophia Whittemore of Glendale Heights, IL, Brandhi Whittemore of Minneapolis, MN, and Nicholas Esau of Wisconsin; and her seven great-grandchildren: Alexander Kaquatosh, Viviana Ontiveros, Tanesha Rose Kaquatosh, Charlotte Whittemore, Mia Hooey (currently in remission from cancer), Judith Bender, and Joseph Bussmann.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Gilbert; her granddaughter, Elizabeth Grace Whittemore; and her daughter, Valerie's significant other, David Kollath.
Elizabeth’s memorial service and burial will be held this summer in Birchwood, WI. Further arrangements will be made this spring.