Elaine Bickel, a child of God, was carried home into her heavenly Father's arms on January 10, 2023 at the age of 75 after a brief fight with leukemia.
Elaine spent her whole life teaching, having served more than 50 years in various roles in Lutheran schools. She began her career in 1970 at Redeemer Lutheran in Flint. After taking a short absence to raise her children, she began teaching at St. Paul Lutheran School in Millington until 2014. While at St. Paul's, she served as the 3rd grade, then 8th grade teacher and finally principal and oversaw the addition of 2 buildings to the facility due to increased enrollment. After one year of "retirement", she taught at Immanuel Frankentrost from 2015-2021 before once again returning to St. Paul's to finish her teaching career in the 2021-22 school year. When the opportunity presented itself she enjoyed serving as a substitute teacher in various Lutheran schools.
Not only did Elaine serve students in classrooms, she was also a published author including various bible studies, Sunday school materials and curriculum materials for Concordia Publishing House. She was also a well known and humorous public speaker and spoke in more than 25 states and Canada for groups such as LWML. She was named the Administrator of the Year for Michigan District in 1999 and received a special citation for teaching excellence from the State of Michigan in 1998. She was also known for writing the annual children's Christmas program at St. Paul's each year and always provided a unique way to tell the Christmas story and share the birth of Jesus in a unique way.
For pleasure, Elaine enjoyed bike riding, making her famous chocolate chip cookies (for anyone looking for the recipe, look at the Toll House package...it's really not a secret recipe!), and always providing a listening ear to anyone in need.
Elaine is forever loved by her faithful and loving husband Jim Bickel and her two children; William (Julie) Bickel, Appleton, Wi and Carol (Matt) Laux, St. Charles, MI. She adored her 4 grandchildren; Jenna, Mikayla, Kelly, and Jacob. Her mother-in-law Mildred (Birdie) Bickel always treated her as if she were her daughter. She adored her brother Willard (Carolyn) Petzold who also provided a fatherly figure when she lost her dad at her age of 13. God provided her the opportunity to also love a heart son, Cameron Wilson, and a special brother in Christ, Paul Schoenknecht. She was affectionately known as "Aunt Elaine" to several nieces, nephews.
Besides her parents, she is preceded in death by her siblings, Alton, Wallace, Roland, Irene, and Roy as well as her father-in-law William Bickel.
The family would like to invite friends to St. Paul Lutheran Church and School on Friday, January 13, 2023 for a time of visiting from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and then starting again from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The funeral for Elaine will be on Saturday, January 14, 2023 at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School at 11:00 am with a time of visiting beginning at 10:00 a.m. Burial to follow at the Millington Township Cemetery. As part of the funeral service, past and present students of Elaine's are welcome to join in and line her final procession, please bring a cross to carry. For those unable to attend the funeral in person, a live stream will be available at https://www.stpaul-millington.org/stream.html
Keeping with Elaine’s wishes we would ask if you would please consider making a memorial donation to either St. Paul Lutheran School, Immanuel Frankentrost Lutheran School, or Valley Lutheran High School instead of purchasing flowers.
Hanlin Funeral Home
Serving Since 1928