Elda Mae Routenburg

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Elda Mae was born on Saturday, October 15, 1927 at home, in Sullivan Township, to parents John Christian and Priscilla (Gougeon) Bluhm. Elda Mae was the oldest in her family. However her father was married prior and she was blessed with four older siblings. In time, she welcomed younger siblings Stella, Harold, Doris and Allan and the Bluhm family was complete! She attended public school west of Desboro and followed that up with high school in Chatsworth. Following high school Elda Mae headed to the city to find work. She had stops in Toronto and Kitchener, where she worked in housekeeping at St. Mary's Hospital.

The Batterman family and Bluhm's were very close and spent a great deal of time together. On one trip home Elda Mae was introduced to one Adolph Routenburg, who had been working with the Batterman thrashing crew. As the saying goes, the rest is history. Elda Mae and Adolph were married on April 6, 1946 at the Bluhm family farm. The couple soon settled on the 2nd of Holland where they began their family. They welcomed Doreen in 1947, Brian in 1951 and Joyce in 1954. Elda Mae was a fantastic mother and cared for her children deeply. In fact, Brian was born premature (2 lbs. 3 oz.) and Elda Mae was told by the doctor that she could take him home to die. Imagine! Elda Mae had different plans though, so she created an incubator for him on the wood stove door, feeding him hourly with an eye dropper. This is but one instance of her determination and love for her family. Around 1957, Adolph and Elda Mae relocated west of Williamsford where she continued raising her young family. When the children got older, Elda Mae headed back into the workforce where she worked for a variety of factories in Mount Forest and Owen Sound over the years. Retirement became official the day she turned 65! It was then that the Routenburg's called Williamsford home and continued to do so until Adolph's death in June of 1996.

In her free time, Elda Mae loved to knit. That could mean socks, mitts, sweaters or anything in between. Her children and grandchildren benefited from many of these beautiful creations of love. She would also never pass up a good game of cards, especially Euchre, or a game of crokinole. She absolutely loved to dance and attended dances regularly. After Adolph's death she found a new partner in Wilf Moody. Wilf too loved to dance and they remained close until his death. Elda Mae also loved to garden. She spent countless hours over the years nurturing and maintaining her vegetable and flower gardens.

When time permitted, Elda Mae enjoyed being an active member of the community. Over the years she was involved with the Women's Institute in Williamsford, was an active member at St. James Lutheran Church and was also an Auxiliary and Legion member in Chatsworth. Elda Mae loved bright colours, particularly red. She would never miss an episode of Y & R and thoroughly enjoyed watching the Queen's Plate and Kentucky Derby on TV. Elda Mae thoroughly enjoyed her music, particularly The Gaithers or anything country western. When it came to food Elda Mae had an apparent fondness for seafood. Her drink of choice? Well, Scotch of course! In fact, every evening after supper and before bed Elda Mae enjoyed a shot of single malt scotch. This tradition continued until her final days.

If you knew Elda Mae, you knew she was not afraid to say what was on her mind. She was a direct communicator and it is fair to say you always knew were she stood! She was easy going and there for anyone during a time of need. She was a "good old soul." Elda Mae was so proud of her four grandsons and their families. To be honest, she became a mother and grandmother figure to many as the years passed by, a role she enjoyed and took seriously. When not caring for other people, there was always her beloved four-legged friends. She loved and cared for a variety of cats and dogs throughout the years, but recently Patches, her Shih Tzu, was her true companion.

In February of 2018, Elda Mae's declining health forced her to transition from her own home to Georgian Heights in Owen Sound. Here she lived out her remaining days with the love and support of her family. Sadly, Elda Mae passed away at Grey Bruce Health Services, Owen Sound, surrounded by her family, on Monday, April 30, 2018 in her 91st year.

Elda Mae (Bluhm) Routenburg of R.R. #3 Chesley, passed away surrounded by her loving family at Grey Bruce Health Services, Owen Sound on Monday, April 30, 2018 in her 91st year.

Loving mother of Doreen (Gerald) Sulkye of R.R. #3 Chesley, Brian (Becky) of Williamsford and Joyce (Ken) Walker of R.R. #1 Chatsworth. Elda Mae’s memory will live on in her grandsons, Kevin, Gregory (Galit), Keith and Shawn (Jaime) as well as her great-granddaughters Fella Mae, Audrey and Julia. She will be remembered by her brother-in-law Niels Jensen. Elda Mae was predeceased by her husband Adolph, brothers Norman, Elmer, Harold, Allan, sisters Marie Dirstein, Florence Dirstein, Stella Routenburg and Doris Jensen.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Thursday from 2 – 4 and 7 – 9 p.m. A funeral service celebrating Elda Mae’s life will be held at St. James Lutheran Church, Williamsford on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 11 a.m. Interment in Shiloh Cemetery.

Memorial donations to St. James Lutheran Church, Heart & Stroke Foundation or the charity of your choice would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Send to friend
Nadine and Steve Schwartz
May 16, 2018
Becky, we are so sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. We both know how difficult it is to lose a Mom. Take care of yourself and let the boys help you through this tough time in your life.
The Tower Family
May 4, 2018
For Aunt Joyce, Uncle Ken and Kevin and the family of Elda Mae Routenburg. We want to express our sympathy and let you know that our thoughts are with you. Hugs Jana, Jason, Meghan & James.
Cathy,Lyle,Jim, Kristen and the boys
May 4, 2018
Aunt Doreen and Uncle Jerry
Our sincere condolences on your loss. We are truly sorry. If there is anything you need please just ask.
Brenda Hameel
May 3, 2018
So sorry to hear about you mother, please accept my deepest sympathy.
Carol M. Jarvis
May 3, 2018
Deepest sympathy to the family
Janet Albright Connelly
May 2, 2018
Sending my Deepest Sympathy and prayers on the loss of your mother. I remember having a sleep over as a child with Joyce, She as I remember was a very thoughtful lady and felt welcomed. I would also like to send my thoughts to Bluhm family and my condolences. May Gods arms comfort you all
Barry Moore
May 2, 2018
My condolences to the family. I worked with Elda Mae at Murphy Industries / Electro- Wire in Owen Sound. I have many fond memories of Elda Mae. My thoughts and prayers are with you at the time of loss.
Ivan Jackson
May 2, 2018
Since I grew up on the second of Holland and knew the family well, I want to send my condolences and prayers to the family of Elda Mae
Carol Golem
May 1, 2018
Please accept my sincere sympathy at this time!
The Gibbs Family
May 1, 2018
For the family of Elda Mae Routenburg. Our sympathies and caring are with you. Your mom was such a nice person and will be missed. Allan & Wendy, Larry & Carolyn, Dan & Janice, Tony & Families
Jenn/Eric Hansen and Rick Pinion
May 1, 2018
Sending my deepest condolences. Great Aunt Elda Mae will be greatly missed. Hugs to all the family. Will be keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

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“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

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Carol Golem

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Roberta Godwin

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Gloria Albright

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Deborah Hart

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William & Loraine Patterson

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Elaine King

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Rebecca Becker

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Bernice Frook

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Susan Taylor

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Valerie Long

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Steve Thomson

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Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

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Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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