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Elsa Marie Knudsen Morris

05/27/1930 - 03/13/2024
Service Date: 04/20/2024
Service Time: 10:30 am
Service Location: Journey of Grace Church 955 E University Drive Mesa, AZ
Interment: Cedaredge Cemetery, Cedaredge, CO

Elsa Marie Morris, age 93, was called home on March 13, 2024.  She joins her husband of 25 years, Rex Morris; her sister, Barb Knudsen; and her parents.

Born to Agda and Nels Knudsen, Elsa grew up on a farm near the western coast of Michigan with her two younger sisters, Barb and Jenny.  She attended small country schools through 7th grade, walking the 1 ½ to 2 ½ miles, then riding a bus to the schools in town through her senior year of high school.  Summers were spent helping dad with farm work until late afternoon, followed by a hike to one of the nearby lakes for a daily swim.

At 15, Elsa knew she was called to be a missionary.  After graduating from high school, she spent the next nine years in preparation – first at Bible School, then nurses training, and then getting practical experience working in a local hospital. In 1957, Elsa moved to India and the recently established teaching hospital in Tezpur, Assam:  Baptist Christian Hospital.  The next 22 years were happily spent teaching and working as a registered midwife, all while meeting – and working alongside – many wonderful people and absorbing the Assam culture she grew to love.

In 1979, amidst a backlash against Christian foreign workers, American missionaries were declared persona non grata by the Indian government, so Elsa returned to the US – and to college – while working full time at a hospital in Grand Rapids.

In 1982, Elsa started praying about finding a husband and – through a family member who was a mutual acquaintance – began corresponding with Rex, a retired pastor from Colorado whose wife had passed away three years earlier.  They married in June of 1984, surrounded and supported by her sisters, along with Rex’s four children and their families.  Settling in western Colorado, Elsa continued to work for 15 more years at the local hospital – with occasional trips she and Rex took to visit their families and interesting places around the world.   Retirement brought them to Mesa, Arizona in 2008.

Elsa will be remembered for her constant smile, sunny disposition and generous spirit – for her faith in people and abiding love for the Savior she served.

Elsa is survived by her sister, Genevieve (Don) Veldt of Rockford, Michigan.  She has been a wonderful second Mom and a blessing to 4 children, 9 grandchildren, and 6 great‐grandchildren, along with 10 extended‐family spouses.

Services for Elsa will be April 20, 2024 at 10:30am at Journey of Grace Church, 955 E University Drive, Mesa, AZ  85203. The Reverend Kurtis Strunk will be officiating.

Elsa will be interred at Cedaredge Cemetery in Cedaredge, CO.



Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.



  • What a blessing Elsa was to Duane and I. We have many wonderful memories of visits with her and Rex. My prayers are with you all.

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