Elaine  Spikes
Elaine Spikes

December 22, 1923 - March 27, 2019
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Elaine Catherine Spikes, 95, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at the Iowa Jewish Senior Life Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Private family services will be held at a later date.

Elaine was born December 22, 1923 in Omaha, NE to Willard R. Sallander and Ora M. Russell Sallander. Her parents divorced shortly after her birth. She was raised by her mother who taught high school in the public school system through the depression years. She graduated from Omaha North High School in 1941 and then attended Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. She met at her future husband William F. Spikes, Jr. at Doane just prior to his service with the Army Air Force in mid-1942. Elaine graduated from Doane in 1945 when Bill returned from WWII.

They were married in 1946 and moved to Lincoln, Nebraska. Elaine taught freshman English at the University of Nebraska while Bill finished his degree on the GI Bill. They moved to Portland, Oregon, where their eldest son was born, and then returned to the Midwest, moving to Des Moines, Iowa.

Elaine was truly a product of her generation. Between 1949 and 1956, she had four sons. It was a busy household for her while her husband Bill furthered his career. She was a great cook with the help of Better Homes and Gardens and Betty Crocker.

She was an avid reader her entire life with a special interest in literature regarding American folklore and tales of the West. Zane Grey, Ernest Thomson Seton, L. Frank Baum, and Jack London were among her favorite authors. She loved to read “The Song of Hiawatha” to her sons when they were young. When all four boys were old enough for school, she became the librarian at Woodlawn Elementary school in Des Moines for many years.

She fully supported her four boys in all their endeavors with sports, Indian Guides, Cub Scouts (den mother), and Boy Scouts. Elaine was a nurturing person to her family and friends of her sons. She always gave appropriate advice when needed, most often with a quick wit. She will be missed.

Survivors include sons: Bill (Edie) Spikes of San Jose, CA, Steve (Jean) Spikes of Leawood, KS, Cody (Margaret) Spikes of Polk City, IA, Monte Spikes of Omaha, NE; granddaughters: Dawn, Krista, Leslie, Emily, Hollyn, Kaitlyn and Allie, 9 great-grandchildren, a niece (Ann) and nephew (Tom). Elaine was preceded in death by her husband, William F. Spikes, Jr. in 2014.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Des Moines. On-line condolences are welcome at





Private Graveside