By HDN Staff
Longtime Hill County Coroner and former funeral director Emil K. Eliason, 92, died of natural causes Friday, March 17, at a Havre care center.
Funeral services are 3 p.m. Saturday at the Van Orsdel United Methodist Church with burial in Highland Cemetery.
Eliason was born Jan. 18, 1908 in Ozark County, Mo., to Elias and Marie Caroline Elisabeth (Nyquist) Eliason. The family moved to Montana and he grew up in the Opheim-Glasgow area. He attended school in Opheim and graduated from Glasgow High School, then taught at a country school and worked for Jondahl's Bakery in Glasgow.
Eliason married Beulah Paul Aug. 15, 1931 in Nashua. They moved to Havre so he could attend Northern Montana College for his teaching certification. While attending college, he worked for Holland & Bonine Funeral Home in Havre and lived in the apartment upstairs. He decided to obtain his mortician's license and enrolled in the University of Minnesota Mortuary Science program in 1935. He went to work for Holland & Bonine after graduating. He later purchased an interest in the firm, which he held until retiring in 1969.
He also served as Hill County coroner from 1947 until resigning in 1988.
Eliason was a member of Van Orsdel United Methodist Church. He served as Sunday school superintendent and was a trustee. He was a past director of the the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce and was past president, director and secretary of Havre Junior Chamber of Commerce. He received the distinguished service award for the Jaycees and was later named Havre Boss of the Year. He was a member of the Masons, serving as Grand Master of the state of Montana in 1968. He was a member of Eastern Star and held several offices in the I.O.O.F. and Rebekah Lodge.
Eliason also belonged to the AARP, Retired Teachers Association, Elks Club, Eagles Lodge, Sons of Norway, Kiwanis Club, Red Cross and the Boy Scouts. He was chairman of the Havre Band Festival for six years and a member of the Black Hills Recreation Leaders Lab.
Eliason was preceded in death by his wife, Beulah, who died in 1987.
Survivors include sons, Orland Eliason of Redwood, Calif., and Leon Eliason of south Havre; daughter, Bettyruth Burdette of Wilsall; brother, Henry Eliason of Pendleton, Ore.; sister, Lillian Von Eschen of Fort Peck; six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
Memorials are suggested to the Shriners Children's Hospital, P.O. Box 2472, Spokane, WA 99210-2472.
Holland & Bonine Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.