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Lynne (McElfresh) Gierer, age 66, of Union, Missouri, died August 15, 2018, after a long struggle with COPD.  Lynne was born on March 11, 1952, in Kirksville, Missouri, the daughter of John F. McElfresh and Helen (Brees) McElfresh.  She graduated from Knox County High School in Edina, in 1970, where she was a cheerleader and a majorette in band.  She graduated from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman) in Kirksville with a B.S.E. in Sociology in 1974.

After college, Lynne moved to Washington, Missouri, beginning a career in the Division of Family Services as a social worker in Franklin County.  She retired in 2006 as Circuit Manager of the Children’s Division for Franklin, Osage, and Gasconade Counties.  She was a compassionate worker who became a leader with a low-key, quiet kind of strength which made her an effective leader and mentor.  Lynne was an avid reader, always up on current affairs and politics and was active with the Franklin County Democrats for several years. She married Robin Gierer on June 21, 1986 in Gray Summit and they were the parents of one daughter, Chelsea.  Lynne helped raise and educate four step-children who also benefited from inheriting additional blended family members.

Surviving Lynne is her daughter Chelsea (Jim) Reed and granddaughters Cecilia and Lorelei Reed of Pacific; step-grandsons Adrian and Spencer Reed; step-children Sam (Beckie) Gierer, Amy Kieran, Hannah Gierer, and Ruth (Jose) Padilla and 15 step-grandchildren.  She is also survived by one sister, Nancy (Paul) Copenhaver of Moberly and one aunt, Joann McFarland of Edina, several cousins, and a number of close friends including Alyce Carpenter who was instrumental in allowing Lynne to remain at home as her disease progressed.

Lynne was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents, several aunts and uncles, and cousins.  She loved animals, especially her many dogs who kept her company.  She was a devoted mom to Chelsea and grandmother to Cecilia and Lorelei who inherited her red hair.

Lynne grew up in Edina where she enjoyed small town life with friends and family and her constant canine companions.  Swimming and picnics at Baring Country Club were favorite events, and as an adult she brought her family to stay at the cabin and they loved the Baring Lake as well.  Lynne had a number of longtime friends with whom she shared fun times and lifelong contact.  As a mother, step-mother, and grandmother in a large, blended family, there was always some activity taking place, holidays and other family gatherings.

A memorial service will be held on August 25, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. at the Oltmann Funeral Home in Washington, with entombment in the Garden of Prayer Mausoleum at Park View Memorial Gardens in Kirksville at a later date.  Visitation will precede services from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Oltmann’s, 508 E. Fourteenth Street, Washington.  Memorials may be made to the Franklin County Humane Society in Union, Missouri, in care of Oltmann’s.