Marion "Mac" McElrath

  • Funeral Date: 12/08/12
  • Funeral Time: 3:00 P.M.
  • Date of Birth: 9/11/30
  • Date of Death: 12/02/12
  • Funeral Location: Northfield United Methodist Church

Marion E. McElrath passed away on Sunday afternoon, December 2, 2012, in Northfield, following a lengthy illness. He was born on September 11, 1930, in Kenyon, Minnesota, to Percy and Helen (Records) McElrath.  His dad was a railroad clerk, requiring the family to move frequently, but always returning to Randolph, Minnesota, between jobs.

Mac graduated from Northfield High School in 1949 and began a life-long career as a banker.  He did many jobs at the bank, from shoveling snow to teaching American Institute of Banking classes to fellow bankers.  He was a partner in the Northfield Insurance Agency.  He retired from banking at age 54 to begin a second career as a realtor for the Al Thorpe Real Estate Agency.  In 1999, after spending 50 years in business on Division Street of Northfield, he really retired!  Together, Mac and RuthAbeth spent 18 winters in Arizona.

In 1950, Mac met RuthAbeth Jacobson at the Northfield Methodist Church where they both sang in the choir.  Mac & RuthAbeth were united in marriage on June 16, 1951, and recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Mac was very active in the community – Northfield United Methodist Church, Fountain Hills United Methodist Church, Northfield Junior Chamber of Commerce, Defeat of Jesse James Days, Northfield Planning Commission, Northfield Lions Club,  Melvin Jones Distinguished Service Award, and served for 27 years as treasurer for the Local Chapter of the Salvation Army.  In 1999, Mac and RuthAbeth were the recipients of the Community National Bank’s Hometown Spirit Award.  Mac took satisfaction and enjoyed being active in public service – helping an endless number of others over the years.

Survivors include his wife, RuthAbeth; his children, Kathleen and husband Jim Wolfe of Owatonna, Brian McElrath and wife Christine Walthour of Minneapolis; 3 grandchildren: Jennifer (Nick) Woods of Wichita, Kansas, Laura (Jim) Nelson of Lemoore, California, Guillermo McElrath of Minneapolis; 2 brothers: Eldred (Jane) McElrath of Hughson, California, Alva (Janet) McElrath of Roseville, California; many nieces, nephews and friends.   He was preceded in death by his son Bruce in 1999, his parents, and his in-laws Leonard and Genevieve Jacobson.

A celebration of Mac’s life will be held at 3:00PM Saturday, December 8, 2012, at Northfield United Methodist Church with Rev. Donna Buell officiating.  Interment will be in Oaklawn Cemetery at a later date.  Visitation will be at the church on Saturday one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Northfield United Methodist Church, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation or the donor’s choice.

Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home.


  1. Marilyn Grist

    Dear RuthAbeth, Bryan and Kathy,
    We were so sorry to hear about Marion’s death, but glad he isn’t suffering any more. We are thinking about you and praying for you at this sad time.
    Love, Marilyn and John Grist

  2. Linda Nagel

    My deepest sympathy to RuthAbeth and family. Mac was a kind and caring person, and I will always remember the support he gave me when my sister passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  3. Maureen Valley

    I’m so sorry to hear about Mac’s death. Mac was such a help to me as a fledgling Real Estate Agent when we shared a room at Al Thorpe Realty in 1987. Yes…we shared a room and a desk. He was unfailingly kind and supportive and I am forever grateful for his patience. My sympathy to his family. Mac will be so missed!
    Maureen Valley
    Mt. Dora, Florida

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