Deacon George Elster served Holy Cross Parish for 40 years

“Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”

Deacon George E. Elster embraced those words during his ordination in 1983, as he held a Book of the Gospels, kneeling in front of Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan.

Deacon Elster lived out the words at Holy Cross Parish in Omaha, where he coordinated the parish’s Baptismal program, helped lead classes for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and brought the Holy Eucharist to the sick and homebound.

“George faithfully served our Holy Cross family with compassion for over 40 years,” the parish said on social media. “His dedication to his faith and others was unmatched and will never be forgotten.”

Deacon Elster died Feb. 28. He was 74.

A Mass of Christian Burial was March 15 at Holy Cross. Burial was at Resurrection Cemetery in Omaha, with military honors.

Deacon Elster was born in Omaha to Jewell Faye (Malloy) and George E. Elster Sr.

He graduated from the former Technical High School in Omaha, and during his high school years became acquainted with his future wife, Becky Jo Lane, according to a written tribute.

They married in 1971 and together raised seven children. Becky Jo died in April 2023.

Deacon Elster served in the U.S. Navy as an aviation electronics engineer and search and rescue swimmer.

After living in San Diego, he and his wife moved back to Omaha and were active in their faith, becoming involved in Cursillo and Marriage Encounter. They also taught Natural Family Planning through the Couple to Couple League.

 Upon returning to Omaha, Deacon Elster also began a long career with the telephone company, called Northwestern Bell at the time.

With his wife’s encouragement, he entered the archdiocese’s diaconate program, retiring from his ministries in 1983.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife and sister Linda Purser.

Survivors include his sisters Robyn Skalberg and Margie (Rick) Sweeney; brother, Michael Elster; children Chris Auger (Tracy), Janel Myers (Michael), Kelly Elster, Salesia Larson (Jeffrey), Erin Tiedgen, Mary Elster (David Marlborough) and John Elster; 27 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and many friends.

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