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Elsie B. Khol
In Memory of
Elsie B. Khol (Pesek)
1917 - 2017
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Obituary for Elsie B. Khol

Elsie B. Khol
Elsie B. Khol
Elsie was born July 12, 1917, in Cleveland, Ohio, and passed away exactly three months shy of her 100th birthday on April 12. While attending Mound Elementary School, Elsie worked in her parents’ grocery store in the Old Broadway neighborhood from the age of 6. She continued working at the store until graduation from South High School. While her goal was to attend Ohio University to become a physical education teacher, Elsie chose to give up her college ambitions and continue working in her parents’ grocery store throughout the Great Depression and World War II through the age of 29.

In 1946, she met her future husband, Edward (Eddie) Khol at a Sokol dance. After meeting Elsie for the first time, Eddie told a close buddy that he would be married to “that woman” within the next year. True to his word, Eddie and Elsie were married on September 7, 1946.

Cherished mother of Robert (former husband of the late Karen and current fiancé of Kathy Smith), Alice, James (Laurie), and furry four-legged “daughter” Cody; treasured grandmother of Kelly Malnar (Denis), Stacie Khol and Shawn Khol (Emily); loving great-grandmother of Nicholas, Melissa, Darrin, Jarrod, Tyler and Adam.

Elsie was an 83-year member of the American Sokol Organization, a Czech gymnastic, cultural and educational organization. She started out at Sokol Cech-Havlicek in 1934 and continued at Sokol Greater Cleveland until her death. One of Elsie’s proudest memories was when she traveled by ship with fellow Sokol members from across the United States in 1938 to Prague, Czechoslovakia, to participate in a Sokol Slet (gathering) with over 12,000 Sokol women from around the world in a mass calisthenics performance in Strahov Stadium (the largest stadium in the world at the time). While originally planning to remain in Czechoslovakia for an additional three months following the Slet, Elsie was contacted by the American Embassy and urged to immediately return to the United States because of Hitler’s imminent takeover of northern Czechoslovakia at the beginning of World War II in Europe.

In the year 2000 Elsie returned to Prague with her daughter, Alice, to once again perform in a mass calisthenics program at the age of 83. It was a life-changing moment for both Elsie and Alice to participate side-by-side in the Slet in Prague. Elsie remained physically fit throughout her life and participated in Sokol Fitness classes well into her nineties.

Elsie was the Principal Secretary at Audubon Jr. High School in the Cleveland Public School System for over fifteen years. While working at Audubon, she formed an everlasting bond with members of her beloved school’s faculty and staff that continued throughout her life.

Elsie was also a member of the CSA Ohio Star Lodge for 83 years, as well as a member of the Eastern Stars for over 65 years.

The family would like to sincerely thank the staff of the Cleveland Clinic’s Home Hospice Care Unit for their extraordinary service and care.

Elsie will be buried in a private family service. A celebration of her life will be held at Sokol Greater Cleveland’s Bohemian National Hall, located at 4939 Broadway Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44127, on Saturday, July 15 at 4:00pm. A catered dinner will be served. Elsie looks forward to watching all her family and friends enjoy celebrating her 100th birthday and her extraordinary life. If you wish to attend this celebration, please contact Alice Khol (440) 248-4742 or

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Elsie’s name to “Sokol Greater Cleveland - Mortgage Reducer” at the above address.
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