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Elsebet Jorgensen Zaffke

Elsebet Jorgensen Zaffke, adventurer and matriarch, died peacefully on Friday February 17, 2017, with her family surrounding her. She enjoyed a wonderful marriage of 53 years to Dr. Karl Heinz Zaffke who preceded her in death in1998. She is survived by three loving children, Michael Zaffke, Margaret Amaro and Matias Zaffke, their spouses Jorge Amaro and Karen Zaffke, nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren with another on the way, and hundreds of friends.
Born in Denmark, she married Karl Heinz during WWII, and gave birth to Michael. After the war she found her way with Michael to South America where she was instrumental in reuniting her entire family in Argentina. Later they made a home in a small mining town in the Andes mountains of Boliva where Karl Heinz was a doctor in a hospital and Margaret was born. Matias was born in Argentina. Leaving the children with extended family, Elsebet and Karl emigrated to the United States, where they lived at the Salvation Army while Karl repeated his internship in Chicago. Later the children were reunited with their parents. The family moved to Raiford and many years later to St. Augustine, where they established a private practice. In 1990 Karl and Elsebet moved to Gainesville where a multigenerational home was created once more.
Elsebet was a brave, courageous woman who loved to travel; she visited every continent, sailed on a ship to Antarctica, rode the camels in Turkey, and soared down the ziplines in Costa Rica at age 88. She was always up for an adventure, often with her favorite travel buddy, Steffanie Cox. Elsebet led a vibrant life through her final days. A devoted bridge player, she was a member of 3 bridge groups here in Gainesville, which she credited with keeping her alive and young.
Elsebet was our strongest cheerleader and greatest inspiration.
Please join us as we celebrate her life at 12 Noon on Friday, February 24th, 2017 at Milam Funeral Home Chapel. In lieu of flowers please just bring a smile.

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In consideration of COVID-19, as well as the families we are serving, we would like for those of you whose immune systems are compromised please stay home and send the family a condolence card. We may also be forced to postpone services if this continues or worsens. Our profession as funeral directors is not only focused on serving families, but also protecting the families and the community at-large. Thank you and please take care!

In consideration of COVID-19, as well as the families we are serving, we would like for those of you whose immune systems are compromised please stay home and send the family a condolence card. We may also be forced to postpone services if this continues or worsens. Our profession as funeral directors is not only focused on serving families, but also protecting the families and the community at-large. Thank you and please take care!