Meet the Contributor: Elise Patzke



Hi, I’m Elise. I was born and raised in NW Iowa, and went to college in NE Iowa. Jeff, my husband, and I have been married for nearly 13 years and have lived in a variety of communities in SE MN since finishing college. We have one son, Luke, who will be in preschool this fall. [I’m going to date myself with this next comment, but here it goes…] I met my husband 20 years ago at Luther College. If you would have asked me at that moment, I never thought Jeff and I would be a match. But, the Lord proved me wrong, and has blessed me with the most kind and caring man to raise our son and make a life with. He is truly one of my biggest blessings and he continues to be my biggest supporter.

You’re probably asking yourself, so if Elise lived in Iowa for over 22 years, how did she end up in SE MN? Well, we can thank Mayo Clinic for bringing me to SE MN. I’ve been in Laboratory Medicine for 16 years! Again, laboratory work was something I never saw on my horizon, and yet building a career in the laboratory, I continue to be humbled and amazed with the phenomenal colleagues that surround me on a daily basis. The pandemic has continues to shed light on how critical laboratory testing is for accurate medical care.

In addition to laboratory work, I’ve been a contributor for Rochester Mom since January 2017 and on the Leadership Team a few months later. When I’m not working, you can find me scrolling through my photo stream, attempting to listen to audiobooks, and daydreaming about ways to make someone in my family feel a little extra love.

What makes you the happiest?

That’s easy. My family + the lake. We’re wild, crazy, and no one would believe what happens to us on a daily basis unless you’ve known us for years and experienced it yourself. We spend way too much time, if you ask my dad, at the lake in the summer. Secretly, I really think my parents thrive on all the attention! For me, the lake is a place to relax, enjoy time with family and truly unwind. This past summer, we packed all the tourist activities into our time at the lake, so I’m really looking forward to our next visit when we do not have any specific plans.

What’s your favorite day of the year and why?

Hands down, birthdays are my favorite day(s) of the year! My birthday, my husband’s birthday, my son’s birthday, niece, nephew, mom, dad, you get the picture. The reason is simple: it’s one day each year we get to celebrate that person. The day is individual, and it’s my honor to help make that day extra special. Sure, it means we’re another year older and hopefully wiser, but the day itself is a true miracle to be able to celebrate every year. The best tradition we’ve started is to take vacation the week of our son’s birthday. We do as many things as we can cram into that week, and by the end of it our hearts are so full!

What is your greatest strength?

I couldn’t pick just one, so I’m choosing two that fit well together. I am a quick learner and directionally savvy. I learn quickly through observation, [typically] once or twice, and I can then perform the task or know where I’m headed. Because of this strength, knowing where I’m going comes fairly easily. Growing up, we spent countless hours in the car and my dad knew all the back roads to get to the same destination. I’ve always paid attention and because of this, I rarely get myself in a situation where I need directions.

What places are on your travel bucket list?

My husband and I have always daydreamed about visiting Norway. I’m not exactly sure what exactly we want to do when we get there, but the fjords, northern lights and small, cozy cities draw us in. Perhaps we’ll expand our travels to other countries when we get to Norway, so if you have a favorite destination don’t hesitate to send it my way! Until we fulfill our ultimate travel bucket destination, I know we want to have our son experience mountains, beaches, deserts across the United States. I better get to planning!

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Elise grew up in NW Iowa and met her husband, Jeff, while attending Luther College. Since 2005, the two have been lucky enough to try out a few different communities in SE MN before settling in Kasson. Elise is blessed to be the mama of Luke (2016). She treasures any amount of time spent with friends and family; whether it be in person, on the phone, texting or any social media avenue. In her spare time, you can find Elise planning time with her family, enjoying her full-time career in laboratory medicine, developing leadership skills, networking across her interests, and reminiscing by staring at old photos for more time than she should admit!