Elita Mary Telles, 89 of Winona, died Saturday, November 28, 2020 at Benedictine Saint Anne.
Elita was born September 18, 1931 to Joseph and Cecelia (Zabinski) Peplinski in Winona. She graduated from Cathedral High School in 1950. Elita entered the Franciscans Sisters in Rochester and graduated from the College of St. Teresa with a B.S. in Elementary Education in 1971. She also studied at Winona State University, St. Mary's College, College of Charleston as well as the Chicago Arts School.
During the 24 years she spent with the Franciscans of Rochester, she worked and taught school in Austin, Sleepy Eye, and Rochester. She also taught in Chicago, IL where she was secretary for the Diocesan Reading Association. In South Carolina, she taught in Aiken and in Horse Creek Valley where she was the Principal.
Summers when she was not working in the schools, Elita loved to volunteer to teach in Carolina through the OEO Sail Program, conducted by the Franciscans of Rochester. She spent her time teaching art to the minority children, as well as teaching adults of minority groups to read and write. Leaving the Franciscans of Rochester, Elita continued to teach in Aiken, SC, continuing the work she loved.
In 1976, she married Captain Vincent De J. Telles, Sr. They continued to live in the south with an adopted son, Vincent Telles, Jr. She was then teaching at Orange Grove Elementary where she spent twenty years deeply committed to the gratifying work she enjoyed with vigor. During the years spent at Orange Grove, she was recognized as distinguished teacher in 1991 and 1992. In 1986, she was recognized by the International Reading Association of Charleston, SC for outstanding service and contributions in reading. She also mentored other teachers from the Charleston district as they came to observe her methods within the classroom.
Retiring after 34 years of teaching, Elita continued to teach and tutor students from many cultures including German, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, and American. Her volunteer work was recognized as well, and in 1995 she was given the volunteer award in Charleston, SC. She also spent time doing hospital ministry in Charleston and Winona.
Elita and her husband, Captain Vincent Telles, moved to Winona in November 2000 where she continued her volunteer work through the ministry of Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
Elita is survived by her son Vincent Telles, Jr. and her sister Rita (George) Carlson. She was preceded in death by her husband Vincent Telles, Sr., her sister Joan (George) Stachowitz and brother Joe (Ruth) Peplinski.
Elita will be laid to rest in the mausoleum at St. Mary's Cemetery at 2:15 p.m., Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Those wishing to attend, may meet at the mausoleum. Masks are required.
A Funeral Mass will be planned for a later date. Cards may be mailed to: Hoff Funeral Home, c/o Elita Telles family, 3480 Service Drive, Goodview, MN 55987. Please share a memory of Elita and sign her online guestbook at www.hofffuneral.com