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Obituary

Donald Arthur Ellingson

April 29, 2020 | 17 comments

Donald Arthur Ellingson was born May 14, 1933, in Greenwood, Wisconsin, to Louise lndgjer and Engvald Ellingson. He died Saturday, April 25, 2020, at Hillview Healthcare Center, La Crosse, Wisconsin. A private life celebration will be held for Don with his immediate family at a later date.

Don graduated from Greenwood high school in 1951. He entered the US Army in 1952 and trained as a military policeman. He married Nancy Hohl of Greenwood and left soon after for Korea. There he served as a guard for the Neutral Nations lnspection Team. ln 2003, Don was honored to return to Korea for the celebration of the armistice.

As a child, Don dreamed of being a pilot like his older brother, Erling, who flew DC3’s in WWll. True to this dream, when home from Korea, Don obtained various licenses in aviation for flying, flight instruction, and mechanics. Don went on to a career as a pilot in corporate aviation with Weyerhaeuser, Marshfield; Burdick Grain, Minneapolis; Sentry lnsurance, Stevens Point; Trane Company, La Crosse; and Pepsi Cola Company, La Crosse.

Don brought home a single engine Stinson that had crashed. He rebuilt it in a rented hangar. The plane’s restoration won a national prize. Also, he received a national award for the most accident free miles as a corporate pilot.

Music was important to Don. He loved Broadway Musicals and faithfully attended The La Crosse Symphony Orchestra. He enjoyed boating and fishing on the Mississippi and at their cabin up north. His many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends remember Don with respect and love for his charm and his subtle sense of humor. There will be lots of laughter and stories about this wonderful guy.

Don’s wife, Nancy, survives him. They had four children: Mary Ellingson DuBois (deceased); Laurel Ellingson Schindler (Eric, deceased); Thomas Ellingson (Kay), Minneapolis; and a stillborn son. Five grandchildren: John Schindler; Daniel Ellingson; Julia Schindler; Luke Ellingson; and Riley Ellingson; Three great-grandchildren: Aaliyah (deceased); and Amelia and Andrew Ellingson. Four brothers: Erling Ellingson (Marie, both deceased); James Ellingson (deceased) (Arlene); Everett Ellingson, Mina (deceased); and Romaine Ellingson (Arlene) survive him.

 

Condolences

17 Comments

  1. Swenson Myron

    Nancy, my most sincere condolences. Don was a pleasure to work with. I remember him working in his Stinson at Viking’s hangar and he was always a joy to fly with at Trane.
    Myron

    Reply
  2. WAYNE AND BONNIE OLIVER

    NANCY, MY SINCERE CONDOLENCES DON AND I WORKED TOGETHER FOR ABOUT 10 YEARS FLYING FOR PEPSI IN THE KINGAIR AND THE CITATION. BLESS YOU AND THE FAMILY

    Reply
    • Bill Bakalars

      An amazing man! His enthusiasm was contagious when I was a kid hanging with his son Tom. Tom…you were right…your dad really was the best! I am so sorry for your loss.

      Reply
      • MaryAnn Stark

        How much fun did we have after seeing Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn? Don and Tom shoo bee doobeed all night. So many memories. Such good times when you guys lived right across the street in Minneapolis and when we went to LaCrosse to see you. Do you think they’re shoobee doobeeing in the hereafter?

        Reply
        • Nancy Ellingson

          Maybe you and I could carry it on! Thanks for the nice comments. I do remember the fun times and how we were sure they could go on forever. Hi to the kids. I will try to call if/when I get to Thom’s.

          Reply
  3. Dianne Seyler

    Nancy I am so sorry to learn of Don’s passing. My sincere condolences. I will keep you both in my prayers.

    Reply
  4. Michael Best

    Nancy and family.
    We are very sorry to hear of Don’s passing. I have great memories of flying with him. I admired how Don always treated everyone he met with respect and kindness.
    You are in our prayers.
    Mike and Deb Best

    Reply
  5. John Staut

    Romaine,

    My sincere condolences in the passing of your brother. While I never met him, I think of the many times you would mention him in our conversations. This was true with regard to his being a Trane pilot and I working at Trane. God be with you and your family in dealing with this loss.

    Your friend John Staut

    Reply
  6. Marcia Amann

    My prayers are with you and your family, Nancy.

    Reply
  7. Toni Asher

    Nancy and Family,

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Losing someone is a grief beyond words.

    I hope the many, many memories of joyous times you had together will bring comfort. Music, art, and high flying above the clouds…

    With deepest sympathy,
    Toni Asher

    Reply
    • Nancy Ellingson

      Thanks Toni for the nice comments.

      Reply
  8. Jennifer Bolen

    Nancy,

    So sorry to learn of your loss. It is so difficult to lose a loved one especially at this time. My prayers go out to you and your family. May your memories of him help to ease your pain.

    Jennie

    Reply
  9. Carol Mader

    Dear Nancy&all of Don’s family, Our sincere sympathy to all of you. Don was such a pleasant gentleman. Mike and I got to know him in planning for, and taking a trip to Dubna Russia in 1990. Good memories. Carol&Mike Mader

    Reply
  10. Ardelle Ender

    Nancy, You and your family are in my prayers.
    Sincerely,

    Reply
  11. Phyllis Bey

    Nancy and Family
    I am so sorry to read of Don’s passing. He was a true
    gentleman. Sharing times with the 2 of you and Ray and Penny will always bring smiles to me. May you smile too as happy memories come to mind. My heart aches for you Nancy.
    Blessings
    Phyllis Bey

    Reply
    • Nancy Ellingson

      Phyllis – Thank you very much for your words. I have thought of you often and hope you’re well and happy.

      Reply
  12. Sondra LeGrand

    Oh, Nancy I am so sorry for you. What an incredible caretaker and wife you are and had been for Don. I remember only meeting him a few times but I remember he was kind, had a wonderful smile and loved his flying. I would be grateful if you could put me on the list for the memorial at a later time. Sondra and Roger LeGrand

    Reply

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