Vernon Lee Ellingson, 94, passed away May 8, at the Pondera Medical Center Extended Care of natural causes.
Vernon was born March 7, 1916, in Brady and was the first child born to Edwin Oliver “2x4” Ellingson and Olga Josephine Lee of Glydon, Minn. They lived east of Brady and attended the Berland School until the family moved to Brady where “2x4” managed the lumber yard. After graduating in 1934, Vernon went to work for Twin Service and then moved to Fargo, N.D., to work for Minneapolis Moline Co. He married Katherine Wieringa and they later divorced. When WWII broke out, he enlisted in the army in 1941. His tour of duty included the European, African and Middle Eastern Theaters achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. He served in the 506th Fighter Squadron, 404th Fighter Group. Vernon was always proud that all four brothers served in WWII. Orvest Ellingson, a B17 pilot, was killed in action over France.
Upon returning to the U.S. in 1944, Vernon worked for Cummins Diesel in San Francisco. He retired in 1985. In 1953 he met school teacher, Florence M Hartig, in San Rafael, Calif. They were married 50 years until her passing in 2003. Hobbies were golfing, calling bingo, traveling and square dancing. Vernon was a volunteer fireman in Alto, Calif., and lifetime member of the American Legion, Independent Order of Forresters and the 1305 Automotive Machinist Union.
Due to health reasons Vernon and Florence moved back to Shelby. Upon Florence’s passing Vernon moved into the Horizon Lodge in Conrad. He served as Secretary/Treasurer for the resident’s council and called bingo every Friday.
Survivors include sister, Lucille E. Petersen (Roland) of Brady; brother, George F. Ellingson (Betty) of Conrad; nephews, Bill Ellingson (Sue Ann) of Denver, Colo., Glenn Petersen, Brady, Ronald Ellingson (Lilia) of Missoula, and Steven Ellingson (Debb) of Puyallup, Wash.; nieces, Patti L. Orcutt (Lyle) and LeAnn Hermance (Bob) of Conrad, Kacy Colston (Tom) of West Suffield, Conn., Beth Clemons (Michael) of Waseca, Minn., Sandra Riegel (Dave) of Billings, Sharon Harrison (Pat) Baker and Susan (Tom) Dorey of Mesa, Ariz.
Vernon was preceded in death by father E.O. “2x4” Ellingson, mother Olga Lee Ellingson, brothers Orvest and Robert and nephew Gordon Petersen.
Suggested memorials are Pondera History Museum, Ellingson Family Scholarship Dollars for Scholars or the memorial of donor’s choice.
Memorial Services will be held Aug. 7 at the Pondera Golf Club. Burial of cremains will be in Hillside Cemetery. Pondera Funeral Home handled the arrangements.