Orville Ellingson, 88

Orville Ellingson, 88, of Thief River Falls, MN passed away peacefully to be with his Lord on Thursday, April 28th, 2016 at Sanford Hospital Palliative Care in Fargo, ND.


Funeral service to celebrate his life will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, May 5, 2016 at Evangelical Free Church, Thief River Falls, MN with Pastor Bruce Fisher officiating. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery, Thief River Falls.


Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM with a 7:00 PM prayer service on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN. Visitation also one hour prior to the funeral.


Orville Raymond Ellingson was born at Mercy Hospital in Thief River Falls, Minnesota on July 17, 1927. He is the son of Oscar and Olga (Larson) Ellingson. He was confirmed at Evangelical Free Church and attended Washington Elementary and Central Schools, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1945. Following graduation, he enlisted into service with the United Sates Army on October 24, 1950. He served in an artillery unit stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, MO and Camp McCoy, WI. He received his honorable discharge February of 1951.


He was a lifetime promotor of his home town and worked silently behind the scenes to facilitate many projects and events for the community. He will probably be most remembered for designing the original Peace Garden and for the many veterans' flags placed on Memorial Day. Orville has assisted in over 300 military funerals with his fellow Legionaries. With his profound woodworking skills, he has made over 300 country churches, over 3200 mosquito homes and over 900 clocks which he has shared with many people all over the world.


When the airport in Thief River Falls started in the early 40’s, Orville helped pick rock and shovel snow at the airport and over the years, has taken many pictures and had them displayed at the airport. An avid photographer, his pictures have found their way into many prominent locations in Thief River Falls. One picture was published in the National Geographic magazine. In 1944, Orville started driving truck for Nash Finch for 10 cents an hour. In 1946, he started driving for Central Lumber out of Minneapolis, MN and, in 1954 he went to work for Hartz Foods driving truck. This was also the year his father died. In 1963, he went to work for Glenndenning Motor Ways, where Orville worked until 1983. He then taught shop at the DAC for 3 years. Through the years, Orville took care of several family members including his parents; sister, Helen; brothers, Harry and Gary and his grandmother, Mrs. Peter Ellingson.


Except for a short time in the United States Army, he lived all of his adult life in the family home his father Oscar built in 1950. For the past ten months he has lived at Elim Care Center in Fargo where his sister-in-law Billie Sue (Gary) Ellingson is Senior Chaplain. As always true Orville was dearly loved and cared for and developed many friendships there. He will be truly missed cruising the halls and talking to everyone.


Orville was a member of Evangelical Free Church and Thief River Falls American Legion.


He is survived by his brother Gary (Billie Sue) Ellingson, Moorhead, MN, nephews Daniel (Alissa), Kuala Lumper, Malaysia; Andrew (Krystyna), Thief River Falls, MN; and Matthew (Maria), Richfield, MN; and niece Kristin, Moorhead, MN; all who loved to call Orville Grumpa. Many of his nine grand nieces and nephews got to know and love him as well.


Orville was preceded in death by his father and mother, his brother Harry (Long Beach, CA) and his sister Helen Adamson (Thief River Falls, MN).

Family condolences may be sent to www.johnsonfuneralservice.com


Pianist: Carolyn Trontvet

Congregational Hymns: When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder & Because He Lives

Military Honors: American Legion Ecklund-Holmstrom Post #117, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2793 and Minnesota Army National Guard Honor Guard